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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Newsmakers

From Staff And Wire Reports

Awarded San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA defensive player of the year on Thursday. Leonard, who averaged 2.3 steals per game, is the sixth forward to lead the league in steals per game since the NBA started tracking the statistic 42 years ago.

Declared Arizona forward Stanley Johnson is leaving Arizona after one season to declare for the NBA draft. He was named the Pac-12 freshman of the year.

Improved Eagles personnel chief Ed Marynowitz said Tim Tebow’s passing skills have improved and he was signed to compete for a spot at quarterback. Marynowitz said the team saw a “great deal of improvement” in Tebow since he last played in the NFL with the New England Patriots in training camp two years ago.

Disagreed Denver Broncos general manager John Elway disagrees with Pro Bowl receiver Demaryius Thomas’ strategy to skip the team’s offseason program while angling for a long-term contract. Elway said during a news conference that “there’s zero value of him being away from here.”

Agreed The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with former New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons tight end Bear Pascoe. The 6-foot-5 Pascoe has 40 receptions for 336 yards and two touchdowns in six seasons with the Giants (2009-13) and Falcons (2014).

Announced The Jacksonville Jaguars announced that Maurice Jones-Drew will sign a ceremonial, one-day contract before officially retiring. The former UCLA star was a second-round draft pick by Jacksonville in 2006. He finished his career with 8,167 yards rushing, 2,944 yards receiving and 81 touchdowns.

Retired Defenseman Hal Gill retired from the NHL at age 40 after 16 seasons and a Stanley Cup title. At 6-7 and 243 pounds, Gill was an imposing presence on the ice and a key part of Pittsburgh’s 2009 championship.

Suspended Major League Soccer suspended Colorado midfielder Marcelo Sarvas for two games and New York City FC goalkeeper Josh Saunders for one game. Sarvas was suspended for fouling and then stepping on Seattle striker Clint Dempsey. Saunders was disciplined for endangering the safety of an opponent during New York’s match against the Portland Timbers.

Chosen The No. 55 Toyota will be driven by Michael Waltrip in next week’s race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

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