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North's Rahm commits

to N.C. Wesleyan baseball

• North Gwinnett senior Justin Rahm has accepted an offer to continue his baseball career at North Carolina Wesleyan, a Division III school in Rocky Mount, N.C. He is the son of Roy and Betsy Rahm.

Rahm hit .400 this spring with eight home runs, 25 RBIs and 48 runs scored as the Bulldogs advanced to the Class AAAAA quarterfinals. A three-year starter, he was an All-County and All-Region 7-AAAAA selection as a senior.

Rogers named NFCA All-American

• Dacula grad Brittany Rogers, the starting center fielder for Alabama's fastpitch softball team, was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American second team.

Rogers, a sophomore, hit .402, scored 58 runs and had a school-record 48 stolen bases this season. She also had four home runs, 34 RBIs, eight doubles and four triples.

Parkview grad Marler named

AFL's Kicker of the Month

• Parkview grad Seth Marler of the Tampa Bay Storm was named the Arena Football League Kicker of the Month this week. Marler has made 62 of 65 extra points and 10 of 12 fields for goals for Tampa Bay, which is fighting for an AFL playoff spot.

national

Grizzlies hire Iavaroni as coach

• MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Marc Iavaroni was hired as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday after a season that left the team with the worst record in the NBA.

Iavaroni, who has spent 17 years in the NBA as a player and assistant coach, is regarded as one of the league's top assistants. He spent the past five seasons with the Phoenix Suns.

Tony Barone, the Grizzlies' former director of player personnel, was appointed interim coach last season when Memphis fired Mike Fratello with the team at 6-24. The Grizzlies finished at 22-60 following three straight trips to the playoffs.

Iavaroni said he was impressed with team owner Michael Heisley's pledge to run the Grizzlies as a partnership between the coaching and management staffs.

''They're obviously committed to winning,'' Iavaroni said.

O'Brien hired to coach Pacers

• INDIANAPOLIS - Jim O'Brien was hired Thursday as coach of the Indiana Pacers, who turned to an NBA veteran in hopes of reviving a team that missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade and has been beset by turmoil.

The announcement ends a five-week search that began with the firing of Rick Carlisle after four seasons.

O'Brien previously coached in Boston and Philadelphia, compiling a 182-158 record in five seasons.

Lakers owner speaks with Bryant, promises to improve team

• LOS ANGELES - Lakers owner Jerry Buss spoke with Kobe Bryant on Thursday and said he told his frustrated superstar he would ''pursue every avenue possible'' to improve the team.

The conversation took place a day after Bryant asked to be traded, saying among other things he had been misled by Buss nearly three years ago when he re-signed with the Lakers.

''I talked with Kobe this morning and assured him that I share his frustration and, more importantly, I assured him that we will continue to pursue every avenue possible to improve our team with him as the cornerstone,'' Buss said in a statement. ''I told him that we will keep him apprised of our progress and we agreed that we will talk again in the very near future.''

Bryant, the NBA scoring champion the past two years, asked the Lakers for a trade Wednesday. He said nothing could change his mind, but he backed off somewhat after speaking with coach Phil Jackson.

Street Sense skipping Belmont Stakes

• LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The competitor in Carl Nafzger wanted to enter Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense in the Belmont Stakes for a rematch with Preakness victor Curlin.

The trainer in him argued otherwise.

After Nafzger and owner James Tafel debated for two hours the viability of sending the colt to New York for the final leg of the Triple Crown, the trainer side won.

Street Sense will skip the Belmont so Nafzger can point him toward the Travers Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Classic later this year.

- From staff, wire reports