Timberwolves make Saunders full-time coach

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Timberwolves have chosen Ryan Saunders as their full-fledged head coach - and the first millennial to hold the job in the NBA.

The team announced Monday that the 33-year-old Saunders will stay in the post he held on an interim basis during the second half of this past season, the role long held by his father. The widely expected decision was made by new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.

"I've known Ryan for many years and have always respected his approach to the game, work ethic, basketball knowledge and passion," Rosas said in a statement.

"His coaching style and philosophies are ideal for the modern NBA, and I am confident that as a partner he will get the most out of our players as we build an identity and a sustainable winning model."

With Saunders and the 40-year-old Rosas, the Timberwolves have a leadership duo that, at the combined age of 73, is only three years older than San Antonio president and coach Gregg Popovich and 12 years older than their predecessor Tom Thibodeau.

The next-youngest coach in the league behind Saunders is Sacramento's Luke Walton, who is 39. He just missed the millennial cutoff, defined by the Pew Research Center as people with birth dates between 1981 and 1996.

When Rosas was hired earlier this month , Timberwolves chief executive officer Ethan Casson said there was no mandate from owner Glen Taylor to keep Saunders in charge on the sideline, but even Casson acknowledged Taylor's unabashed fondness for the son of the late Flip Saunders, who was one of the most instrumental figures in the history of the 30-year-old franchise.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

APEX, N.C. (AP) - Jim Burch, the first black man to officiate a basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference, has died at his home in North Carolina. He was 91.

ACC official Jamie Luckie says Burch, whose career spanned 60 years, died at his home in Apex, outside of Raleigh, on Sunday.

Burch's officiating career actually began in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1959.

PRO FOOTBALL

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott was handcuffed by police, but not arrested, after a scuffle involving event staff at a Las Vegas music festival, officials said Monday.

The 23-year-old running back was detained briefly about 3 a.m. Saturday near a gate to the overnight Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway after police officers saw him "push a security officer to the ground," Officer Laura Meltzer said in a statement.

"The security guard who was the victim of the misdemeanor battery refused to press charges," the statement said, and the officers released Elliott. He was not charged with a crime.

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa put women's volleyball coach Bond Shymansky on paid administrative leave Monday after reporting what its athletic director called serious rules violations to the NCAA.

Athletic director Gary Barta said he took those steps after a two-week investigation by an outside law firm into allegations raised by a former athlete.

Barta declined to elaborate on the nature of the allegations at a news conference, citing the pending NCAA investigation. But he said they were likely to be considered Level 1 or Level 2 violations, meaning they gave at least a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage to the Hawkeyes.

BOXING

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Manny Pacquiao will get back into the ring on July 20 to face unbeaten welterweight champion Keith Thurman in what could be a highlight fight of the summer.

Pacquiao, 40, dominated Adrian Broner to retain his portion of the welterweight title in January. He will take on Thurman for the WBA belt. Thurman outpointed Joselito Lopez in January.

The fight will be on Fox pay-per-view from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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