Former UC Irvine basketball standout Darren Fells has made the Phoenix Cardinals' 53-man roster as a 28-year-old rookie.
Fells, a 6-foot-7, 281-pound tight end, caught seven passes for 68 yards and one touchdown during the preseason and is listed as the backup behind 21-year-old rookie Troy Niklas, who played at Servite High in Anaheim.
Fells, a who was an All-CIF Southern Section tight end at Fullerton High, before choosing basketball and UCI, which does not have a football team, ranks No. 3 all-time at UCI in rebounds (780) and is No. 12 in scoring (1,252). A second-team All-Big West Conference pick as a senior in 2008, he is the first NFL player produced by UCI, where he started 103 of the 123 games in which he appeared.
He played professional basketball in Belgium, Finland and Argentina, before being signed twice and cut twice by the Seattle Seahawks last summer.
Fells was signed to the Cardinals' practice squad on Oct. 9, 2013 and signed a futures contract with the team on Jan. 1, 2014.
Phoenix opens the regular season Sept. 8 at home against San Diego at 6:20 p.m.
Fells' older brother, Daniel, entering his seventh NFL season, is a tight end for the New York Giants.
— From staff reports
Ross, Gibb prevail
Costa Mesa residents April Ross and Jake Gibb captured women's and men's titles, respectively, at the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Cincinnati Open on Sunday in Ohio.
Ross, a Newport Harbor High product, and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings defeated Costa Mesa resident Brooke Sweat and partner Lauren Fendrick, 21-14, 21-15, in the 50-minute final. Ross and Walsh Jennings, the No. 1 seed, have now defeated No. 2-seeded Sweat and Fendrick in all five AVP title matches this season and are 26-0 in AVP matches in 2014.
Ross and Walsh Jennings split $15,000, as did Gibb and partner Casey Patterson, who earned their second AVP crown this season.
Gibb-Patterson, the No. 2-seeded tandem, defeated No. 6-seeded Ryan Doherty and Nick Lucena, 21-13, 23-21, in the 47-minute final.
Gibb-Patterson topped the No. 7-seeded duo of Casey Jennings and Jeremy Casebeer, 21-14, 21-15, in the semifinals.
Costa Mesa resident Brad Keenan shared fifth place and $5,200 with partner John Mayer, while Newport Harbor High product Ty Tramblie teamed with Andrei Belov to share ninth place and $2,500.
Former UC Irvine standout Whitney Pavlik and partner Heather Hughes, tied for 13th in the women's event.
The AVP Tour is at Atlantic City, N.J., Friday through Sunday.
— From staff reports