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Sheryl Swoopes comes out

| Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005

HOUSTON -- The only thing that outshines the exquisite diamond on Sheryl Swoopes' left ring finger is the glow on her face as she discusses the love of her life.

It's a love that the WNBA superstar has kept hidden for more than seven years. On Wednesday she "quit pretending," disclosing that she is gay and in a committed relationship.

"I feel like I've been living a lie," the Houston Comets star said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm at a place in my life right now where I'm very happy, very content. I'm finally OK with the idea of who I love, who I want to be with."

Swoopes said she currently lives with her partner, former Comets assistant coach Alisa Scott.

The story was first reported in ESPN the Magazine, which hit newsstands yesterday. She also announced an endorsement deal with Olivia, a lesbian cruise line.

Swoopes, the only WNBA player to win three MVP trophies, said she never had feelings for a woman before Scott and didn't understand them when they began. But in the seven years since, she said she's been "hurting" while hiding her relationship.

Now, Swoopes said, she finally feels free.

Swoopes is a five-time All-Star, three-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion as a member of the Comets, whose run of four straight titles began when she was a rookie in 1997.

While piling up accolades and accomplishments, the 34-year-old Swoopes said she dreamed about the day when she could attend an awards banquet with Scott on her arm.

Pro basketball

The New Orleans Hornets traded center Jamaal Magloire to the Milwaukee Bucks yesterday in exchange for forward Desmond Mason, an unconditional first-round pick in the 2006 draft and cash. Magloire, an All-Star two seasons ago, averaged 11.7 points and 7.4 rebounds in 23 games for the Hornets last season. The 6-foot-11 center missed 51 games last season with a broken right ring finger. He had expressed a desire to be traded to Toronto, his hometown.

  • The Charlotte Bobcats acquired forward Jumaine Jones yesterday from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a future second-round pick. Jones, who averaged 7.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and shot .391 from 3-point range last season, will give Charlotte much-needed depth at small forward. Gerald Wallace is the starter and second-year player Bernard Robinson has not challenged him for playing time.

  • The New York Knicks waived guards Jamison Brewer and Steven Barber and forward Otis George yesterday, reducing their roster to 15.

  • Chicago Bulls guard Chris Duhon was taken to the hospital after crashing to the floor under the basket in the first quarter of yesterday night's exhibition game against Minnesota. Duhon was carried off the floor on a stretcher after being fouled by Eddie Griffon on a drive to the basket late in the period. Team officials said Duhon was conscious, had movement in his extremities and complained of a sore neck. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center to be examined for a concussion. Duhon drove to the basket and had his shot blocked by Griffin. His momentum sent him crashing to the floor, and he landed on his rear first and then his head hit the floor.

  • All-star forward Tracy McGrady missed the Houston Rockets' preseason game against the Utah Jazz yesterday with tendinitis in both knees. McGrady, who is averaging 15 points a game in the preseason, sat on the bench in street clothes. He is expected to play in the Rockets' preseason finale today against the New Orleans Hornets at Oklahoma City.

  • Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett missed the Timberwolves' exhibition game yesterday night against Chicago because of a sprained left ankle.

    Golf

    Joe Steranka, who has spent the last 18 years as a broadcast executive for the PGA of America, was appointed chief executive officer yesterday. Steranka replaces Jim Awtrey, retiring after 19 years. He will be introduced Nov. 1 at the PGA of America's annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Olympics

    Two weeks after it was widely reported, the sport's national governing body yesterday made Mike Krzyzewski the first coach of the first men's senior national team.

  • Erin Mirabella is ready to give back the cycling bronze medal she won after a Colombian athlete was disqualified at the Athens Games. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled last week that Maria Luisa Calle should be reinstated as the bronze medalist in the track points race. She was disqualified after testing positive for a banned stimulant, but that result was found to be erroneous.

  • International Olympic Committee member Guy Drut was given a 15-month suspended sentence and fined $60,000 yesterday in a corruption and party-financing trial, raising the possibility of sanctions from the Olympic body.

    Tennis

    Vince Spadea of the United States upset fourth-seeded Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 7-6 (5), 7-5 and No. 8 Robby Ginepri retired with an illness yesterday, eliminating two more seeds from the first round of the Lyon Grand Prix. The loss for Ljubicic was his second in four days, following a five-set defeat to Rafael Nadal in Sunday's Madrid Masters final which ended a 16-match win streak that included titles in Metz and Vienna.

  • Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic pulled another surprise, ousting second-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia 6-3, 7-5 yesterday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Generali Ladies Open.

  • Tim Henman lost to British teenager Andy Murray 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (4) yesterday in the opening round of the Swiss Indoors. The 18-year-old wild card beat the sixth-seeded Henman in their first meeting.

    Off the field

    CBS yesterday appointed its top sports executive, Sean McManus, to replace Andrew Heyward as head of a news division still searching for Dan Rather's replacement and seeking to rebound from last year's discredited report on President Bush's military service. McManus, 50, follows in the path of the late Roone Arledge at ABC as an executive who took over a network news division while still running sports.

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