Sports

Serena Williams to be next General Mills' Wheaties box athlete

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- General Mills has found the perfect champion for their signature Wheaties box.

The company announced Tuesday that tennis star Serena Williams will be the next athlete featured on the breakfast cereal's orange box.

Williams took to Instagram to share the monumental news.

"In 2001, Wheaties paid homage to a true champion and an icon by putting her on the cover of a Wheaties Box," Williams wrote, captioning the image of her Wheaties box cover in which she wears a white dress.

"Althea Gibson was the FIRST Black Woman tennis player to be on the box," she continued. "Today, I am honored to be the second."

Williams, who has been named the WTA Played Of The Year seven times, has a long list of accomplishments to note. She has earned 23 major singles titles, 14 major doubles titles, and was ranked the world No. 1 in women's singles eight times between 2002 and 2017.

As she mentioned, Williams is the second black tennis player to be featured on the box. She is also the first active tennis player featured on Wheaties since Pete Sampras in 2000 and the fourth female tennis player all-time.

"I am so excited to be on the cover of the next Wheaties box," said Williams in statement. "I have dreamt of this since I was a young woman and it's an honor to join the ranks of some of America's most decorated athletes. I hope my image on this iconic orange box will inspire the next generation of girls and athletes to dream big."

Williams' limited-edition Wheaties box will become available in the U.S. starting next month.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


2019 NBA Awards: Robin Roberts gives inspiring Sager Strong Award acceptance speech

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports(NEW YORK) -- ABC News' Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts took home the Sager Strong Award at Monday's nights NBA Awards and delivered an inspiring message.

"We are all stronger than we think we are," said Roberts, who describes herself as a "thriver" after living through both breast cancer and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS).

The Sager Strong Award is named after sideline reporter Craig Sager, who died in 2016 at age 65 due to leukemia.

Roberts, a former college basketball player and ESPN anchor, is the third recipient of the award. It is presented each year to an "individual who has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion and grace," according to the NBA.

WNBA star Candace Parker and actress Issa Rae presented the award to Roberts, who received a blazer that is a replica of the one worn by Sager when he accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2016 ESPYs.

"I'm honored and I'm grateful for this recognition," Roberts said. "Courage, faith, compassion and grace are a perfect description of Craig Sager. The only time that I am at a loss for words when it comes to Craig ... his wardrobe. I cannot wait to wear this on the air."

"I'll wear it proudly," she added.

Roberts also talked about Sager's courage, citing his "unwavering faith" and noting that his compassion and grace are qualities "we should all strive for in our lives."

Backstage, Roberts got emotional about the honor, saying she doesn't "take awards lightly."

"I'm just a little girl who grew up in Mississippi," she said. "I know my mom and dad, they just wanted their children to be respected. They wanted us to work hard and earn whatever came our way."

Shaquille O'Neal, the host of this year's NBA Awards, also praised Roberts, who has used her experience with MDS to become an advocate for bone marrow donation.

"She's never given up, and every time she comes back, she come back younger looking," O'Neal said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


US women squeak out 2-1 win over Spain

Geert van Erven/Soccrates/Getty Images(PARIS) -- The U.S. Women's National Team beat Spain 2-1 on Monday to advance to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals.

Megan Rapinoe scored on two penalty kicks, helping the U.S. win its first game in the knockout round of the tournament.

The U.S. will now play France in a quarterfinal match set for Friday in Paris.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 6/24/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Monday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

AMERICAN LEAGUE

NY Yankees 10, Toronto 8
Cleveland 3, Kansas City 2, 10 Innings
Boston 6, Chi White Sox 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 13, NY Mets 7
Chi Cubs 8, Atlanta 3
Arizona 8, LA Dodgers 5
Colorado 2, San Francisco 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


WNBA star Candace Parker on the strong women who influenced her and the NBA Awards

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- WNBA star Candace Parker is outspoken about the women who have influenced not just on the court, but off it, too.

One of the most prominent of those influences was late college basketball coaching legend Pat Summitt, who Parker played under for four years at the University of Tennessee.

On Monday night at the 2019 NBA Awards, Parker will honor another strong woman, who was a dear friend of her role model Summit, with the 2019 Sager Strong Award. This award is given to "an individual who has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion and grace."

That 2019 honoree and close friend is none other than "Good Morning America" co-anchor, Robin Roberts.

"For four years and beyond Coach Summitt spoke about Robin Roberts in the highest words that you could describe somebody," Parker said. "To be able to present this award to her really means a lot to me and I know it would mean a lot to Coach Summitt."

Being impacted by strong female role models

Since the WNBA wasn't around for most of Parker's childhood, she says looked up to athletes in other sports who showed her the type of athlete she wished to become.

"Women's soccer, and even the Magnificent Seven gymnasts put women's sports, for my generation, on the map," Parker said. "It was really cool to go out and pretend you were Dominque Dawes or Dominque Moceanu or Mia Hamm."

Now, Parker is quite the influential woman herself. The WNBA star has two NCAA championships, one WNBA championship and two Olympic gold medals under her belt.

