Olympian champion Sarah Hughes won the Sullivan Award last night in New York as the nation's top amateur athlete, the second straight year a figure skater took the prestigious honor.

Hughes followed last season's winner, Michelle Kwan, and became the third figure skater to win the award. The other was Dick Button, who presented Hughes with the trophy.

"It's very meaningful to receive this award from Dick Button," Hughes, 17, said. "I remember my older sister, all she ever talked about was Dick Button. I thought if I can meet Dick Button, I'll be the coolest member of my family."

Hughes beat wrestler Cael Sanderson and paralympic skier Chris Waddell, who also were at the New York Athletic Club for the presentation.

The other finalists -- swimmer Natalie Coughlin and short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno -- were not in attendance.


Barnes Is Recuperating

The U.S.'s Tracy Barnes was released from the hospital after she says she was hit on the head by a man with a glass object in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

U.S. team officials do not consider this a deliberate attack on an American athlete.

Barnes's head was bloodied and she suffered a concussion. She will not compete in any remaining events in the world championships.

After competing in the 10-kilometer pursuit Sunday, Barnes left her hotel for a run. She stopped to stretch near a bus stop and was struck by an unidentified man with a glass object.

"I heard some laughing. I turned to see where it was coming from and that's when I was hit," Barnes said. "I saw an arm with an object in it."

Barnes was a silver medalist at the 2002 junior world championships in the women's relay. She placed 50th in Saturday's 7.5-kilometer sprint event and finished 54th in the pursuit.


Already a Hall of Famer

LeBron James's high school jersey is headed to the Hall of Fame.

St. Vincent-St. Mary Coach Dru Joyce II has agreed to send James's game jersey, a pair of shoes, headband and wristband to the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. The hall's assistant curator, Matt Zeysing, requested the items several weeks ago.

"LeBron James is recognized as the top high school player in America, maybe of all time," said Howie Davis, the museum's director of sports media. "In any other year, if you ask basketball fans to name the best high school player in America, they would give you a variety of names. Not this year."

James, who is expected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft, was thrilled by the request.

"This is a big thing for LeBron," Joyce said. "He said that it would be great to be in the Hall of Fame, so having something in the Hall of Fame is probably the next best thing.

"No matter which direction his career takes from here on out, that stuff will be in the Hall of Fame forever. He thinks it's a great honor."


Ross to Mississippi

Former Florida coach Carol Ross was hired as the women's basketball coach at Mississippi.

Ross, who led Florida to nine NCAA tournaments in 12 seasons before stepping down in 2002, replaces Ron Aldy, who was fired March 8. Peggy Gillom was named associate coach. Gillom was head coach at Texas A&M for the last five seasons. . . .

Tennessee assistant Mickie DeMoss was hired as the women's basketball coach at Kentucky.

DeMoss has been Pat Summitt's top assistant at Tennessee for 18 seasons. She succeeds Bernadette Mattox, who resigned last week after going 91-135 in eight seasons.

DeMoss will remain with the Lady Vols through the NCAA tournament.

Track and Field

German Runner Suspended

German runner Florence Ekpo-Umoh was suspended after failing a drug test and could be banned for two years.

The 400-meter runner tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol during a meet in Germiston, South Africa, on Jan. 24, the German track and field federation said. A second test March 7 confirmed the positive result.

The Nigerian-born runner was a member of the German 1,600-meter women's relay that team won the silver medal at the 2001 world championship and the European title last year. . . .

U.S. sprinter Kelli White was suspended for six months by French track authorities for failing a drug test. The suspension of the 200-meter runner applies only to France.

High school phenom LeBron James hasn't played in the NBA, but the Basketball Hall of Fame already has asked for his jersey.