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Akron organizers say LeBron James Day event drew 8,500

compiled from staff and wire reports

LeBron James knew that his hometown of Akron, Ohio appreciates him very much. But he didn’t really know until last Saturday when a big crowd showed up in the Akron Zips football stadium to tell and show him so.

LeBron James Cavaliers (nba)

Organizers of “LeBron Appreciation Day” have released information that 8,500 people attended Saturday’s event in InfoCision Stadium on the University of Akron’s campus. Initially, Akron Zips officials estimated the crowd at nearly 4,000, but event planners raised that number based on T-shirts handed out.

James arrived late as the event was wrapping up, which caused some fans on their way home to turn around return to the stadium to see the two-time NBA MVP, who accepted a “Hometown Hero” award from the city. James addressed and thanked the crowd but did not say anything about his impending free agency which no one expected him to.

Duron Carter and Keith Wells leave Ohio State

Info courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

Wide Receiver Duron Carter has left the Ohio State football program and has enrolled at a community college in Kansas.

Carter is the son of former Ohio State and NFL star Cris Carter. He has had academic problems and was declared ineligible for the Rose Bowl when the semester grades were released this past December.

Duron Carter (osu photo)

Keith Wells (osu photo)

Head coach Jim Tressel announced his departure on Monday.

Carter caught 13 passes for 176 yards as a freshman in 2009. He has enrolled at Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College.

Coach Tressel and Ohio State also announced on Monday that defensive end Keith Wells will not be a part of the team in 2010. No reason was given to the press. Wells saw limited action for the Buckeyes as a freshman in 2008 and was redshirted in 2009.

Clijsters has a successful return to Wimbledon

compiled from staff, wire and WTA Tour news

Kim Clijsters had a nice return to Wimbledon.

Playing at Wimbledon for the first time since 2006, Clijsters easily won her opening match Monday, repeatedly ripping service returns to defeat Italian Maria Elena Camerin 6-0, 6-3.

Kim Clijsters (WTA)

Clijsters ended a 2 1/2 year retirement last August and won the U.S. Open in September. She has been sidelined since late April with a left foot injury, but had plenty of spring and quickness in her step playing the opening match on Court number 2.

Clijsters, seeded eighth in the tournament, dominated from the baseline and with her return. She never faced a break point and won 12 of 15 points on Camerin’s second serve.

The tournament match began under partly cloudy skies, with temperatures moving up to 75.

Clijsters was in control the whole match. She lost only 10 points in the opening set and closed out the victory in 65 minutes.

Since 2000, Clijsters has won 25 consecutive first-round matches in Grand Slam tournaments. Her Best efforts at Wimbledon were in 2003 and 2006, when she made it to the semifinals.

Ambrose mistake leads to a Jimmie Johnson win at Infineon Raceway

compiled from staff, wire and NASCAR reports

There was no doubt that Marcos Ambrose was in command of winning Sunday’s raceĀ  at Sonoma, California, home of Infineon Raceway.

But Ambrose made a big late-race mistake that cost him his first career Sprint Cup Series victory and gave Jimmie Johnson his first win on a road course.

Jimmie Johnson (nascar)

Ambrose stalled his engine while trying to save gas under caution, and his car came to a stop while leading with six laps remaining. He restarted and tried to re-claim his position at the front of the field, but NASCAR ordered him back to seventh place and Johnson inherited the lead.

Johnson then cruised uncontested to the win, while Ambrose had to settle for a disappointing sixth-place finish.

It was another bad defeat for Ambrose, a road racing champion who has come up short of a win several times in NASCAR because of various reasons, some his own doing.

Johnson, the four-time defending series champion won for the fourth time this season, but his first win since Bristol in March, a 10-race drought that many called a slump.

Northern Ireland’s McDowell pulls off rally to win U.S. Open at Pebble Beach

compiled from staff, wire, USGA and PGA Tour news

Graeme McDowell with a U.S. Open title to his credit, will be remembered as the golfer who held of the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els who were all lurking on Sunday with a chance to overtake him but failed.

McDowell played a fourth straight round of mistake-free golf Sunday at Pebble Beach and proved that a great track record guarantees nothing when it comes to the U.S. Open.

The 30-year-old Irishman shot a 3-over-par-74 to finish the tournament at and even-par 284 and beat Frenchman Gregory Havret, the 391st-ranked player in the world by one stroke. Els finished 3rd, two shots off the pace, while Woods and Mickelson finished tied for 4th, three shots from the lead.

Graeme McDowell (PGA)

The 30-year-old McDowell, was also helped by the stunning collapse of Dustin Johnson, who was also in search of his first major. Johnson led McDowell by three coming into Sunday. He gave that lead away by making 7, 6 and a 5 on holes number 2, 3 and 4 en route to an 82.

McDowell also took advantage of the “Big Three”, Woods, Mickelson and Els because they were having putting problems.

McDowell joined Jeff Ogilvy, Michael Campbell and Lucas Glover on a list of players who have used the U.S. Open to break into the major-champions category.

The U.S. Open, with it’s punishing rough, dry greens and clos-to-the-edge setups, all which turned Pebble Beach into a monster and make’s itself to be the toughest test in golf.

McDowell is now at number 13 in the world and will have a spot on the European Ryder Cup team later this year.

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