The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
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THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: NHL: Canucks at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Clippers at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Spurs at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (TNT) College basketball: Hofstra at Northeastern, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Iowa at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kentucky at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Memphis at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Ohio State at Purdue, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Belmont at Tennessee-Martin, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona State at California, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Rice at Alabama-Birmingham, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Utah at Washington State, 11 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Australian Open, 3 p.m., 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
Smith has worked alongside Ryan for the past seven years, including last season as an administrative assistant for Buffalo’s assistant coaches.
“She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities,” Ryan said in a statement. “She has proven that she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her with this opportunity.”
Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito, not known for his sensitivity, tweeted support for Smith, writing: Congrats Kathryn!! I know you will do a great job.
The Cardinals had Boston College product Jen Welter serve a six-week coaching internship during training camp last season, and Ryan said he consulted with Arizona coach Bruce Arians before promoting Smith. Ryan also noted how well Becky Hammon has done as an NBA assistant with the Spurs.
“You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching profession, such as the young lady that is an assistant to Coach [Gregg] Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, and realize how exciting this is for women like Kathryn Smith as well as the Bills organization,” Ryan said.
Smith started working for the Jets in 2003 as a game day/special events intern. She became a college scouting intern two years later and the team’s player personnel assistant in 2007.
She replaces Michael Hamlin, who was not retained after this season.
— Relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman became a concern this offseason when news broke that Florida police were investigating an accusation of domestic violence against him.
“In this country, when allegations are brought against a person, that person is completely innocent until proven otherwise. Not the other way around,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday at baseball’s owner’s meetings in Coral Gables, Florida.
While Major League Baseball could discipline Chapman for the incident, Steinbrenner said the team did due diligence before sending four prospects to the Reds.
“We did as much research as we possibly could, and that’s what I’m going to do anytime I’m looking to get rid of some of my good young talent or spend $100 million signing a free agent,” Steinbrenner said.
The No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft, Drouin was demoted to AHL Syracuse on Jan. 2. His agent, who asked for a trade in November, said Wednesday that Drouin is better off sitting out until his request is fulfilled.
“We proposed to Tampa that Jonathan not play in the next few AHL games but continue practicing with the club to avoid any potential injury from preventing an imminent trade,” agent Allan Walsh said. “Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning refused this reasonable request, however, Jonathan was not willing to accept this risk.”
General manager Steve Yzerman has said the Lightning would trade Drouin only if it improved the team.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 21, 1954, the NBA All-Star Game went to overtime for the first time. Which Celtic scored 10 points in the extra session and was named MVP after leading the East to a 98-93 victory?