Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
At least I can be Wimbledon champion for two years, says Halep
Simon Halep is trying to look on the bright side regarding the suspension of the tennis season due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means at least she will be referred to as reigning Wimbledon champion for two years. The Romanian former world number produced a flawless performance to beat Serena Williams in last year's final but this week's cancellation of the grasscourt Grand Slam means she will not get to defend her title this summer.
Astros' Verlander will donate pay during MLB shutdown
Veteran Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander said he will donate his adjusted paycheck during MLB's coronavirus shutdown to multiple organizations providing assistance during the crisis. Verlander made the announcement via Instagram on Saturday along with his wife, Kate Upton.
Antonio Brown reportedly charged in alleged assault of driver
A Broward County (Fla.) court document obtained by ESPN revealed that Brown is charged with felony burglary conveyance, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor criminal mischief charges. Brown allegedly was involved in a dispute with a moving-truck driver outside his Hollywood, Fla., home on Jan. 21. The driver was attempting to deliver Brown's household items from California, per the criminal complaint.
Time to take a break from tennis, says top U.S. group
Playing tennis might not be a good idea in these critical times, says the U.S. group typically busy encouraging more to take up the sport. "Based on the recommendations of the USTA COVID-19 Advisory Group, the USTA believes that it is in the best interest of society to take a collective pause from playing the sport we love," the United States Tennis Association said in a statement on Friday.
New England Patriots' truck delivers masks to New York to help coronavirus effort
A truck emblazoned with the colors of the New England Patriots football team was out on the streets of New York on Friday, delivering 300,000 N95 masks to a makeshift hospital set up in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. New York state recorded more than 500 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day on Friday, bringing the statewide total to nearly 3,000.
Report: NFL teams to conduct draft from homes
The 2020 NFL Draft now will be a stay-at-home affair as top team officials will participate in the April 23-25 event from their individual residences, ESPN reported Saturday. With coronavirus cases and deaths still on the rise, the NFL will set an example for extreme social distancing during the most popular weekend of the offseason as the living room becomes the war room.
Athletics: Lavillenie claims 'international home containment' title
France's former Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie has found a way to keep his competitive juices flowing during the coronavirus lockdown by staging an "international home containment competition". While some elite athletes have been struggling to find ways of staying fit while confined to their homes, the 33-year-old former world record holder has taken full advantage of the jumping set-up at his home in central France.
NBA, Knicks, Nets help donate one million masks
The NBA, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are collaborating with China's consul general Huang Ping to donate one million surgical masks to the New York City area, governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday. Cuomo announced the news on Twitter, saying, "New York thanks you. We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed (personal protective equipment)."
Trump hopes U.S. sport can resume soon, wants fans 'back in arenas'
U.S. President Donald Trump told sports commissioners on Saturday he hoped that their leagues and competitions, which have been suspended by the coronavirus outbreak, would soon be back in action. At a later White House briefing, Trump said commissioners from the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer were among those on the call.
Reports: Bryant, 7 others elected to Basketball Hall
All eight finalists for enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, headed by the late Kobe Bryant, will be inducted, according to various media reports Friday. The other reported members of the Hall's Class of 2020 will be Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens.