11-year-old table tennis standout skips U.S. match for Shabbat, gets disqualified

An 11-year-old New York girl was disqualified from the 2012 U.S. National Table Tennis Championships when she opted not to play her final match, which fell on Shabbat. Estee Ackerman of Long Island told the New York Post that "ping-pong is important to me, but my religion of Judaism is also very important to me." Ackerman, who is ranked fourth nationally in the 8-to-11 age bracket, did not play in the match on December 21, a Friday night. She told the Post that the scheduling was "disappointing" after she trained six months for the Las Vegas tournament. Ackerman said she does not blame event organizers for the scheduling conflict. Ackerman routinely beats players in their 20s and 30s, according to the Post. (JTA )

Ravens' Lewis to retire after NFL playoffs

The Baltimore Ravens say Ray Lewis will retire after the playoffs. The star linebacker told the team, "This will be my last ride." He has been out since October 14 with a triceps injury, but expects to play Sunday in the wild-card round against Indianapolis. The 37-year-old Lewis says, "It is time for me to create a new legacy" after 17 NFL seasons. Lewis was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2000, when Baltimore won the Super Bowl title, and in 2003. (AP )

Son of L.A. Clippers' owner found dead

Tragedy struck Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, after his son Scott was found dead, authorities said on Wednesday. According to the Los Angeles Times and social page TMZ, sheriffs department homicide detectives were sent to investigate a home in Malibu late Tuesday night, where they found the body of the 32-year-old man. The coroner's office says he died of a possible drug overdose, but the cause of death will be confirmed by an autopsy. No other details were immediately available. (DPA )

Fiesta Bowl gets prime football matchup

Kansas State and Oregon lost on the same day in November, all but ending their national championship hopes. The Wildcats and Ducks ended up with a nice consolation prize: facing each other in the Fiesta Bowl Thursday night. No. 5 Oregon (11-1) is in its fourth straight BCS bowl, has fast and talented players, and one of the most dynamic offensive backfields in college football. No. 7 Kansas State (11-1) doesn't play quite as quickly as Oregon, but meticulously grinds out yards and points. The Wildcats also have one of the nation's best players in quarterback Collin Klein, a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. (AP )