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April 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

Mark Cuban may consider drafting Griner

DALLAS, April 4 (UPI) -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would be willing to give Baylor sensation Brittney Griner a chance to play in the National Basketball Association.

Cuban said he would consider selecting Griner, a three-time All-American and Big 12 conference player of the year, in the second round of the NBA draft, ESPN reported Wednesday.

If she's not selected, Cuban said he had "no problem whatsoever" inviting Griner to try out for a spot on Dallas' summer league team.

"If she is the best on the board, I will take her," Cuban said Tuesday. "I've thought about it. I've thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I'd lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it's not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it."

The 6-foot-8 Griner dominated women's college basketball, scoring 3,283 points and blocking 748 shots in her career. She had 18 dunks, including 11 her senior season that ended abruptly March 31 when Louisville surprised Baylor, 82-81, in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

Responding to Cuban's comments, Griner posted on her Twitter page, "I would hold my own! Lets do it."

Former UCLA star Ann Meyers tried out for the Indiana Pacers in 1979.


Djokovic-Isner match opens Davis series

BOISE, Idaho, April 4 (UPI) -- American John Isner will go against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the first match of the United States' Davis Cup quarterfinal series versus Serbia in Idaho.

Djokovic is 20-7 all-time in Davis Cup play and was seen as a driving force that boosted Serbia to the 2010 Davis Cup title. That was also the start of the charge Djokovic made to become the No. 1-ranked player in the world.

He was put into the prime position for Serbia for the best-of-five series as he's scheduled to play the first match both Friday and Sunday.

The series is to be played on an indoor hard court in Boise, Idaho, with the winner earning a spot in the semifinal against either Canada or Italy.

Isner, known for his powerful serve and ranked 23rd in the world, is 1-2 lifetime versus Djokovic, winning their most recent meeting about a year ago in three sets. The second match Friday pits 20th-ranked Sam Querrey against No. 44 Viktor Troicki.

The United States is seen to have the edge in Saturday's doubles match with world No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan taking on Serbians Ilija Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic.

Querrey also beat Djokovic last year but will be seeking just his second win in seven matches over Djokovic in the first match Sunday before Troicki and Isner face off in the final match.

Serbia defeated the United States 3-2 in a 2010 first-round match in the only Davis Cup meeting between the countries.


Simon inserted in French Davis Cup lineup

BUENOS AIRES, April 4 (UPI) -- Gilles Simon has been tabbed to replace world No. 9-ranked Richard Gasquet for France in this weekend's Davis Cup quarterfinal series in Argentina.

The option to replace Gasquet, who has a foot injury, with Simon shows the depth of French tennis. Simon is ranked 13th in the world and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was installed in the key lead-off singles position for Friday, is No. 8 in the world.

The best-of-five series is to be contested on an outdoor clay court in Buenos Aires, with two singles matches Friday and Sunday and a doubles match Saturday.

The winner moves to the Davis Cup semifinals against either defending Davis Cup champion Czech Republic or Kazakhstan.

The series in Buenos Aires is to start with Tsonga meeting world No. 71 Carlos Berlocq with Simon to play No. 19-ranked Juan Monaco in the second match.

The French doubles team of Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra goes against Argentines David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos on Saturday. Sunday's reverse singles has Monaco playing Tsonga first and Berlocq meeting Simon in the finale.

France is 5-0 all-time in the Davis Cup against Argentina, with the most recent meeting coming in the 2010 semifinals. The French have won nine championships. Argentina has never won the Davis Cup but has been the runner-up four times, including in 2011.


Lance Armstrong to compete in swim meet

AUSTIN, Texas, April 4 (UPI) -- Discredited Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong is registered in a masters swim meet this weekend in Texas, U.S. swimming officials said.

Armstrong will be participating in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported, and will be swimming against other middle-aged men.

U.S. Masters swimming doesn't drug test competitors and isn't under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Anti Doping Agency, which banned Armstrong from competing, the American-Statesman said.

Rob Butcher, the executive director of masters swimming, told the newspaper that the agency has no issues with Armstrong competing.

"The purpose of our organization is to encourage adults to swim," Butcher said.

Armstrong, 41, has entered the meet's three longest races -- the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle. He's seeded second in the 1,000 freestyle and third in the other two events.

Armstrong, who began his competitive career as a swimmer, couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

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