Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

British Basketball gets its funding back

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Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng must carry some weight in the British sporting world, because his plea to have basketball once again funded by the state worked: The BOA offered a reprieve to the sport Friday, and will indeed fund it for the Rio Olympics.

“Today’s news is absolutely fantastic for the sport, I am overwhelmed to hear basketball have been awarded funding from UK Sport,” British player Drew Sullivan told Reuters. “This news puts GB firmly back on the map and on the road to success.”

The teams had initially seen their funding cut from more than $13 million for the 2012 Games to zero for the new Olympic cycle, despite the fact that UK Sport announced an eleven percent increase in funding across the board. That money was earmarked for popular British sports like cycling and equestrian, where the country has had plenty of success.

But Deng wrote a open-letter to Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week stating his case that the team’s performance in London set a baseline that the country could only improve on with future generations.

Apparently Deng’s voice was heard.

“The door is not closed to any sport that has had their funding reduced or stopped,” said UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl in the statement. “Every sport has the opportunity to come back to us at the annual review stage to make a case for future funding if they can demonstrate sufficient progress to evidence a credible medal opportunity within the next eight years.”

Canada crushes U.S. in World Hockey Championship opener

Tyler Motte, Mark Stone
AP
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Canada beat the U.S. for the 39th time in 43 games in World Hockey Championship history, 5-1 in the biggest rout between the two rivals since 1997 in their Worlds opener in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.

NHL players Brad MarchandTaylor Hall, Matt Duchene, Brendan Gallagher and Boone Jenner scored for Canada, which came back from a 1-0 deficit.

The U.S. had New Jersey Devils backup Keith Kincaid in goal. Canada started Edmonton Oilers No. 1 Cam Talbot, who allowed a first-period goal to Patrick Maroon.

The U.S., bronze-medal winner in 2013 and 2015, and reigning World champion Canada are in the same eight-team group at Worlds.

The top four teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals that begin May 19.

The U.S. next plays Belarus on Saturday. Full NBC Sports broadcast coverage information of Worlds is here.

MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups determined

Lindsey Vonn sails with America’s Cup champion (video)

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Lindsey Vonn continued her offseason tour by sailing with Oracle Team USA, winner of the last two America’s Cups, in the Hudson River in New York City on Thursday.

That came one day after Vonn joined Tom BradyJordan Spieth and Vanilla Ice at an Under Armour party in Baltimore.

Vonn is next expected to hit Louisville for this weekend’s Kentucky Derby.

NBC Sports will present live coverage of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series from New York at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday (NBC Sports Live Extra) and Sunday (NBCSN, Live Extra).

MORE: Vonn details ‘excruciating pain’ from season-ending crash