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NEWSWIRE

LeBron James and Savannah Brinson are engaged

The NBA star proposes to his longtime girlfriend in front of his teammates and close friends at a party.

January 01, 2012|Wire reports
  • Savannah Brinson, the fiancee of Miami Heat star LeBron James, looks on during a game between the Heat and Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday.
Savannah Brinson, the fiancee of Miami Heat star LeBron James, looks on… (Alan Diaz / Associated Press )

LeBron James and longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson are engaged.

With a number of teammates and close friends looking on, the Miami Heat star surprised his high school sweetheart Saturday night by dropping to one knee and proposing.

And yes, she said yes.

"It was beautiful," Heat teammate Chris Bosh said. "It was nice. It was real nice."

A representative for James confirmed the news to the Associated Press on Sunday morning, a few hours after close friend Chris Paul and Heat owner Micky Arison were among those tweeting their congratulations.

James popped the question at a party to celebrate both New Year's Eve and his 27th birthday, which was Friday. Heat teammate Dwyane Wade was in charge of holding the ring until the big moment, and a group of about 50 guests toasted the happy couple.

"A special night," Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said.

James and Brinson are the parents of two sons.

The Sacramento Kings say DeMarcus Cousins has demanded a trade and has been told to stay away from the team.

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Kings Coach Paul Westphal released a statement before Sunday's game against New Orleans, saying when Cousins "continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely."

Cousins' agent, John Greig, said Cousins had "no idea what the Kings are doing" and didn't know the team had excused him from Sunday's game until Westphal's announcement. Greig withheld any further comment. The Kings drafted Cousins with the fifth overall pick in 2010 after he spent one season at Kentucky. The 21-year-old Cousins is averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per game this season.

Penn State insists it doesn't have a leading candidate in its nearly two-month long search for a football coach. USA Today and ESPN reported Sunday that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is the top contender for the Nittany Lions job.

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At a Penn State pep rally Sunday outside the Cotton Bowl, acting Athletic Director David Joyner cut off a reporter's question about the reports and said, "No, don't believe anything you read in the newspapers. I was taught that long time ago."

He answered "No," when asked if anyone could be classified as a leading candidate.

Meantime, sophomore Rob Bolden will start at quarterback for Penn State Monday in the TicketCity Bowl. Penn State interim Coach Tom Bradley on Sunday officially ruled out starting quarterback Matt McGloin for the bowl game against Houston after McGloin did not pass concussion tests needed to clear him for action. Bradley suffered a concussion and seizure Dec. 17 after a locker room scuffle with receiver Curtis Drake. Walk-on Shane McGregor will serve as Bolden's backup.

Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues beat Lleyton Hewitt and Jarmila Gajdosova in a mixed-doubles third-set tiebreaker to give Spain a 2-1 victory over Australia in the Hopman Cup at Perth, Australia.

Earlier, Gajdosova beat Medina Garrigues, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, to give Australia a 1-0 lead on the indoor hard courts at the Burswood Dome.

Verdasco then beat Hewitt, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, breaking Hewitt's serve in the final game.

The United States, with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish, meets top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark on Monday, when the Czech Republic plays Bulgaria.

France beat China 2-1 in the eight-nation tournament's opening match Saturday.

Kim Clijsters began preparation for the defense of her Australian Open singles title with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Romania's Simona Halep in the first round of the Brisbane International in Australia.

She said the abdominal problem that forced her to retire from a number of tournaments, including the U.S. Open, in 2011, had left no lingering problems with her serving action.

Clijsters beat China's Li Na in the final at last year's opening Grand Slam at Melbourne Park. This year's Australian Open begins Jan. 16.

In another match Sunday, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy advanced to the second round when her opponent, Ksenia Pervak of Russia, retired with a headache at 4-4 in the opening set.

In men's play Sunday, James Duckworth of Australia beat Nicolas Mahut of France, 6-4, 6-4. Top-seeded Andy Murray plays his first-round singles match Tuesday.

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Reliever Jason Frasor was traded back to the Toronto Blue Jays by the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitchers Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb.

Frasor, a right-hander, was 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 64 relief appearances with Chicago and Toronto last season. Chicago acquired him and pitcher Zach Stewart from the Blue Jays for pitcher Edwin Jackson and infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen in July.

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Andruw Jones will stay with the New York Yankees, agreeing to a $2-million, one-year contract that allows him to earn another $1.45 million in performance bonuses. The deal is subject to a physical.

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Jockey Garrett Gomez won the $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes and the $79,500 Kalookan Queen Handicap on his 40th birthday at Santa Anita on Sunday. He rode Bauble Queen to a half-length victory over Turning Top in the Frankel for fillies and mares after guiding Rumor to a 21/4 -length win in the Kalookan.

Bauble Queen ran 11/8 miles on the turf in 1:48.22 and paid $8.80, $4.80 and $3.60. Turning Top returned $5.60 and $4, while Miss Mittagong was another half-length back in third and paid $3.80 to show. City to City, the 9-5 favorite, was never a factor while finishing fourth.

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