Sports briefs

Published: Thursday, Nov. 4 2010 11:15 p.m. MDT

BYU duo earns Academic All-District spot

Two BYU football players, running back Bryan Kariya and kicker Mitch Payne, were among seven Mountain West Conference student-athletes named to the ESPN Academic All-District football teams as released Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

All seven earned first-team honors in the University division of their respective districts and will be on the ballot for Academic All-America honors in late November.

Kariya, a Chinese major with a 3.87 grade-point average, has rushed for 316 yards and four touchdowns this season. The junior from Kaysville has also caught at least one pass in seven of eight games and has 14 catches overall for 69 receiving yards in 2010.

Payne, a business management major with a 3.52 grade point average, is currently working on his master's degree in public administration. The North Ogden native is 9-for-12 on field goal attempts and 11-of-12 on point-after attempts this season. He is the BYU and MWC record-holder in career PAT conversions (currently at 167).

Blazers' Oberto retires with heart trouble

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Trail Blazers center Fabricio Oberto abruptly retired Thursday because of a previously diagnosed cardiac condition that caused heart palpitations.

Oberto, in his sixth NBA season, was signed as a free agent by the Blazers just before the start of the season to help the front court while centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden heal from knee surgeries. Oberto experienced dizziness in Portland's game against Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Oberto, a native of Argentina who played on the team that won the gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, played in each of the first five games for the Blazers, averaging 1.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.0 minutes.

Oberto played for four seasons with San Antonio, starting at center for the Spurs' NBA championship team in 2007. He spent last season with the Washington Wizards.

PCL's Beavers make new home in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League are heading to Tucson, Ariz.

A group headed by San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad is buying the Triple-A club. It will play in Tucson for at least the 2011 season. The purchase must be approved by the PCL and Minor League Baseball. Moorad's group eventually wants to move the Padres' top affiliate north of San Diego to Escondido if a ballpark deal can be negotiated.

—Deseret News staff and wire services

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