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Sports in brief: Manute Bol dies

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Shot-blocker, Humanitarian Bol Dies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Manute Bol, a 7-foot-7 shot-blocker from Sudan who spent 10 seasons in the NBA and was dedicated to humanitarian work in Africa, died Saturday. He was 47.

Mr. Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for kidney issues and a painful skin condition, Tom Prichard, executive director of the group Sudan Sunrise, said in an e-mail. "Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us," Prichard said.

Mr. Bol played with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia and Miami, averaging 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in his career. He led the league in blocks in 1985-86 and 1988-89.

After the NBA, Mr. Bol worked as an advisory board member of Sudan Sunrise, which promotes reconciliation in Sudan.

He was hospitalized in mid May after returning from Sudan. Prichard said then that Mr. Bol was in Sudan to help build a school but stayed longer after the president of southern Sudan asked him to use his influence to counter corruption. Prichard said Mr. Bol had dialysis treatments and developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a condition that caused him to lose patches of skin. Prichard said it's believed Mr. Bol contracted the skin disease as a reaction to kidney medication he took in Africa.

Sudan Sunrise will try to complete the school in Mr. Bol's home village. His goal was to build 41 schools throughout Sudan.

Tennis

Back injury forces Safina to pull out of Wimbledon

Former women's No. 1 Dinara Safina withdrew from Wimbledon because of a lower back injury that has plagued her since November.

Safina, a semifinalist at Wimbledon last year, was to be seeded 20th. She has lost her past four matches since April.

Her spot in the draw was taken by 18-year-old American Melanie Oudin.

Meanwhile, players will be able to revive the tradition of bowing or curtsying when the queen visits the tournament for the first time in 33 years. The All England Club dropped the tradition of a bow or curtsy to the royal box in 2003. Queen Elizabeth II is arriving Thursday, and the club is leaving it up to players whether to show deference to her. "It would be kind of fun. Yeah, I'd love to do it," Maria Sharapova said.

UNICEF Open: Justine Henin beat No. 7 Andrea Petkovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Den Bosch, Netherlands, to win her first grasscourt title in three years.

Eastbourne: Unseeded Ekaterina Makarova defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in England to win her first career title. Makarova, 22, is the first qualifier to win the title.

Et cetera

CYCLING: The International Cycling Union, the sport's governing body, will perform tests at the Tour de France to ensure that racers are not cheating by using motors hidden in bicycle frames.

Greyhounds: Flash Forward ($19), Flying Coal City ($2.20), Starz Lee Steel ($8) and Tmc's Remedy ($3.20) won opening-round races in the $40,000 St. Petersburg Derby at Derby Lane. Qualifying ends Wednesday.

NHL: Jason Arnott, who scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Devils in 2000, waived a no-trade clause and was reacquired from the Predators in a deal for Matt Halischuk and a second-round pick in the 2011 draft. … The Predators also acquired defenseman Ryan Parent from the Flyers for defenseman Dan Hamhuis and a conditional pick.

Sports in brief: Manute Bol dies 06/19/10 [Last modified: Sunday, June 20, 2010 12:49am]
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