Darryl Dawkins, whose board-shattering dunks earned him the moniker ”Chocolate Thunder” and helped pave the way for breakaway rims, has died. He was 58.
The Lehigh County, Pennsylvania coroner’s office said Dawkins died Thursday morning at a hospital. Later Thursday, Dawkins’ family said a heart attack was the cause of death. Officials said an autopsy was scheduled for Friday.
Dawkins, the first player to go from high school into the first round of the NBA draft, spent parts of 14 seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, New Jersey, Utah and Detroit. He averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds in 726 career regular-season games.
He was selected No. 5 in the 1975 NBA draft by the 76ers. His ”Chocolate Thunder” nickname, he often said, was given to him by legendary singer Stevie Wonder – who is blind.
EDISON, N.J. (AP) The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs brought out the worst score from Jordan Spieth in three months.
In his first tournament as No. 1 in the world, Spieth had a pair of three-putt bogeys, hit a tee shot in the water, shot 40 on his back nine and wound up with a 4-over 74 in the opening round of The Barclays. It was his highest score since a 75 in The Players Championship, the last time he missed a cut.
Bubba Watson and Tony Finau powered their way around Plainfield Country Club and were tied for the lead with Spencer Levin and Camilo Villegas at 5-under 65.
Paul Casey and Jason Dufner were in the large group at 66. PGA champion Jason Day joined Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in the group at 68.
PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) – Brittany Lang birdied five of the first seven holes in windy conditions and shot a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
Added to the U.S. Solheim Cup team Monday as one of Juli Inkster’s two captain’s picks, Lang had a two-stroke lead over Tiffany Joh, Sydnee Michaels and Ryann O’Toole.
Julieta Granada, Hyo Joo Kim, Ariya Jutanugarn, Therese Koelbaek and Simin Feng were three strokes back at 68. Stacy Lewis, the 2012 winner, had a 70.
Lexi Thompson, the 2011 winner at age 16, opened with a 69.
NEW YORK (AP) – Serena Williams could play an All-American U.S. Open.
As she seeks the first Grand Slam since 1988, the top-ranked Williams might find herself competing against the past and future of her country’s championship hopes.
A potential third-round opponent is 22-year-old Sloane Stephens, who beat her in the 2013 Australian Open quarterfinals and is coming off her first WTA title in Washington this month. A possible fourth-round foe is 20-year-old Madison Keys, who reached this year’s Aussie semifinals.
Then in the quarterfinals, she could face her sister, seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams.
On the men’s side, second-seeded Roger Federer and No. 3 Andy Murray could meet in one semifinal, with No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 Kei Nishikori, last year’s runner-up, in the other.
Djokovic could face Rafael Nadal, who’s seeded just eighth, in the quarterfinals.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) – Robert Griffin III evaded questions about when – or even if – he sustained a concussion in the Washington Redskins’ second preseason game.
The Redskins later said the quarterback was cleared by an independent neurologist to play Saturday night at the Baltimore Ravens in what could be his last preseason action.
So far, Griffin is 6 for 13 for 44 yards in two appearances, and the Redskins have not scored a touchdown with him on the field. Last week against Detroit, Griffin left after four series, going 2 for 5 with two fumbles, three sacks and a few other big hits.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A woman was injured by a foul ball at a Philadelphia Phillies game, hours after the Major League Baseball commissioner was at the stadium and spoke about increasing fan safety.
Commissioner Rob Manfred talked at Citizens Bank Park before the New York Mets played the Phillies. He said there was a chance that extra safety nets could be put up around the majors as early as next season.
In the second inning, a fan sitting five rows off the field was hit in the forehead by a foul off the bat of Freddy Galvis of the Phillies. The team said she was evaluated and didn’t need to go to a hospital.
Several fans at big league games have been hurt by foul balls and flying bats this season. The injuries have prompted players and others to call for expanded netting at ballparks.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) – The title round at the Little League World Series is flush with second chances.
Pearland, Texas, hit a pair of homers in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 9-7 victory over Bonita, California, and a berth in the U.S. championship game against what amounts to the tournament’s home team.
After Bonita pulled ahead 7-6 in the top of the second extra inning, starting pitcher Ben Gottfried hit a tying solo shot and Caleb Low ended it with a two-run homer.
Pearland will play undefeated Lewisberry, Pennsylvania for the U.S. championship on Saturday. The winner will face the International bracket champion on Sunday for the World Series title.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – City analysts warned that construction costs for athlete housing in Los Angeles’ 2024 Olympic bid may be significantly underestimated.
The cost of acquiring land and building an Olympic Village for athletes near downtown Los Angeles ”may significantly exceed” the projected $1 billion cost, according to a preliminary report released by the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana and Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso.
The report says more study is needed.
The City Council will discuss the issues in the report on Friday as it considers giving Mayor Eric Garcetti authority to execute agreements linked to the bid, a steppingstone toward entering the international competition for the Games. A vote on the matter could happen as early as Friday, but is expected to come next week.