Sport

Fan friendliness of Cactus League makes it popular draw

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series last fall for the first time in 108 years. This spring, fans in the Cactus League turned out in record numbers to watch the new champions — home and away.

Passion, hard work pay off for Valley NASCAR driver McDowell

LOS ANGELES - When Michael McDowell first visited the Phoenix Kart Racing Association track, it was not to drive but to clap and cheer for his brother’s friend. Engulfed in the competitive atmosphere and a witness to Arizona’s love for the sport, the experience captivated him.

Diversity among fans, players a priority for NHL

PHOENIX -- The Valley is a symbol for the changing face of hockey. One of the Coyotes’ top young players is of Haitian descent. The head of the team’s instructional school is female. And the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL draft, Scottsdale’s Auston Matthews, has a mother from Mexico.

UNC finds championship redemption in Glendale

GLENDALE — In a national championship game that will be remembered more for its missed shots and free throws, it was the bounce back performance of North Carolina senior forward Isaiah Hicks that helped lead the Tar Heels to their third national championship under head coach Roy Williams.

Size looms large in NCAA title game between North Carolina, Gonzaga

GLENDALE -- When Roy Williams was in his first season as a Division I head coach with Kansas in 1988, he probably wouldn’t have been surprised to see a matchup of two big men who would combine to total nearly 600 pounds in the low post.