Names In The News
The Browns revealed that GM TOM HECKERT "recently underwent heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to address blocked arteries." The procedure "was believed to be a bypass." Browns President MIKE HOLMGREN said that Heckert is "recovering well and should be back to work full-time in time to help prepare for and run" the NFL Draft April 26-28. Holmgren also said that surgery "was not preceded by a heart attack" and that Heckert "initially wanted to keep the surgery private" (CLEVELAND.com, 2/27). Holmgren added Heckert "would return to the Browns facility" today (ESPN.com, 2/27).
CONTINENTAL DRIFT: Bulls F LUOL DENG wore a "black shirt emblazoned with an outline of Africa on it before being introduced" at the NBA All-Star Game Sunday night. Deng decided to wear the shirt "in order to inspire young kids from his native land." He said, "I'm not advertising anything. I just felt like being where I'm from and where I came from, it's something that I always wanted to see as a kid." He added that he "wasn't sure if he would be fined for the gesture." Deng: "I really don't know. If I get fined, I'm OK. To me, what I did is worth it for me" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 2/26). SB Nation's Bomani Jones said of Deng, "He’ll probably get fined for not wearing the atrocious uniforms, but you have to give him credit for being willing to ... spend money on a fine in order to make a point and ... go beyond what we think about globalization in the NBA" (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/27).
LET'S DANCE: Packers WR DONALD DRIVER and former tennis player MARTINA NAVRATILOVA will be part of the latest season of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." ABC’s Robin Roberts said to Navratilova, “Athletes seem to have a little bit of an advantage. Is it just because of your attitude or is it the physical training that you’re used to?” Navratilova: “Once you get to know the muscles and the way they work then you can transfer it into another (discipline). But tennis is all closed up and (dancing) is all open. My hands are totally doing the wrong things. It’s a learning a experience, but it’s a challenge” (“GMA,” ABC, 2/28).
NAMES: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow noted Under Armour paid MARK DOWLEY "$500,000 for his work as an eight-month consultant to CEO KEVIN PLANK, a role Dowley entered into after exiting the Baltimore sportswear maker two months into his job as president of the company's international business." Dowley also received a "$250,000 lump sum as part of his exit agreement" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/27)....The Orioles and Pirates joined in the dedication of the first Miracle League Field in the Sarasota-Bradenton area on Saturday afternoon." The two teams "donated a total of $150,000 toward the construction of the baseball field designed specifically for children and adults with special needs" (MLB.com, 2/25)....The 24th annual Comcast SportsNet Awards "raised more than $720,000 for the March of Dimes -- a new record for the sports soiree" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/28)....Churchill Downs VP/Business Development LEEA NASH BRIDGEMAN, ESPNU and ESPNHS VP ROSALYN DURANT, PepsiCo Inc. Amp Energy Brand Manager KIMBERLY HOGG and Heat & American Airlines Arena VP & Associate General Counsel EVA WRIGHT TAYLOR were named to Black Enterprise magazine's “40 Rising Stars, 40 and Under” list (THE DAILY)….MIKE TYSON’s one-man show, “MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH -- LIVE ON STAGE,” is running from April 13-18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (INSIDESOCAL.com, 2/27).
IN MEMORY: Former Sonics President & GM GARY VOLCHOK, 95, passed away Sunday. Volchok was part of the Sonics team that won the ’79 NBA title (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/28).