Burns Is Dropped by San Diego State

From Staff and Wire Reports

Forward Evan Burns, the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year last season, was kicked off San Diego State’s basketball team for failing to meet academic requirements.

“We put a premium on the importance of the complete student-athlete at San Diego State and Evan was unable to meet those expectations,” Coach Steve Fisher said in a statement Friday.

Burns, who averaged 9.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 26 games for the Aztecs, is enrolled in summer school.

He had surgery in May after tearing a ligament in his left knee during a pickup basketball game on campus and was expected to sit out perhaps the first half of the season.

Burns, from Fairfax High, enrolled at San Diego State in September after being denied admission to UCLA when his transcripts weren’t approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. He was cleared to play for the Aztecs in early December.



Pro Basketball

Forward Samaki Walker, who spent the last two seasons with the Lakers, signed with the Miami Heat. Terms were not released. Walker averaged 4.4 points and 5.5 rebounds last season.

The San Antonio Spurs have re-signed backup center Kevin Willis. Terms of the deal with the 19-year veteran, who turns 41 in September, were not announced.

In the WNBA, the San Antonio Silver Stars (9-16) beat Houston, 63-53, before 11,861 at San Antonio, dropping the Comets (14-9) three games behind the first-place Sparks in the Western Conference.... Ruth Riley’s 13-foot shot with 3.7 seconds left lifted the Eastern Conference’s first-place Detroit Shock (17-6) over the New York Liberty, 62-60, before 12,287 at Madison Square Garden. It was a franchise-record fifth consecutive loss for the Liberty (9-13).... The Washington Mystics (6-19) rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat Connecticut, 48-45, before 6,182 at Uncasville, Conn. The Sun slipped to 13-12.... Penny Taylor’s franchise-record 33 points led the Cleveland Rockers (12-13) to a 73-56 victory over the Phoenix Mercury (4-19) before 8,131 at Cleveland. She broke the record of 30 points shared by Chasity Melvin and Deanna Jackson.



Andre Agassi, seeded No. 1, rallied to defeat No. 6 James Blake, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, to reach the semifinals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic at Washington. Agassi will next play No. 4 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, who beat No. 7 Max Miryni of Belarus, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

The other semifinal will match No. 2 Andy Roddick and No. 10 Tim Henman of Britain. In rain-delayed matches, Roddick swept past No. 11 Mardy Fish, 6-1, 6-4, and Henman outlasted No. 3 Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, 7-6 (5), 7-5.



In horse racing, Medaglia d’Oro, winner of last year’s Jim Dandy and the Travers Stakes, was made the 4-5 favorite after drawing post position No. 5 for today’s Whitney Handicap at Saratoga. The 4-year-old, trained by Bobby Frankel, will be ridden by Jerry Bailey in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.

USC football coaches, players and staff will attend a memorial service for recruit Drean Rucker at 10 a.m. Monday at Huntington State Beach. Rucker, an 18-year-old linebacker from Moreno Valley Canyon Springs High, drowned after disappearing about 8:10 p.m. on July 21 while swimming east of the Huntington Beach pier. Orange County authorities found Rucker’s body last Saturday. The memorial service will be held on the beach near lifeguard tower 6 between Magnolia and Brookhurst.

In the NHL, the Kings signed center Sean Avery and right wing Scott Barney to one-year contracts. Avery, 23, had one goal and 33 penalty minutes in 12 games with the Kings last season after being acquired last March from the Detroit Red Wings. Barney, 24, did not score in five games with the Kings.