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Woman to lead NBA team

The first woman to coach a men's pro team doesn't see herself as a pioneer or a publicity stunt, just a basketball coach.

Stephanie Ready helped break ground as an assistant for the Coppin State men's team the past two years. She was picked for the same job Wednesday by the Greenville Grooves of the NBA's minor league, the National Basketball Development League.

The league, with eight teams throughout the Southeast, begins Nov. 16. Ready spent the past two years as an assistant at Coppin State in Baltimore.

But it was a timeout at St. John's Alumni Hall in December 1999 that took Ready's breath away. She was a few steps behind the other Coppin State coaches and glanced up at the game clock.

"The photographers were all men, the people on the scorers table were all men. Even the trainers and doctors were men," she said. "There was not another woman around. For that split second, it hit me. It was pretty amazing, but it was pretty sad, too."

First a run, then vacation

Marion Jones still can't get used to losing. She was beaten in the 100 meters at the World Championships last week in Edmonton, Alberta, for the first time since 1997, a span of 42 finals - and Jones is struggling mentally.

"It was disappointing," Jones said Tuesday in a conference call. "I've raised the bar so high over the years, I've won so many races, I expected more of myself - I expected to run better than 10.85 seconds in a major championship."

"I want to get better, better, better."

Jones will end her season next month at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia, where she again will meet Zhanna Pintusevich-Block of Ukraine (who beat Jones at the worlds in 10.82 seconds). "That will be my last competition of the season," Jones says, "so I will be motivated to run well, then go on a nice vacation."

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