MLB: Trout, Verlander sign contract extension
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim agreed to a record-breaking contract extension with All-Star center fielder Mike Trout. The deal calls for a $426.5 million payout over the course of 12 years, likely lasting the remainder of Trout’s career.
The Houston Astros announced March 24 that they have agreed to re-sign Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million contract extension. At $33 million per year, Verlander will pocket the highest annual average salary of any pitcher in the MLB.
NBA: LeBron out of playoffs, Lonzo Ball cuts ties with BBB, Thunder recap
The Los Angeles Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention after a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets Friday, March 22. This will be the first playoff experience without LeBron James since the 2004-2005 NBA season—his second year in the league. James’ streak of consecutive NBA Finals appearances snaps an eight-year run.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has cut ties with Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster. Foster, who owns 16.3 percent of the company, has not adequately accounted for roughly $1.5 million. Questions were first raised last fall by Ball’s financial adviser after the taxes of both Ball’s personal and corporate interests could not be documented correctly.
The Oklahoma City Thunder fell short in a 115-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies March 25. Forward Paul George led the team offensively scoring 30 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. The Thunder are now 43-31 on the season.
The Thunder will play the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m.
College Hoops: March Madness
Two nights after Wofford College guard Fletcher Magee set the record for most career three-pointers in NCAA history (509) against Seton Hall University, the two-time Southern Conference player of the year went 0 for 12, the NCAA record for most missed three pointers in an NCAA tournament game, against the University of Kentucky in their 62-56 loss Saturday, March 23.
Kentucky advances to the Sweet Sixteen for the third consecutive year and will face the University of Houston Friday, March 29, at 9:00 p.m.
In the opening round of the NCAA tournament, Murray State University’s Ja Morant recorded a triple-double in their 83-64 win over Marquette University. His offensive surge was the first triple-double recorded in the NCAA tournament since Michigan State University’s Draymond Green in 2011 and 2012.
Morant finished with 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds. Murray State lost in the second round of the tournament to Florida State University 90-62 Saturday, March 23, ending Morant’s historic run.
The highly-touted freshman class of Duke University saved the Blue Devils from a second-round upset at the hand of the University of Central Florida (UCF) March 24. With 14 seconds remaining, Zion Williamson finished a contested layup to put them within one. R.J. Barrett grabbed the rebound of Williamson’s missed free throw and laid it in to take the lead and secure the 77-76 victory. In the final seconds of the game, a shot by UCF bounced in and out of the rim, which ended the Knights’ March Madness dance.
Duke will play Virginia Tech University Friday, March 29, at 8:40 p.m.
For an extensive look at the scores and schedule of the NCAA tournament, click here.
NFL: Gronk announces retirement
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced he has decided to step away from the game of football Sunday, March 24. Gronkowski, a five-time Pro Bowler, played nine years in the NFL and broke the 1,000-yard receiving mark four times in his career. The future Hall of Famer won three Super Bowl rings during his time in the league.