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Ackerman suggests changes for NCAA women

Women’s basketball: The WNBA’s first president suggests that women’s college basketball needs to make changes if the sport is to grow.

Val Ackerman was hired by the NCAA in November to assess the state of the women’s game.

In a report submitted to the NCAA last week, Ackerman advises moving the Final Four back to a Friday-Sunday format, exploring a two-site super-regional for the second week of the NCAA tournament and returning to a format in which the top 16 teams host the first two rounds.

Those ideas would be aimed at boosting attendance and could be implemented by 2014.

Ackerman also says there should be fewer regular-season games. Other areas she’d like addressed include scholarships, game rules, conference tournaments and officiating.

Associated Press

Little League gets first woman as board chair

Baseball: Little League Baseball has a woman leading its Board of Directors decades after girls were first officially allowed to play ball.

Davie Jane Gilmour, president of the Pennsylvania College of Technology, took over as chair in November. She took part in one of her first responsibilities connected to the Little League World Series after drawing team names last week to set up the opening matchups for the tournament that starts in August.

Girls were first formally allowed to play Little League baseball in 1974, though the first girl to actually play Little League was Kathryn Johnston in 1950 in Corning, N.Y.

Gilmour says taking over as chair was a natural fit because of her connections to the Williamsport area, education — and that she happens to be a woman.

Associated Press

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Former Gonzaga forward Zach Collins makes impact as Trail Blazers’ rookie

UPDATED: 8:35 p.m.

updated  Zach Collins’ rookie year with the Portland Trail Blazers was more like two seasons in one. The former Gonzaga Bulldog barely saw the floor in the first two months of the season. He averaged 3.8 minutes per November game. Collins carved out a spot in the rotation in December and his playing time soared into the 14-18 minute range.