Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz offered the first of what he said will be “many steps” he will take to help with the coronavirus pandemic, pledging Saturday to donate more than $500,000 to relief efforts.

Gobert, who was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19 – a diagnosis that prompted the NBA to suspend its season for at least a month – said he is giving $200,000 to part-time employees at the arena that plays host to Jazz games to help cover their lost wages.

He also pledged $100,000 each to assist families affected by the pandemic in Oklahoma City, where he was when the diagnosis came, and Utah. He also is giving 100,000 Euros ($111,450) to relief efforts in France, earmarking that for childcare assistance to health care workers as well as for caregivers to the elderly.

“I am humbled by the tireless efforts and care of people around the globe for those affected by COVID-19, especially my own communities of Utah and France, in addition to my appreciation for the state of Oklahoma and my care there, and of course, my Utah Jazz family,” Gobert said in a release distributed by the Jazz.

“I know there are countless ways that people have been impacted,” Gobert continued. “These donations are a small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take to try and make a positive difference, while continuing to learn more about COVID-19 and educate others.”

SEVERAL BOSTON BRUINS players have contributed to a GoFundMe account that is being circulated online to pay lost wages for TD Garden workers while events are postponed due to coronavirus concerns. Six Bruins home games remained on the regular season schedule, along with nine Celtics games and several other events, that part-time workers as of now will not be compensated for.

Some NHL owners, such as New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris, said they would pay their workers for lost time, but Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, worth a reported $3.5 billion, is not one of them. Jacobs is also the chairman of Delaware North, which owns TD Garden.

THE PRO FOOTBALL Hall of Fame is closing temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum in Canton, Ohio says it will be closed to the public from Monday through March 27. The Hall says it “will continue to closely monitor the situation and maintain ongoing communication with state and local health officials.”

WHEN THE FATHER of Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tested negative for the coronavirus, it was “a sigh of relief” to the New York Mets.

Donovan Mitchell Sr. is a fixture in and around the Mets’ clubhouse in his job as the team’s director of player relations and community outreach. The younger Mitchell confirmed Thursday he tested positive for the virus after Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive, with Gobert’s result prompting the league to suspend the season.

The elder Mitchell was tested Thursday and it came back negative, the Mets announced Friday night.

THE NCAA IS planning to extend the eligibility of athletes on spring sports teams by one year to make up for the season lost to the new coronavirus.

The details of how the extra eligibility will work are still being ironed out.

All three NCAA divisions would potentially allow another year for athletes in the 14 spring sports, which include baseball, softball, lacrosse and golf. The decision comes after the NCAA announced Thursday that its winter and spring championships would be canceled as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

Some, but not all, conferences have announced that their spring sports teams would not continue their regular seasons.

CINCINNATI REDS pitcher Trevor Bauer says he is organizing a “sandlot” baseball game.

He also is trying to raise $1 million for Major League Baseball game-day staff who could be affected by the league’s decision to delay the regular season at least two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bauer tweeted an invitation on Friday to all MLB and minor league players remaining in Arizona to see if anyone wanted to take part in the pickup game. He said it would be mandatory for pitchers and hitters to wear microphones. Several players – including Diamondbacks outfielder Josh Rojas and Padres outfielder Tommy Pham – responded that they were interested.

THE LOS ANGELES Lakers, Clippers and Kings, along with Staples Center, have joined together to set up a fund to provide financial help to all hourly arena workers impacted by the stoppage of games.

The fund will help compensate for lost wages through the end of the NBA and NHL regular seasons. Payments will go to over 2,800 workers, including ushers, ticket sellers and takers, security, parking attendants, merchandise staff, food and beverage employees, housekeeping, operations staff and stagehands.

CHURCHILL DOWNS is delaying reopening its stables and training center until March 31 after consulting local public health officials amid concerns about the coronovirus.

The home of the Kentucky Derby is expected to provide an update about horse racing’s marquee event, scheduled for May 2, and its upcoming spring meet next week.

Churchill’s stables have been closed for annual winter renovations since Dec. 31 and were scheduled to open Tuesday. The track stated in a release Saturday night that the safety and health of guests, employees and participants remain a primary concern and that it’s taking every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


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