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Archive for Friday, February 14, 2003

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February 14, 2003

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First four players unveiled for U.S. basketball team

Ray Allen, Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd and Tracy McGrady were the first four players chosen Thursday for the 2004 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team, with Kobe Bryant conspicuously absent -- for now.

The long-awaited announcement was made in Colorado Springs, Colo., by USA Basketball, which said Bryant could be added to the team at a later date once a contractual issue is cleared up.

Bryant is "very interested" in playing on the team, the national team organizing committee said. The committee added that he had been asked to play on the team, but had yet to sign the organization's standard player contract.

"USA Basketball remains hopeful that he will be added to the roster at a future date," the statement said.

Baseball

Royals, Ibanez reach deal

Kansas City, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals avoided arbitration with outfielder Raul Ibanez, agreeing Thursday to a $3 million, one-year contract.

Ibanez, 30, had a career-best .294 average last season and nearly doubled his career totals with 37 doubles, six triples and 24 homers. He had 103 RBIs -- nine short of his total in his first four major league seasons.

He had asked for a raise from $800,000 to $3.4 million and had been offered $2.75 million.

Running

Webb to make debut

New York -- Alan Webb returns to one of his favorite tracks Saturday, making his pro debut as a miler in the New York Road Runners Challenge Cup at the Armory Collegiate Invitational.

It's the track where Webb became the first high schooler to run a mile indoors in under four minutes, finishing in 3:59.86 at the New Balance Games two years ago.

Four months later, Webb ran a mile in 3:53.43 at the Prefontaine Classic, breaking the national outdoor scholastic record held for 36 years by Kansas congressman Jim Ryun.

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