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SportShorts for Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Gillihan earns
league honor

Evangel University’s Cassidy Gillihan, a freshman from Sterling, was named the Heart of America Conference softball player of the week on Monday.

In four games, Gillihan went 9-for-15, including a game-tying triple at Avila on April 22 that set up a Crusaders’ win in extra innings. She had a .733 slugging percentage, and also stole two bases.

For the season, Gillihan is batting .441 (49-for-111) with two doubles, a triple, and 11 runs batted in. She has also scored 36 runs, second on the team.

Evangel, located in Springfield, Mo., sports a 28-10 record heading into the conference tourney that begins on Thursday.


UIC hires Deon Thomas as assistant

Former Illinois basketball
star Deon Thomas is joining UIC’s basketball coaching staff, the Chicago Tribune has learned.

Thomas earned Mr. Basketball of Illinois honors in 1989 after leading Simeon to the Chicago Public League title the year before. He became the all-time leading scorer at Illinois before the Mavericks drafted him 28th overall, and he played professionally in Europe and Israel.

But Thomas perhaps is remembered best for being at the center of a recruiting controversy between Illinois and Iowa.

Thomas, 43, has been the head coach and athletic director at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill.


Knicks interested in Kerr as coach

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is pushing to hire Steve Kerr as head coach, and the deal could be completed by the weekend. reported Kerr, who played for Jackson with the Chicago Bulls and was general manager of the Phoenix Suns (2007-10) before his current broadcasting stint at TNT began, was swayed by a 2-day meeting with Jackson.

Kerr had not notified TNT of plans to leave before the end of the playoffs.


Seahawks sign Earl Thomas to extension

The Seattle Seahawks announced a 4-year extension with All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas on Tuesday, making him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

The deal is worth $40 million over 4 years, and will keep Thomas in a Seahawks uniform through the 2018 season. The extension includes $27.7 million in guaranteed money.

Thomas is a two-time first-team All-Pro selection and regarded as the top safety in the NFL.


Chicago marathon winner banned

Three-time Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova of Russia, the second fastest women’s marathoner in history, has had those titles annulled by the Russian track federation, which announced Tuesday it has banned her 2 years for blood doping.

Shobukhova won the Chicago race in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Her 2011 winning time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, 20 seconds is the fourth fastest ever, behind three by Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain.

The Russian federation said it has annulled all her results after Oct. 9, 2009.

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