BASKETBALL

U.S. eyes worst finish

DONGGUAN, China — The U.S. came to China looking to again be the best in the world. It will go home with the worst tournament showing in program history.

Such is the reality for the Americans now, assured of finishing no better than seventh at the World Cup after falling to Serbia 94-89 in a consolation game Thursday night. The previous worst finish for a U.S. men's team in major tournament appearances was sixth at the 2002 world championships.

"We've committed to this from Day One," U.S. guard Joe Harris said. "To get all the way to this point and just kind of have it abruptly come up short, it really stings."

The Americans — the top-ranked team in the world — will be seventh or eighth in China, depending on the outcome of their consolation finale against Poland on Saturday.

Harrison Barnes scored 22 for the U.S., which got 18 from Kemba Walker and 16 from Khris Middleton.

Drake player charged

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Drake basketball player Tremell Murphy has been charged with an off-campus shooting that he says was accidental.

Des Moines police say Murphy was charged Thursday with discharging a firearm inside city limits and making false reports to law enforcement. Court records don't list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.

A university spokesman said Murphy has been removed from basketball activities. Murphy was a starting forward for the Bulldogs as a junior last year.

Police say the shooting occurred the night of Aug. 31 during a party at a home near campus. Officers found a 19-year-old man bleeding from his head and noticed a bullet hole in a nearby wall, leading them to believe the shot had come from Murphy's adjacent room. Police say Murphy first insisted the man had fallen but later acknowledged he'd accidentally fired the .22-caliber bullet.

OVC events staying put

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — The Ohio Valley Conference has agreed to continue holding its men's and women's basketball tournaments at Evansville, Indiana, through at least 2023.

OVC officials announced Thursday that they have voted to accept a three-year agreement that will keep the tournaments at the Ford Center through 2023.

The agreement also includes an option to hold the tournaments at Evansville in 2024. The OVC's board of presidents will consider that option no later than its 2022 spring meetings.

The Ford Center opened in 2011 and has served as the home of the OVC men's and women's basketball tournaments since 2018. The tournaments took place in Nashville, Tennessee from 2003 to 2017.

TENNIS

Clijsters coming back

Seven years after retiring from tennis a second time, Kim Clijsters is attempting another comeback at age 36.

The former No. 1 and four-time major champion, who already is a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, announced Thursday she is planning to return to the pro tour in 2020, although she's not yet ready to say exactly when or where or how often she will compete.

"My goal right now ... is to be able to get fit enough, and ready tennis-wise, to compete at the highest level. That to me would be my challenge, as of right now. And if you get to that stage, then you push yourself, and then it might be like, 'Hmm, let's see if I can get, I don't know, to the second week of a Grand Slam.' I'll constantly push myself, I think, if I feel that I'm getting better and improving," Clijsters said.

FOOTBALL

Helmet program started

NEW YORK — The NFL has launched the Helmet Challenge aiming to stimulate the development of a new helmet for players that outperforms, based on laboratory testing, all helmet models currently worn in the league.

Up to $3 million will be available in the challenge, including $2 million in grant funding to support of the development of a helmet prototype, and a $1 million award.

The challenge will culminate in May 2021 with applicants submitting helmet prototypes for testing in laboratory conditions that represent potentially concussive impacts in the NFL.

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