49ers

Another active NHL player dies suddenly

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Another active NHL player dies suddenly

From Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, August 16, 2011
COLEMAN, Alberta (AP) -- Winnipeg Jets center Rick Rypien was found dead in his home Monday, nine months after he took a leave of absence from the NHL to deal with an undisclosed personal matter. An official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police called Rypien's death sudden, but not suspicious. He was 27. "Rick was a talented player with an extremely bright future," the Jets said in a release. "His hunger for the game made him a valued team member both on and off the ice. This loss has impacted us as more than just a hockey team." Rypien, a native of Alberta, was the second active NHL player found dead this offseason. Former New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died in May due to an accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. Rypien signed a 700,000, one-year deal with Winnipeg last month after spending parts of six seasons with Vancouver. He had nine goals and seven assists in 119 career NHL games. The Canucks announced on Nov. 25 that they had granted Rypien an indefinite leave of absence. It was the second time in three years the forward had left the team to deal with an undisclosed personal matter. Rypien also received a six-game suspension from the NHL last season after grabbing a fan on his way to the locker room in Minnesota. And during the 2008-09 season, he took an extended personal leave after a rash of injuries, missing 70 games. Rypien was the cousin of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers completed contract negotiations with their final unsigned draft pick as the team was going through warm-ups for the first practice of training camp.

Former Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 3 overall pick, signed Friday and was expected to join his teammates later in the day.

The sides agreed to the mandatory four-year contract worth more than $28 million, including a signing bonus of approximately $18.6 million. The deal is expected to be fully guaranteed.

The 49ers also have an option for the fifth season (2021) that must be exercised months after the 2019 season.

Thomas was unable to participate in full-squad workouts during the offseason due to Stanford’s late class schedule. NFL rules prohibit a rookie from attending the offseason program until his school’s classes have concluded for the spring session.

The 49ers – and the vast majority of NFL teams – have not had a contract stalemate with a rookie since the new collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011.

The organization had similar timing with a first-round pick from last year. Guard Joshua Garnett, also from Stanford, signed with the 49ers on the evening before players were scheduled to report to training camp.

Around the NFL, there has been only one notable contract disagreement that prevented a draft pick from reporting to camp in a timely fashion. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa, whom the Chargers selected with the No. 3 pick last year, sat out a month of training camp due to a disagreement over how his bonus would be distributed. Bosa and Thomas are both represented by the agent firm of Creative Artists Agency.

Durant sets Guinness world record during trip to India

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NBAE/Getty Images

Durant sets Guinness world record during trip to India

NEW DELHI – NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and 3,459 Indian children from the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for the world’s largest basketball lesson (multiple venues) ever held.

During his first-ever trip to India, Durant conducted the record-breaking feat at The NBA Academy India, the league’s elite basketball training center in the Delhi National Capital Region for the top male and female prospects from throughout India which opened in May.  

A group of youth were onsite at The NBA Academy India, while the other boys and girls participated via satellite from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.  

“Sharing my love of basketball with thousands of boys and girls across India was an unbelievable experience,” said Durant.  “It was an honor to coach these amazing kids and to be a part of this special day.”

Durant is in India to support the continued growth of basketball in the country. While in Delhi, he coached the country’s top prospects at The NBA Academy India and built two new basketball courts to the Ramjas School as part of the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation’s BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL Courts Renovation Initiative.  

“Sports has the ability to unite people, and this record-setting NBA clinic led by Finals MVP Kevin Durant helped us connect young basketball players throughout the country in a single event,” said NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco.  “We are growing the game of basketball in India, and having Kevin here, one of the world’s greatest players, will no doubt inspire countless young boys and girls to stay healthy and active and believe that they can do anything.”

The NBA Academy India builds on the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in India.  The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has reached more than 6 million youth and trained more than 5,000 physical education instructors nationwide since its launch in 2013.

NBA media services provided this report