Sports briefs- WNBA honors coach, rookie of the year

Published: Monday, September 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2003 at 12:11 a.m.

  • AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer was voted WNBA's coach of the year, and Shock forward Cheryl Ford was selected rookie of the year Sunday.

  • Also, Michelle Snow of the Houston Comets was selected as the league's most improved player.

    Laimbeer, who led the Shock to a league-best 25-9 record this season after a 9-10 mark in 2002, received 45 of 54 votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

    ``At the end of last year, I already thought we were one of the best teams in the East,'' Laimbeer said. ``Then we were able to add Cheryl and Ruth Riley, and I knew that we had a chance to win the East.''

    The Shock set a league record with a 16-victory improvement over 2002.

    ``I think this award is a reflection of how hard Bill has us working,'' Swin Cash said. ``People don't realize how passionate about the sport he still is - they might have thought he lost his edge when he quit playing, but he didn't.''

    Ford, the daughter of NBA star Karl Malone, became the first rookie in league history to average a double-double with 10.8 points and 10.4 rebounds. She received 49 out of 54 votes.

    Ford admitted being nervous coming into the league, but said she was calmed by her early success.

    SOCCER: Young Reddick on the prowl for U.S. defense

  • CARSON, Calif. - Catherine ``Cat'' Reddick was a star-struck teenager in the huge crowd at the Rose Bowl when the United States won the Women's World Cup four years ago.

    Now she's the youngest member of the team as the Americans try to repeat in 2004.

    The 21-year-old University of North Carolina star, the only amateur on the U.S. squad, still is awed she's joined the players she admires.

    ``I'm still pinching myself at times to wake up. Is this really happening or is it a dream? They're such amazing players and they make you that much better just because of the way they play,'' Reddick said. ``They have the perfect touch, they have the perfect service."

    Reddick, who was 4 when she announced to her parents she intended to be a soccer player, appreciates what established stars Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Kristine Lilly have done for the game in the United States.

    BASEBALL: Former Cub outfielder homers in Pacific league

  • TOKYO - Former Chicago Cubs outfielder Tuffy Rhodes hit his Pacific League-leading 43rd homer Sunday as the Kintetsu Buffaloes beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 3-1.

    Rhodes, who hit a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth inning, shares the Japanese record of 55 homers in a season with Sadaharu Oh and former Arizona Diamondbacks player Alex Cabrera.

    Cabrera, of the Seibu Lions, trails Rhodes by three homers this season.

    TRACK: Moses, 48, aims for U.S. trials, comeback

    PARIS -- Edwin Moses, who turned 48 Sunday, announced his comeback in the 400-meter hurdles.

    On the 20th anniversary of his last world record, 47.02 seconds in Koblenz, Germany, Moses said in a news conference here that he has a goal of qualifying for next year's U.S. Olympic trials. That would require him to run the event no slower than 50.05 seconds before July 1, 2004.

    ``I'm rooting for Felix and all those other guys,'' he said, referring to the Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez, the two-time world champion and his closest challengers.

    ``I'm not looking to run 47s or 48s or even 49s. I'd just like to get into the low 50s to show I can still do it. I'm in excellent physical condition, and my technique is as good as it was when I was competing full time.''

    Moses has 11 of the fastest 20 times in U.S. history. His world record was broken by Kevin Young of the United States, who ran 46.78 at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. No one has bettered that time.

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