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ENID, Okla. — With most of Oklahoma’s prep football teams having played Thursday night and all three of the state’s college football teams idled Saturday, Enid area sports fans still have an option for live sports this weekend when Enid Speedway hosts the Pure Stock Nationals on Friday and S…

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The Enid Outlaws professional basketball team announced on Tuesday that it has hired Ed Corporal as the expansion franchise’s first head coach.

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The Oklahoma Flying Aces professional indoor football team will play a 10-game season in 2021 according to a release issued by Champions Indoor Football on Monday.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A person with knowledge of the situation says NBA players decided Thursday that they want to continue the season, coming to that consensus one day after three postseason games were postponed in a protest of racial injustice.

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Enid Speedway's two races this season have attracted crowds estimated to be around 3,000 fans for each of its first two races.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were one of the hottest teams in the NBA before the pandemic hit.The Thunder had won eight of 10 and climbed to the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference standings before the season was delayed. Now, they hope they can pick up where they left off as play resumes in Florida.“I think it will take a little time, but we’ve got such a great group of guys,” Thunder guard Chris Paul said. “We’re very unselfish, play hard, play together. The more time we get here playing, remembering some of the stuff that we like to do together -- I think it will all take care of itself.”The Thunder were riding the wave of a rejuvenated Paul and a rapidly improving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.Paul, now 35, averages 17.7 points and 6.8 assists and was an All-Star. Gilgeous-Alexander, a second-year guard, averages a team-best 19.3 points.The Thunder lead the league with 16 wins after trailing heading into the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City also is 4-0 in overtime this season.“When those moments come when there is adversity, we’ve got a really good way about ourselves in terms of keeping our composure, keeping our chemistry, guys working together, pulling for each other, guys fighting to win,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “I think everybody understands what’s important to the group.”WHERE WE WEREBalance has been a strength all season. In addition to Paul and Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari averages 19.2 points and reserve Dennis Schroder averages 19.0 points. Steven Adams, a defensive anchor at center, averages 10.9 points and 9.4 rebounds.Oklahoma City didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline, so the team benefited from continuity and went 7-2 after the All-Star break.From January 7 to February 25, Oklahoma City won all nine of its road games. After the streak was snapped at Milwaukee, the Thunder won their next three road games before the season was halted.DEPTH UPDATEThunder guard Andre Roberson might be ready to contribute after being out for 2½ years.Roberson, an NBA all-defense second-team selection during the 2016-17 season, initially suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in the knee in January 2018. He had a procedure in October that year after a setback in the recovery from the initial surgery.The Thunder had hoped he’d be ready earlier this season, but progress was slow, and he left the team to rehab for a while.Now, he’s in Orlando, where Donovan said he handled the first week of practice well.“I think he’s trying to gain confidence right now in terms of being out from playing competitive basketball for two years, of just really him fitting into the team, trying to help the team, different things he can do to be effective, getting that timing back, understanding what it’s like playing against contact,” Donovan said.Roberson was known as one of the league’s top perimeter defenders before the injury. In 39 games during the 2017-18 season, he averaged 5.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals.LEAVING THE BUBBLEDennis Schroder has told the Thunder he plans to leave the bubble for the birth of his second child. The baby is expected to arrive near the end of the re-started regular season.“Of course he should do that," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. “Of course he should be there for that. That's much more important than any basketball game."Schroder is the league’s top scorer among reserves, and Donovan has pushed for him to be considered for Sixth Man of the Year.Schroder said he wants to eventually return to the team, though Presti said he will understand if that changes.DOUBLE DUTYChris Paul is also the president of the National Basketball Players Association, meaning he has had to balance getting ready to play with league-wide concerns. Donovan said he’s impressed with the way Paul has balanced his duties.“I don’t know if there’s been maybe another president in the history of the players association that’s had to deal with something like this,” Donovan said. “I know there’s been lockouts, but this is really something that’s totally unique and different, and I think the way Chris navigated through all this to try to really help the players and the league get back to playing has been remarkable.”LU DORTLu Dort has been thriving as a rookie.The Canadian guard signed a two-way deal with the Thunder last July after playing one season at Arizona State, and he has since signed a full-time NBA deal.Dort has averaged 6.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.8 steals this season. Oklahoma City has posted a 16-5 record with him in the starting lineup.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets said Monday that he has tested positive for coronavirus, and that he plans to eventually join his team at the restart of the NBA season.Westbrook made the revelation on social media. As recently as Sunday, the Rockets believed that Westbrook and James Harden — neither of whom traveled with the team to Walt Disney World near Orlando last week — would be with the team in the next few days.In Westbrook's case, that now seems most unlikely.“I tested positive for covid-19 prior to my teams departure to Orlando," Westbrook wrote on his Instagram page. “I'm currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared."Westbrook is averaging 27.5 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game for the Rockets this season. Houston has clinched a playoff spot and resumes its season with the first of eight seeding games on July 31 against Dallas.Westbrook also offered a word of caution in his post.“Thank you for all the well wishes and continued support," he wrote. “Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!"Westbrook's announcement came on another day where case numbers in Florida and Texas — two of the nation's coronavirus hotspots — keep rising to levels that have officials and residents deeply concerned.At the NBA bubble, however, optimism that the rules established by the league and the players will work — even though some Disney parks reopened to visitors over the weekend and the MLS restart, also at the campus, has seen two teams leave after a spate of positive tests.“Our protocols are unbelievable,” Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said Monday. “I think our protocols and our health and safety measures have been top-notch. I think this thing will work perfectly. ... We’re doing everything that we can possibly do to make sure that we’re healthy, we’re safe and we’re in an environment where we can be successful and do our jobs at a high level.”Officials in Houston have called for that city to lock back down as area hospitals strain to accommodate patients sick with the coronavirus. And in Florida, more than 12,000 new coronavirus cases were confirmed Monday.___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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While there is still some trepidation, Enid and Northwest Oklahoma have been busily going about living life again, and that includes on the playing fields.

