High School Hotshots
Your Feb. 18 article on Justin Armour (Shining Armour) brought to mind another Rocky Mountain phenom. Whatever happened to Bruce Hardy, the high school football, basketball and baseball star from West Jordan, Utah, who appeared on your cover in 1974?
•Hardy went on to play tight end—but not basketball or baseball—at Arizona State, where, as a senior, he caught 19 passes for 269 yards. In 1978 he was drafted in the ninth round by the Miami Dolphins, with whom he played for 12 seasons. In '86, his best year with the Dolphins, he caught 54 passes for 430 yards and five touchdowns. Since leaving football in '90, Hardy, now 34, has been involved in business interests in Florida as well as being a color commentator for Utah football games.—ED.
Jonathan Takes Enemy
Gary Smith's article about Jonathan Takes Enemy (Shadow of a Nation, Feb. 18) is one of the finest pieces of journalism I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Smith's haunting prose describes the multiple enigmas and contradictions of the lives of Takes Enemy and his Crow brethren. That the story had an upbeat ending was as surprising as it was inspiring. Here's to the continued success of Jonathan Takes Enemy.
PAUL BLAWIE JR.
As one who formerly taught in a tribal college in northern Arizona and in a community college in northern Wyoming, I appreciated Smith's article. His portrayal of the young Native American's dilemma of having to walk with one foot in his or her tribal heritage and one in the Anglo world was chilling. We Anglos have no idea of the turmoil and stress of such a life. Tribal bravery still exists in each of these young people who cares enough to try.
Since my brief stint as news editor of the Hardin [Mont.] Herald in 1983-84, I have many times wondered what became of Hardin High star Jonathan Takes Enemy. Besides being the best basketball player I had ever seen, he was typical of his hospitable people, who offer strangers food, shelter and friendship—everything they have—with no questions asked. Takes Enemy's story offers hope. Through understanding and patience, perhaps we can help others escape the cruel trap that has claimed too many born to the bleak world of "the res."
Smith's Shadow of a Nation was riveting. I grew up 15 miles from South Dakota's Cheyenne Reservation and saw the phenomenon Smith describes played out over and over again. Here's hoping that Takes Enemy and his tribal brothers successfully combat the legacy that haunts them. There have been too many young Indians with quick feet, quick minds and quick lives.
Many of us who have coached Native American youths have observed with great sadness the contrast between the sheer joy with which these youngsters approach basketball and the despair that accompanies what seems to be their inevitable end. Our hearts go out to any young person who attempts to break that pattern. I, for one, will now eagerly seek out box scores from Rocky Mountain College games. Godspeed, Jonathan Takes Enemy.
A High School Inspiration
What a pleasure it was to read Austin Murphy's article about Colorado schoolboy Justin Armour (Shining Armour, Feb. 18). Justin is an impressive athlete, student and Bible scholar. It's great to see a youngster push peer pressure aside and stand up for what he knows is right. I hope he will be an inspiration to other students.
TIMOTHY R. JOHNSON
It's refreshing to see someone perform as well in the classroom as he does on the field. It's also nice to see someone from such a small school get this kind of recognition.
Practically every hamlet in America has a three-letter man with, as Murphy puts it, "a gleaming future." Three-letter men at high schools with 347 students in towns with populations of 4,800 arc a dime a dozen, and very few of these athletes make it beyond high school.
Jack McCallum's basketball dream team for the 1992 Olympic Games is 80% correct (Lord of the Rings, Feb. 18). Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan are the premier players at their positions. Karl Malone is an outstanding player and will surely be elected to the Hall of Fame someday, but he does not get my nod for the starting forward opposite Barkley. That honor belongs to the greatest forward ever to play the game, Larry Bird. It should not matter that Bird has declined to participate in Barcelona. When you speak of a dream team, it should consist of the best players in the game today. Larry Bird is simply Larry Bird. Failing Bird, however. I would include Kevin McHale on the dream team. No one can stop his patented fall-away jumper—and how could there be a dream team without Celtic green?
To choose Patrick Ewing over David Robinson seems wrong. The two centers score at about the same clip, but on a team with so many scorers, the center's points would not be that important. However, Robinson is quicker than Ewing and would fit in better with the running team the U.S. would almost certainly be with Johnson and Jordan in the backcourt. Robinson also has more steals and fewer turnovers and fouls, shoots better from the field and the line, and gets more offensive rebounds and blocked shots than Ewing.
Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
How could you name an NBA Olympic dream team without including the NBA's best player, Bernard King?
Allowing NBA players to participate in the Barcelona Olympics puts another nail in the coffin of amateur sports. McCallum mentioned the economic advantages of letting the pros play but did not mention the loss of U.S. pride or the ultimate sin of depriving our amateur athletes of the opportunity to work toward the lofty goal of playing in the Games. It's too high a price to pay for the right to gloat.
EDWARD G. DiPANNI
It is very disappointing to see college basketball players pushed out of the Olympics. We have a pro league in the U.S. that plays the best basketball in the world, and highly lauded players from that league will gain little from Olympic publicity. Making NBA players eligible for the Games for the purposes of an overkill win for the U.S. does not speak well for our sense of sportsmanship, and it does not encourage a spirit of fair competition among our athletes.
C. ROBERT ADAMS
With basketball's international governing organization's decision to accept professional athletes in the Olympics, one must assume financial contributions to the USOC will no longer be needed.
Mr. Stiv in Bali
While your swimsuit pictures were as dazzling as ever, I am writing to express my admiration for Steve Rushin's article in the same issue, Mr. Stiv's Excellent Adventure (Feb. 11). It may have been that, after studying for the better part of a Friday night, I was particularly susceptible to anything amusing, but I found the article to be hysterically funny. Rushin's tales of his experiences in the sacred Monkey Forest and of fearing he might serve as fish bait were especially memorable. Thanks for helping me to survive my accounting exam.
Jack McCallum makes a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that if Michael Jordan is so smitten with old Tar Heel players, 58-year-old Lennie Rosenbluth deserves a shot at the Chicago lineup (INSIDE THE NBA, Feb. 4). McCallum must not have seen the UNC-UCLA old-timers' game a couple of years ago. Carolina coach Dean Smith put Rosenbluth in the game while the television coverage was interrupted for a commercial.
Rosenbluth scored four points before the game returned to the screen, and he got two more on a perfect hook swished from the perimeter only seconds after the action came back on the air. Two men were attempting to stop him at the time. Announcer Keith Jackson gasped, "He's got six points!" although TV viewers saw only two of them.
Chicago could use old Lennie's touch today.
Black Mountain, N.C.
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