Sports Extra

Olympics

Mother of Pistorius’ slain girlfriend wants answers

JOHANNESBURG – The family of Oscar Pistorius’ slain girlfriend wants answers, her mother told a Johannesburg newspaper, as South Africans braced to hear why prosecutors believe a national hero murdered the model who was shot multiple times.

June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, told The Times in a front page interview published Monday: “Why? Why my little girl? Why did this happen? Why did he do this?”

“Just like that she is gone,” the newspaper quoted her as saying in what it described as an emotional telephone interview. “In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here.”

Pistorius, who remains in custody in a red-brick, one-story police station in Pretoria, is set to return to court today for the start of his bail hearing. It will be the first opportunity for the prosecution to describe evidence police gathered against the 26-year-old double-amputee runner and the reasons why he was charged with murder. Prosecutors allege the killing was premeditated.

Pistorius’ family denies he committed murder though they have not addressed whether he shot her. When word first emerged about the killing there was speculation in the local media that Steenkamp had been mistaken for an intruder in Pistorius’ home. Police have said that was not something they were considering.

In an email to The Associated Press on Monday, Pistorius’ longtime track coach – who had yet to comment – said he believes the killing was an accident.

NBA

Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss dead at age 80

Jerry Buss built a glittering life at the intersection of sports and Hollywood.

After growing up in poverty in Wyoming, he earned success in academia, aerospace and real estate before discovering his favorite vocation when he bought the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. While Buss wrote the checks and fostered partnerships with two generations of basketball greats, the Lakers won 10 NBA titles and became a glamorous worldwide brand.

With a scientist’s analytical skills, a playboy’s flair, a businessman’s money-making savvy and a die-hard hoops fan’s heart, Buss fashioned the Lakers into a remarkable sports entity. They became a nightly happening, often defined by just one word coined by Buss: Showtime.

“His impact is felt worldwide,” said Kobe Bryant, who has spent nearly half his life working for Buss.

Buss, who shepherded his NBA team from the Showtime dynasty of the 1980s to the current Bryant era while becoming one of the most important and successful owners in pro sports, died Monday. He was 80.

Under Buss’ leadership, the Lakers became Southern California’s most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide extension of Los Angeles glamour. Buss acquired, nurtured and befriended a staggering array of talented players and basketball minds during his Hall of Fame tenure, from Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard.

College Basketball

Hoosiers, Hurricanes sit atop Associated Press poll

Indiana held on to the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press’ Top 25 for the third consecutive week.

The Hoosiers received 43 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel Monday.

Miami had 20 No. 1 votes and moved up one spot to second. Gonzaga, with the other two first-place votes, climbed two spots to third.

Michigan State rose from eighth to No. 4 and was followed by Florida, Duke, Michigan, Syracuse, Kansas and Louisville.

VCU was the only newcomer to the poll this week. The Rams, who had been out of the rankings the last three weeks, moved in at No. 24. The only team to fall out of the rankings was Kentucky, which was No. 25 and dropped out after losing Florida and Tennessee last week.

Associated Press