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Thursday local sports roundup: No players will be on hand; season still a go for mid-May; Indy 500 moves to Aug. 23

PIVECSabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally of Oregon and Mikayla Pivec of Oregon State will learn of their next destination in life virtually on April 17.

The WNBA has switched its draft procedure, but not its date — teams will choose new players on April 18 in a virtual draft (without players, guests and media) to be aired live on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. PT.

Top prospects will take part remotely, the network said.

The draft also will be on the ESPN App.

Ionescu is likely to be the No. 1 pick. Sabally is expected to go high as well, and Pivec is considered a potential first-round choice.

The WNBA said it also will honor those who died in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and either others, notably recognizing the loss of Alyssa Altobelli, Kobe's daughter Gianna, and Payton Chester.

WNBA training camps are still scheduled to open on April, 26 and the regular-season start remains set for May 15.

Ionescu among finalists

Ionescu is one of four finalists for the Wade Trophy.

It goes to the national player of the year and is presented by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

Also still in the running are Aari McDonald of Arizona, Tyasha Harris of South Carolina and Dana Evans of Louisville.

The winner will be revealed on Thursday, April 2.

Ionescu won the award last year.

The other two-time winners are Nancy Lieberman (1979, 1980), Seimone Augustus (2005, 2006), Brittney Griner (2012, 2013) and Breanna Stewart (2015, 2016) — Maya Moore won three times (2009, 2010 and 2011).

This is the 43rd year of the Wade Trophy, named for the late Lily Margaret Wade, who coached Delta State to three consecutive national championships.

Indy 500 will run in August

The Indy 500 has been moved from May 24 to Aug. 23 due to the coronavirus.

The 104th running will be live on NBA (KGW 8). Start time will be announced.

Indy 500 qualifying will take place Aug. 15-16.

Another race on the IndyCar circuit also is shifting dates, with the GMR Grand Prix moving from May 9 to Satuday, July 4. It takes place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well, but is on the road course rather than the 2.5-mile oval. That race also will be on NBC.

And, the Grand Prix of Portland is moving back one week to Sept. 13-13, at Portland International Raceway.

Beavers add football staffer

Oregon State has named Talite "JR" Moala a recruiting assistant under coach Jonathan Smith.

Moala will be a graduate assistant on the staff.

He was with OSU football as a quality control coach and defensive intern from 2015-17.

The 2019 Oregon State graduate played linebacker at Portland State and El Camino Junior College.

His older brother, Tevita, was a linebacker for the Beavers in 1999-2000. His younger brothr, Eric, was an OSU linebacker from 2005-07. Older brothers Fili and Tolu played football as well, Fiki at USC and for the Indianapolis Colts and Tolu for Oklahoma State.


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