In Brief | Nation and World


‘Ossie’ Schectman dies, scored NBA’s first basket

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, the former New York Knicks guard who scored the first basket in NBA history nearly seven decades ago, died Tuesday. He was 94.

Schectman’s son Peter confirmed his father’s death, which was also announced by the Knicks. Peter Schectman said his father did not have a prolonged illness and succumbed after developing complications related to respiratory failure.

“Ossie Schectman was a true NBA pioneer,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said, adding that scoring the league’s first basket “placed him permanently in the annals of NBA history.”

Schectman scored the opening basket of a game in what was then known as the BAA on Nov. 1, 1946 for the Knicks against the Toronto Huskies, a layup after cutting down the center of the lane. The Knicks wound up winning that game at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens 68-66, and Schectman went on to average 8.1 points that season, his only one with the franchise.

Braves place OF Reed Johnson on disabled list

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves have placed reserve outfielder Reed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with left heel tendinitis.

Johnson, who leads major league pinch hitters with a .355 batting average and a .444 on-base percentage, is the third Atlanta outfielder currently on the DL.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Tuesday that center fielder B.J. Upton, sidelined by a right hip strain, is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. Reserve outfielder Jordan Schafer, out with a bruised right ankle, could begin with Gwinnett as early as Saturday.

Atlanta purchased the contract of Todd Cunningham from Gwinnett to take Johnson’s spot on the 25-man roster.

Cunningham hit .279 with 18 stolen bases in 19 games at Gwinnett.

Rutgers to retire LeGrand’s No. 52

NEWPORT, R.I. — Rutgers has not handed out No. 52 since Eric LeGrand last wore it — the day he was injured during a game and left paralyzed.

Now, until LeGrand walks again, no one will wear that number for the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers announced Tuesday that LeGrand’s jersey will be the first retired by the program that played college football’s first game in 1869.

“This is a dream come true,” LeGrand said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “To be the first one to have his number retired is unreal.”

LeGrand and his No. 52 will be honored in a ceremony Sept. 14 when Rutgers plays at home against Eastern Michigan.

LeGrand broke two vertebrae in October 2010 while making a tackle on a kickoff return against Army. He was left paralyzed from the shoulders down and has had to use a wheelchair since leaving the hospital, but has made enough progress in his rehabilitation to stand upright with the help of a metal frame. The 22-year-old said he now has gotten his left wrist to twitch and the strength in his back has returned to the point where he can more easily sit up by himself.

Top-seeded Kerber tops Falconi at Citi Open

WASHINGTON — Jack Sock was asked about his upcoming match with No. 11-ranked Kei Nishikori, a query that ended with high praise for Nishikori’s level of play.

“Yeah, thanks for that,” Sock shot back in a deadpan tone.

No. 94-ranked Sock played pretty well himself Tuesday, beating No. 59-ranked Igor Sijsling 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Citi Open. That victory over Sijsling — the second-highest-ranked opponent Sock has ever beaten — sets up a second-round matchup with No. 2-seeded Nishikori.

Another American, No. 107-ranked Ryan Harrison, upset No. 57-ranked Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 7-5. No. 4-seeded Milos Raonic beat Samuel Groth 7-5, 6-4. No. 22-ranked Sam Querrey, the tournament’s sixth seed, beat Denis Istomin 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9).

On the women’s side of the Citi Open, top-seeded Angelique Kerber cruised past Irina Falconi 6-2, 6-3 in the first round.

With No. 15-ranked Stephens’ loss Monday, No. 9-ranked Kerber is 17 spots higher than any player remaining in the tournament.

Mayer upsets Kohlschreiber at Kitzbuehel

KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Leonardo Mayer of Argentina upset top-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals of the bet-at-home Cup.

Two-time champion Robin Haase started his title defense by defeating Guillaume Rufin of France 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round. The 68th-ranked Dutchman finished with 10 aces.

Haase, who won the event in 2011 and ‘12 and reached his third career final in Gstaad last weekend, will next play Daniel Brands. The German beat fifth-seeded Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2.

Victor Hanescu of Romania defeated Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-2, 6-1, and Jan Hajek of Czech Republic beat Aldin Setkic of Bosnia 6-2, 6-1. Andreas Haider-Maurer beat fellow Austrian Dennis Novak 6-4, 6-4, and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain rallied to beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-7 (1), 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Suarez Navarro wins opener in Carlsbad

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Carla Suarez Navarro used a strong return game for a 6-4, 6-3 win over Sachie Ishizu in the first round of the Southern California Open on Tuesday.

The eighth-seeded Spaniard took advantage of Ishizu’s serve by breaking her on both opportunities in the first set, then breaking her serve four more times in the second set to advance.

Suarez Navarro, the only seeded player in action Tuesday, played in her first tournament since losing a tight two-setter to world No. 8 Petra Kvitova in the round of 16 at Wimbledon.

Qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan moved to the second round with a 6-5, 7-5 win over Julia Goerges. Karatantcheva is ranked 137th in the world, while Goerges is No. 42.

In other first-round matches, Poland’s Ursula Radwanska was a 7-6 (3), 6-4 winner over qualifier Marina Erakovic of New Zealand, and qualifier Coco Vandeweghe advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over wild-card entrant Allie Kiick, daughter of former Miami Dolphin running back Jim Kiick.

Sharks sign Joe Pavelski to five-year extension

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks signed center Joe Pavelski to a $30 million, five-year contract extension Tuesday that will keep him off the free-agent market next summer.

Pavelski is the second key player signed to an extension this offseason by general manager Doug Wilson. Center Logan Couture also signed a $30 million, five-year extension earlier this month, a year before he could become a free agent. The deals keep both players under contract through the 2018-19 season.

Pavelski, a seventh-round pick in 2003, has become a cornerstone of the franchise that has long been led by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

The 29-year-old has 150 goals and 186 assists in 479 career games with San Jose. He ranks 10th in his draft class in points per game (0.70) and is the only player in the top 15 to be selected after the second round.

Ledecky crushes WR in 1,500 free at worlds

BARCELONA, Spain — Katie Ledecky has crushed the world record in the 1,500 freestyle for her second gold medal at the world swimming championships.

The 16-year-old American barely missed the world record in the 400 freestyle, but there was no doubt it would fall in the 1,500. Ledecky and defending world champion Lotte Friis went at it stroke for stroke much of the race, the Danish swimmer slightly ahead.

But Ledecky edged out front at the 1,300 mark and began to pull away, looking as strong at the end as she did at the beginning.

Her time of 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds beat the previous mark by more than 6 seconds — Kate Ziegler’s 15:42.54 in 2007.

Friis also went under the old record, 15:38.88, but it was only good enough for silver.

From wire sources