Parker broke barriers as the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game and the first player to dunk multiple times in their WNBA career. On top of her success as a basketball player, she has now stepped into the booth as a commentator for ESPN.

While the list of Parker's jobs and accomplishments is extensive, her purpose, she said, is being a mother to 10-year-old Lailaa.

Finding balance with basketball and motherhood

When Parker got pregnant shortly after she became a professional basketball player, she had the same concerns as many working moms. She worried that she would have to sacrifice one for the other, whether it giving up her love of basketball or giving up being a present mother.

That's when, she said, Summitt stepped up to help her not only develop as an athlete, but as a mother.

"She basically showed me that you can have both. You can have a family and you can have a career and you can give to both," Parker said. "That was huge for me, being able to see her do that as a role model."

Parker said finding the balance came from realizing she needed both her love of basketball and love for her daughter for her own happiness.

"We're better when we're happy with ourselves," Parker said. "Everybody has mom guilt. I feel so guilty when I leave my child. But she understands that in order to be the best mom to her I have to be happy. It's OK to continue to make yourself happy."

Working to raise a strong woman

While her views of happiness have changed since having Lailaa, so has her purpose. Parker said being a strong female athlete is now "greater than me."

As Lailaa grows, Parker hopes to not only be a role model for her daughter herself, but surround her the same types influential women who helped her be the person she is today.

"My daughter has grown up around so many strong, independent, free-thinking women that I don't think she understands the limitations that are put on her. She doesn't feel them," Parker said.

"I want her to keep this little sliver of innocence," she continued. "If you didn't feel that you couldn't do something or someone was limiting you or putting you in a box, imagine the amount of things that you could do."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


As America takes on Spain in World Cup, fans are already inspired

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images(LE HAVRE, France) -- As the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) gears up for its first game in the knockout round of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, Americans in France are super excited for the players.

"They're really inspiring and, just -- it's [great] to see them play," Leah Beaubien, an 11-year-old from Avondale Estates, Ga., told ABC News outside the stadium in Le Havre before last Thursday's match against Sweden. "It makes me really happy, and you know, it's just really inspiring."

Her friend Ella Pearson, 12, from Decatur, Ga., agreed that it was "very exciting."

"They've had some obstacles in their life, but they just had to face them and move on, and I just think that's really inspiring to all of us and to fans," Leah explained.

The USWNT has been making an historic run in this World Cup, which started with a record-breaking win over Thailand.

The team's push for the cup continues Monday with a match against Spain at noon E.T. Now that they're in the knockout stage, the defending world champions face elimination with each game until the end of the tournament.

Meanwhile, scores of Americans have flooded France to watch the athletes. Parents are bringing their kids, some of whom are soccer players themselves.

"Any time I watch each one of them play, it comes out in my own game," said Finley Scott, 12, of Illinois, explaining how she'll mimic Julie Ertz or Alex Morgan to get around defenders to score.

Plus, her friend Lucy Corley, also 12, added, "If something bad happens, they're also really good role models. It teaches us good things [about] how to play the sport."

"They inspire us to dream big and stuff," said 11-year-old Sole Corley.

Like many American fans out to see the matches in France, Lucy and Finley are not just invested in the USWNT's on-field play; they're also following the women's fight for gender equity. They had with them a sign reading "better play, equal pay" although World Cup security bars signs in the stadium, so they had to leave it in the car.

The women are teaching them, Lucy said, "if you want something to fight for it."

Over the weekend, a spokesperson from U.S. Soccer confirmed to ABC News that the USWNT and the U.S. Soccer Federation tentatively agreed to mediation in the gender discrimination lawsuit 2015 team members filed in March.

"The women are paid under a different structure than the men, which they preferred and specifically negotiated for, but that doesn't mean they are compensated less by U.S. Soccer," a U.S. Soccer spokesperson told ABC News. "We will readily admit that FIFA pays more prize money out to the Men's World Cup than the Women's World Cup, and we support FIFA increasing prize money for the Women's World Cup, even beyond the fact the prize money was doubled for 2019."

Although there are differences in the men's and women's contracts, many of the fans in France see equal pay as a simple answer.

"They're working just as hard; they're having more success. They deserve at least equal pay," said Jon Chambers, who came to France from the Bay Area along with his wife and their two teenage sons.

Regardless how the lawsuit goes, fans know this tournament will have a lasting impact.

"I think it's great for girls," said Lisa Little of Austin, Texas. "I think it's great for them to see how powerful these girls can be and how they work so hard to be successful. I think they're a great influence for younger girls."

For Sue Holliday and her daughter, Rebecca Holiday, 22, coming to the World Cup together is fulfilling a "dream" for Rebecca, who grew up playing soccer and following the team. The trip is even sweeter as she's about to graduate college.

"Our whole family loves soccer and this is a trip of a lifetime and spending it with Rebecca was priceless," Sue Holiday told ABC News.

