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WNPR News sports coverage brings you a mix of local and statewide news from our reporters as well as national and global news from around the world from NPR. For local sports coverage, take a look at CPTVSports.org or follow our sports television broadcasts 24/7 at CPTV Sports.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages!

I always wanted to use that in a commentary, that wonderful circus introduction ballyhooed by the splendid ringmaster, but I could just never find the ideal spot.

Of course, had I, there would've been some people who'd say that a circus doesn't belong in with sports. But, hey, just because there's clowns around doesn't disqualify certain daredevils from being certified athletes ­­-- equestrians, tightrope walkers and those who fly through the air with the greatest of ease.

Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET

Through nearly four decades, at least five presidential administrations and seemingly countless Super Bowls and World Series, NPR listeners could depend on at least one thing in the ever-unpredictable world of athletics: Frank Deford. A mainstay on Morning Edition, the Hall of Fame sportswriter was public radio's scholar of sports for some 37 years before hanging up his cleats earlier this year.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

It was 1st-and-10 from the Capital Prep 39-yard line. There were under four minutes left in the opening quarter of a 2014 Connecticut High School Football championship game. North Branford had the ball, up 7-6.

In a rush to get the holiday weekend rolling? Here are some quick facts about last night's Eastern Conference championship game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics:

  • The Cavaliers ended the Celtics post-season — winning the game, 135-102.
  • The win sets up a third consecutive match-up with Western Conference champion Golden State in the Finals.
  • LeBron James scored 35 points to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader — surpassing Michael Jordan.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Tatyana McFadden was born with a hole in her spine that forced the spinal column to poke out of her back, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. For the first three weeks of Tatyana’s life, she received no medical care for her spina bifida. But she survived, and was eventually adopted from the orphanage where she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

This is episode three, and it's the first we're really talking about the actual team, the actual baseball, the actual wins and losses.

And I'll say this right at the beginning here:

The Yard Goats are... not good. So far, anyway.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

We've been feeling like maybe all the serious politics coverage we've been doing has crowded out some of the nonsense sports coverage we like to do.

So this hour: sports nonsense and nothing else.

A Massachusetts judge has thrown out the murder conviction of Aaron Hernandez because the former NFL star died in prison before his appeal could be heard. The ruling comes nearly three weeks after Hernandez killed himself.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Hami Kara is a goalkeeper who bounced around the soccer world after being an all-New Englander at Wethersfield High School. He played at the University of Pittsburgh, continued his career in Turkey, and even landed on a Major League Soccer roster back in 2013.

Frank Deford, NPR's longest-running sports commentator, announced Wednesday that he's retiring after 37 years on Morning Edition — 37 years of entertaining, educating and yes, annoying some listeners, like any good commentator should.

At the same baseball game that saw Boston Red Sox fans make amends with a player targeted by racial slurs at Fenway Park, one fan reportedly used a slur to comment on a singer — and that fan has now been banned from the stadium.

"Yes, it was a racial comment," Red Sox club President Sam Kennedy said, according to the team. "It was a racial comment used to describe the national anthem that was taking place, the performance of the national anthem. It was sickening to hear."

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