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September 25, 2013

Sports briefs, Sept. 25

HNAC will begin play in 2015-16 school year

The newly formed Hoosier North Athletic Conference will begin competition beginning in the 2015-16 school year, the conference announced in a press release Tuesday.

The HNAC will include Caston, Culver, Knox, LaVille, North Judson-San Pierre, Pioneer, Triton, West Central and Winamac. The decision to start conference play in 2015-16 will give member schools adequate time to align the schedules for each sport, the release stated.

Several factors were involved in the decision to form a new athletic conference including travel distance, competitive balance, existing rivalries and overall athletic and academic philosophy, the HNAC said.

The decision to form the conference was a very thorough process that involved numerous meetings between the member schools with support from each school corporation, the release stated.

In addition to athletic competitions, the HNAC also plans to host academic competitions between member schools in the areas of math and English.

While the HNAC is currently comprised of nine schools, the conference would consider expanding to 10-teams should the right opportunity present itself in the future, the release said.

Source: George set to sign new deal

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George wanted to keep playing in Indiana. Larry Bird made sure he wasn’t going anywhere.

The Pacers star forward agreed Tuesday to a long-term contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because it won’t be officially announced until today. Terms were not immediately available, but he is eligible for a five-year deal worth between $80 million to $90 million, depending on the salary cap.

George’s rookie deal was set to expire after next season and the 23-year-old All-Star almost certainly would have been one of most attractive players on the free-agent market.

The 6-foot-8 forward has made dramatic improvement in each of his first three NBA seasons. Last year, he averaged career-highs of 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists. George’s numbers actually increased during the playoffs as he led Indiana past Atlanta and New York and into the Eastern Conference finals. The Pacers pushed the defending champs to Game 7 before eventually losing at Miami.

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