Monday's match against Spain will be broadcast on FS1 and Telemundo.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Woman hospitalized after being hit by foul ball at Dodgers game

cmannphoto/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- A baseball fan was hospitalized Sunday after being struck by a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger.

The incident happened at Dodger Stadium during the first inning of the Dodgers’ game against the Colorado Rockies. The woman who was hit by the line drive was seated four rows from the field, just outside the protective netting.

After being struck by the ball, the woman was immediately treated in the stands but she was later transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

Sunday’s incident comes just one month after a little girl was struck by a foul ball at a Chicago Cubs game, raising the question whether Major League Baseball is doing enough to protect its fans.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 6/23/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Sunday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

LA Angels 6,  St. Louis 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Toronto 6, Boston 1
Cleveland 8, Detroit 3
Houston 9,  NY Yankees 4
Kansas City 6, Minnesota 1
Texas 7, Chi White Sox 4
Tampa Bay 8, Oakland 2
Seattle 13, Baltimore 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Miami 6, Philadelphia 4
Atlanta 4, Washington 3, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 11, San Diego 10, 11 Innings
Milwaukee 7, Cincinnati 5
Chi Cubs 5, NY Mets 3
Arizona 3, San Francisco 2, 10 Innings
LA Dodgers 6, Colorado 3

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Washington 89, Atlanta 73
Chicago 93, Connecticut 75
Phoenix 82, LA Sparks 72
Seattle 65, Indiana 61

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Kansas City 1, Columbus 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Red Sox legend David Ortiz out of ICU, remains in 'good condition'

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Former Red Sox great David Ortiz was released from the intensive care unit on Saturday, just one day shy of two weeks since he was shot in a blundered murder attempt in the Dominican Republic.

The Red Sox issued a statement Saturday afternoon from Ortiz's wife, Tiffany Ortiz, saying the future Hall of Famer's condition continues to improve.

"David was moved out of the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital," Tiffany Ortiz said. "He remains in good condition and continues to recover under the care of Drs. David King and Larry Ronan."

He is expected to make a full recovery.

Ortiz was shot at Dial Bar and Lounge, a bar in the country's capital of Santo Domingo, in a case of mistaken identity. The island's attorney general's office said Ortiz's friend, Sixto David Fernandez, was the actual target in the shooting, but the gunman told police that he got confused. Fernandez and Ortiz were sitting at the same table and dressed similarly at the time of the shooting, according to police.

The bullet entered Ortiz's back and come out through his midsection, authorities said. The shooting did extensive damage to his liver and small intestines, with doctors having to remove part of the latter.

Rolfi Ferreira-Cruz, 25, the New Jersey man accused of shooting Ortiz in the Dominican Republic, was charged Wednesday with conspiring to distribute heroin in his home state. He allegedly ran a heroin mill in Paterson, New Jersey, that was busted by the Drug Enforcement Administration in January.

Ferreira-Cruz remains in custody in the Dominican Republic.

Ten people have been charged in connection to the shooting.

Victor Hugo Gomez, named by authorities in the Dominican Republic as the mastermind of the shooting, remains at large. He allegedly was angry at the intended target, Fernandez, for naming him in a 2011 drug bust that led to his imprisonment.

Two others involved in the shooting remain at large as well: Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota, who took the picture of Ortiz at the bar and sent it to the hit man, and Luis Alfredo Rivas-Clase, nicknamed "The Surgeon."

Ortiz played with the Red Sox from 2003 to 2016 and won three World Series (2004, 2007, 2013). He also made 10 All-Star teams with the Sox.

He finished his 20-year career with 541 home runs, 1,768 runs batted in, 632 doubles and a .931 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Predators trade All-Star Defenseman PK Subban to the Devils

Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Nashville Predators have traded All-Star Defenseman P.K. Subban to the New Jersey for defenseman Steve Santini, defensive prospect Jeremy Davies, a 2019 second round pick and a 2020 second round pick, the teams announced.

Subban played for the Predators for the past three seasons after being traded from the Montreal Canadians in 2016.

The three time All-Star scored nine goals and assisted on 22 more in 63 games last season. In his career, the Canadian has 98 goals and 310 assists in 645 games.

"We appreciate P.K.'s contribution to the Predators and the Nashville community over the past three seasons, which have seen our organization have unprecedented success," Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement. "He was an integral part of our run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, the 2018 Presidents' Trophy and back-to-back Central Division titles. His work off the ice speaks for itself -- he was an impactful member of our community, especially through the groundbreaking Blueline Buddies initiative.”

The 2013 Norris Trophy winner as the league's best defenseman will join a team that has missed the playoffs seven of the past eight seasons.

The Devils picked center Jack Hughes with the number one pick in the NHL Draft on Friday.

New Jersey now has three number one overall picks on their team following the selection of Hughes. He joins Taylor Hall, the 2010 top pick, and Nico Hischier, the 2017 top pick.

Santini has played in 114 games over the past four seasons with New Jersey. He has tallied five goals and 21 points in his career.

Davies turned pro in April after playing three seasons at Northeastern University. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season, given to the top college hockey player.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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