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Steve Lavin has prostate cancer, expects to make full recovery

Former UCLA and current St. John's coach will begin treatment in the coming weeks.

April 08, 2011|Wire reports
  • Steve Lavin congratulates Lazeric Jones after UCLA's win over St. John's.
Steve Lavin congratulates Lazeric Jones after UCLA's win over St.… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Former UCLA coach Steve Lavin, who revived St. John's basketball in his first season with the Red Storm, has prostate cancer, but his doctor expects him to keep coaching and make a complete recovery.

The 46-year-old Lavin said in a statement Friday he was diagnosed in September and was told he could delay treatment until after the season. He will begin treatment in the coming weeks. The statement did not say how he will treated.

"My family feels fortunate that through annual health exams, we detected my condition at an early stage," Lavin said. "This past fall I didn't want to distract our team, but with the season behind us, we are now working with medical experts and taking the proper steps to tackle this health challenge head on."

Lavin's urologist, Jonathan Schiff, described Lavin's condition as a "relatively low-grade cancer."

The Red Storm went 21-12 and tied for third in the Big East this season. They made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002, losing to Gonzaga in the second round.

Lavin inherited a roster with 10 seniors. After a rough start, St. John's won eight of nine with four of the wins over ranked teams. The Red Storm lost three of five to end the season.

Lavin was hired at St. John's in April after seven years as an ESPN analyst. He coached at UCLA from 1996 to 2003 and was fired after leading the Bruins to a 145-78 record that included six NCAA tournament berths.

PRO BASKETBALL

Tom Gores agrees to buy Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons announced that billionaire California investor Tom Gores has agreed to buy the struggling NBA franchise, ending a drawn-out sale by longtime owner Karen Davidson that stretched back before the season.

The tentative deal, which also includes the Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre, must be approved by the NBA. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close by June 30.

Gores, the chairman and CEO of Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, also is buying the operating rights to the Meadow Brook Music Festival.

Gores founded Platinum Equity in 1995. In its 2010 list of the 400 richest people in America, Forbes put him in a tie for 153rd with a net worth of $2.4 billion. Gores, 46, is a Flint native and has a degree from Michigan State.

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams is going to have wrist surgery and will miss the final week of the season. The two-time All Star will have bone fragments and scar tissue removed from his right wrist Monday.

Nets power forward Kris Humphries, the league's fifth-leading rebounder (10.4), will also miss the last four games because of a sprained ankle and bruised heel in his right foot.

Williams strained his right wrist in January and the Nets were aware of it when they acquired him from the Utah Jazz on Feb. 23 in a multiplayer deal.

ETC.

Del Mar adjusts purses for stakes races

Four stakes races on Del Mar's summer schedule will have their purses cut by $50,000 each when the track's 37-day meet opens July 20.

The seaside track plans to race five days a week through Sept. 7.

The races with reduced purses are the Del Mar Oaks, Del Mar Mile, Pat O'Brien Stakes and Del Mar Derby. The track says the decreases were necessary to stay within the allowed percentage guidelines for its stakes purses set by the Thoroughbred Owners of California.

The track's 11 overnight stakes races will increase in value from $75,000 to $85,000 each.

Del Mar's showcase race, the Pacific Classic on Aug. 28, will carry its usual $1 million purse.

Michael Phelps won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly Friday night at the Michigan Grand Prix at the University of Michigan.

Phelps came from behind to beat Ryan Lochte in the 200 freestyle, making a push in the final 30 meters to finish in 1:48.45. Lochte finished in 1:48.69. Phelps led wire-to-wire in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 52.30 seconds, a Canham Natatorium record. He also set a pool record in his first event.

Dana Vollmer turned in one of the night's top swims in the 100 butterfly, edging training partner Natalie Coughlin. Vollmer registered the third-fastest time in the world this year with a time of 57.50 seconds.

California's Golden Bears are keeping baseball after all. Nearly two months after the university in Berkeley reinstated three other teams that were slated for elimination, the school said Friday that baseball would survive after a massive fundraising effort by alumni, former players, parents of current players and other team supporters.

General Manager Bryan Murray signed a three-year contract extension with the Ottawa Senators, who will miss the NHL playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki rallied from 4-2 down in the third set to defeat Yanina Wickmayer, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, and reach the Family Circle Cup semifinals at Charleston, S.C. On Saturday, Wozniacki will face Jelena Jankovic, who ended the run of 18-year-old American Christina McHale, 6-2, 6-0.

Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka reached the semifinals of the Andalucia Tennis Experience at Marbella, Spain, after Dinara Safina retired with an injury. Azarenka will face eighth-seeded Sara Errani after the Italian beat Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania, 6-2, 6-2. Svetlana Kuznetsova easily advanced by beating Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, 6-1, 6-2. The second-seeded Russian plays Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, who defeated Klara Zakopalova, 6-3, 6-3.

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