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The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association has amended previously approved rules dealing with outbreaks of influenza on scheduled activities to include COVID-19 as it nears the start of the 2020-21 school year.

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OSSAA Executive Director David Jackson said when considering lost sponsorships and fees being returned to the schools the revenue hit could be just shy of seven figures, estimated at $900,000 by Jackson.

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As school districts began to establish parameters and games began to be played, there was a sense of nervousness among coaches that it could all come to a halt again, especially in light of the tight vote and potential pressure from politicians.

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The crowd at David Allen for the early game, a 10-2 win by the OK Drillers 17 over the OK Mudcats, attracted a surprising number of fans, an indication perhaps of just how much we have missed sports and how ready everyone is to put much of this in the rearview mirror.

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By a 7-6 vote, the board rejected a three-phase plan to restart prep sports that would have kept organized athletics sidelined until at least Aug. 1 and banned organized practices until the end of June.

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A deeply divided Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors rejected a proposed plan that would have placed significant restrictions on a return to prep sports in Oklahoma.

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• Editor’s note: There are more questions than answers regarding when, and how, college football will begin again. Each week until next season, The Transcript will produce its Watch List to monitor developments, setbacks or points of interest surrounding college football’s anticipated return. 

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Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, in a notice sent to its members on Tuesday, said it was delaying announcing its plans for the resumption of activities.

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Both events were well-received and came off without much of a hitch and we should all cheer this small step toward the return of professional major sports.

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The Oklahoma Flying Aces indoor professional team remains hopeful that there will still be a season and fans can cheer them on at the Stride Bank Center.

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The board voted unanimously to increase ticket prices for preliminary playoff rounds to $7 and to $10 for championship rounds in most sports. However, playoff ticket prices for football and soccer will increase to $10 for all playoff rounds.

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Enid Speedway promoter Kip Hughes' roots run deep at the venerable 3/8-mile dirt racetrack located on the Garfield County Fairgrounds. That, and a love for all things racing, keeps him going and determined to ensure the speedway remains viable and will emerge from the current shutdown caused…

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