The $10-million purchase of the Sparks was unanimously approved Wednesday by the NBA Board of Governors and was scheduled to be formally announced today at a news conference at Staples Center.
Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson are the Los Angeles lawyers heading the investor group that is buying the Sparks from Lakers owner Jerry Buss and the pair are longtime fans of the two-time WNBA champions.
Goodman, a high school English and social studies teacher and former motion picture industry executive, has been a season ticket-holder since the Sparks were founded as one of the league's original eight teams in 1997. Christofferson, a partner at O'Melveny & Myers and a former Miss North Dakota, signed on as a season ticket-holder in the Sparks' third season.
An announcement is also expected that the team, which won nearly 68% of its games in 10 seasons of Lakers ownership, will continue playing at Staples Center and practicing at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
Buss family spokesman Bob Steiner on Tuesday said the new owners "have the same passion and love of the team and faith in its future that outgoing Sparks President Johnny Buss and the Buss family have."
Goodman, 43, is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., a Harvard graduate and a former president of West Coast operations for Intermedia Films, an independent motion picture production and finance company.
During a five-year tenure at Intermedia, she was involved in bringing more than 25 feature films to the screen, among them "Sliding Doors," "Hilary and Jackie" and "The Wedding Planner."
Before that, she was a partner at Katten, Muchin, Zavis & Weitzman, where she specialized in representing entertainment financiers and distributors and was involved in the financing of films that included "Braveheart" and "The Usual Suspects."
In 2001, however, Goodman stepped off the fast track, signing on as a teacher at HighTechHigh-LA, a Los Angeles Unified School District-sponsored charter school in Lake Balboa.
Christofferson, 39, is a native of Tolna, N.D. (population: 240) and a Yale Law graduate. Miss North Dakota in 1989, she participated in track and field, basketball and softball in high school and played basketball in junior college. She has represented Christina Aguilera and the Backstreet Boys, among others.
-- Jerry Crowe
Warner gets cleared by FIFA committee
Citing a lack of evidence, the FIFA disciplinary committee cleared vice president Jack Warner of wrongdoing over the sale of World Cup tickets.
According to British media reports in September, Warner was involved in the sale of thousands of tickets on the black market through his son, Daryan.
UCLA freshman Lauren Cheney and sophomore Christina DiMartino were selected to the first team of the NSCAA/Adidas Division I All-American soccer squad.
Teammate Danesha Adams, a junior, made the third team.
Texas sophomore defender Kasey Moore, a former Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley High standout, was also a first-team selection.
Grand Slam of Golf relocates to Bermuda
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is leaving Poipu Bay in Hawaii for the Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, the first time in its 24-year history that it will be played outside the United States.
Featuring the four major champions of the year, it will be played Oct. 16-17.
It had been at Poipu Bay for the last 12 years.
Scott Harrison pulled out of his World Boxing Organization featherweight defense fight and vacated his title.
Harrison was scheduled to fight Nicky Cook in London on Saturday but his father and trainer, Peter Harrison, told Britain's Press Assn. his son was unable to get under 133 pounds.
Harrison, 29, arrested earlier this year for a series of incidents in British nightclubs and again Oct. 6 on assault charges in Spain, has also been treated for depression and alcohol abuse.
An 81-year-old woman was charged in San Antonio with trying to extort $2 million from Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr.
Ruby Young mailed letters to Starr, 72, alleging a romantic encounter with him in 1960, prosecutors said.
Starr denies knowing the woman, according to a criminal complaint affidavit.
Cornerback Daymeion Hughes of California, defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock of Ohio State and linebacker Paul Posluszny of Penn State are finalists for the Lott Trophy, which will presented to the college defensive player of the year Sunday night at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
The Feb. 18-25 Amgen Tour of California announced the route of its 650-mile, eight-day race. Among the highlights:
The 12-mile prologue along the Embarcadero and up the steep Telegraph Hill climb to finish at Coit Tower in San Francisco on Feb. 18, opening day; the most difficult climb of the race in Stage 3, a Category 1 ride up Sierra Road in San Jose; a Stage 4 trip along Highway 1 where it hugs the Pacific Ocean and passes Big Sur and Hearst Castle before finishing in San Luis Obispo; the 14.5-mile time trial through the quaint Danish streets of Solvang in Stage 5; and the 10-lap circuit course that includes part of the route of the Long Beach Grand Prix auto race as the finish.
-- Diane Pucin