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SPORTS BEAT
August 11, 2003
Kobe Bryant attended the Teen Choice Awards in Universal City, Calif., last Saturday night, a rare public appearance since he was charged with the sexual assault of a 19-year-old Colorado woman on June 30. By Bryant's side was his wife, Vanessa, wearing the $4 million diamond ring Kobe gave her on July 21 and an I LOVE KOBE bracelet. Neither Kobe nor Vanessa spoke to the press, but he did give an acceptance speech to the crowd of more than 4,000 after receiving a bright green surfboard as his trophy for winning the Teen Choice Male Athlete award for the second straight year. Bryant, who in his speech quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and said he was "going through some dark clouds right now? was to be in the public eye again on Wednesday. Fox was to broadcast the awards show at 8 p.m., two hours after Bryant's preliminary court hearing was scheduled to be televised live from an Eagle County courtroom.
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August 11, 2003

Sports Beat

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Kobe Bryant attended the Teen Choice Awards in Universal City, Calif., last Saturday night, a rare public appearance since he was charged with the sexual assault of a 19-year-old Colorado woman on June 30. By Bryant's side was his wife, Vanessa, wearing the $4 million diamond ring Kobe gave her on July 21 and an I LOVE KOBE bracelet. Neither Kobe nor Vanessa spoke to the press, but he did give an acceptance speech to the crowd of more than 4,000 after receiving a bright green surfboard as his trophy for winning the Teen Choice Male Athlete award for the second straight year. Bryant, who in his speech quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and said he was "going through some dark clouds right now? was to be in the public eye again on Wednesday. Fox was to broadcast the awards show at 8 p.m., two hours after Bryant's preliminary court hearing was scheduled to be televised live from an Eagle County courtroom.

?For the first time in 16 years Nick Faldo will miss one of golf's majors. The Briton has decided to skip next week's PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y., to stay at home in Weybridge, England, with his wife, Valerie, and his fourth child, Emma Scarlet, who was born on July 28. "This is an incredibly special time in my life, becoming a dad again at 46, and I promised Valerie that I would be around to support her and our new daughter," said Faldo, whose 65 straight majors is the longest active streak. New fatherhood isn't getting in the way of the event's defending champ, Rich Beem, whose wife, Sara, gave birth to the couple's first child, son Michael Waide, on July 25. The baby was born a little early, which saved Beem from a tough decision: Sara was due on Aug. 16—the same day as round 3. Beem had been contemplating missing the tournament or leaving early if Michael had arrived during play.

?Cycling fanatic and U.S. senator John Kerry (D., Mass.) was on his bike at 6 a.m. last Saturday in Sturbridge, Mass., to ride the first leg of the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, which raises money for cancer research. "I don't know about you, but I'm having withdrawals from watching the Tour de France," Kerry said. "I want more." He got it. The Democratic presidential hopeful, who was treated for prostate cancer last February, finished the 110-mile race in just under 6� hours, placing 32nd out of 3,700 riders....

It might not have quite the nostalgic ring of My Old Kentucky Home, but New Jersey's Monmouth Park landed a rocking theme song for its signature horse racing event, last Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational (won by Peace Rules). Garden State godfather Bruce Springsteen gave the track his blessing to adopt Born to Run as the event's anthem....

Sure it's nice to be an international tennis star, but it's not the life of Hugh Hefner. ATP hotshots Wayne Ferreira, Robby Ginepri and Nicolas Kiefer used an off day during the Mercedes-Benz Cup in L.A. to visit the Playboy Mansion. The players, who were escorted by Playmate-actress Julie McCullough (Miss February, 1986), played Hefner's pinball machines, chatted up Playmates in Hef's gym and fed monkeys in his private zoo. "I can't believe this is somebody's house," said Kiefer. "He has 100 employees and eight girlfriends. Unbelievable."

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