Leading Off

Warriors athletes get academic honors

They're running to their books, too. Two Cal State Stanislaus women's cross country runners were named to the 2007 NCAA Division II All-Academic Team by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Senior Erin Frier and freshman Cherise McNair were among 202 female athletes selected from 99 schools. Both have GPAs of at least 3.25. Frier, who has received All-Academic honors all four years, finished 16th at the West Regional and 10th in earning All-CCAA honors at the league championships in 2007. McNair was both an All-Region and All-CCAA athlete as she finished 14th in the region and 11th at the conference meet.

From GV to MC

Golden Valley junior guard Liautaud Prophete will transfer to Modesto Christian next season. It will be his fourth high school in four years. "It's a decision I had to make because I have to move out of Merced," his father Liautaud Prophete Sr. told the Merced Sun-Star. They are moving to Los Banos, which means a 40-minute drive each way. Prophete averaged 18 points and six rebounds before his season ended when he dislocated his knee against Pitman two weeks ago.

Shaq tries to morph into a mobile home

Shaquille O'Neal doesn't want to slow the Phoenix Suns. So he's making them wait a few more days before his debut in purple and orange. O'Neal, who is learning a new offense while recovering from a hip injury, is unlikely to play when the Suns visit Golden State tonight. The team will decide whether O'Neal will play Thursday against Dallas in Phoenix. "I want to be a little more in tune before I step out on the court, because as you watch this team without me, they're like a great flowing machine," O'Neal said Tuesday.

Darfur activists take on Olympics

Film director Steven Spielberg (shown) has joined activists worldwide in using the Beijing Olympics as a backdrop to exert political leverage on Sudan's government to help end the crisis in Darfur. Spielberg, originally scheduled to be artistic adviser for the opening and closing ceremonies, said he could not reconcile working on the Olympics while China and other nations were not doing enough to ease the suffering. More than 200,000 have died and an estimated 2.5 million have been displaced in Darfur since 2003.