March 17, 1997
March 17, 1997

Table of Contents
March 17, 1997

College Basketball


Scouts will be paying particularly close attention to this
month's NCAA tournament, looking for a rising star or two to
shore up what's widely considered the weakest draft class in
years, with a pair of seniors--Wake Forest center Tim Duncan and
Utah forward Keith Van Horn--likely to go one-two. Even the
recent decisions to turn pro by 6'10" junior center Adonal
Foyle of Colgate and 6'7" sophomore forward Ron Mercer of
Kentucky have failed to generate much enthusiasm. "Foyle's
definitely a power forward in the pros, not a center," says
Hawks scout Jerry Powell. "But can he play facing the basket?
And can he defend a power forward?" As further proof of just how
thin the talent pool is, two extremely raw 6'9" high school
forwards, Lamar Odom of Redemption Christian Academy in Troy,
N.Y., and Tracy McGrady of Mount Zion Christian Academy in
Durham, N.C., are certain first-round picks if they decide to
skip college and enter the draft....Dallas forward Michael
Finley isn't complaining about the extensive dealing done by new
G.M. Don Nelson. Used sparingly before Hurricane Nellie arrived,
Finley has started the last 13 games, averaging 20.4 points, 5.7
rebounds and 3.8 assists....Comedian Billy Crystal has signed
7'7" Bullets center Gheorghe Muresan to star in a movie called
My Giant. But Muresan may not be the NBA's giant for long. Ri
Myong Hun, a 7'8" center from North Korea, is awaiting
permission from the U.S. government for a work visa. He's
considered a bona fide pro prospect....Rockets reserve guard Sam
Mack has never experienced more pain than when he had to undergo
an emergency root canal last week. "I've been shot four times in
my life," Mack says. "But a bullet in the leg is nothing
compared to an abscessed tooth."... Phoenix can lay claim to
being the league's melting pot. In addition to 6'11" center
Horacio Llamas, who on March 2 became the first Mexican-born
player to appear in an NBA game, the Suns also suited up the
first player from Bulgaria, Georgi Glouchkov, who played in 49
games during the 1985-86 season, as well as the first Italian,
Stefano Rusconi, who checked in to seven games last year....A
strained left groin kept Mavericks guard Derek Harper from
playing at Utah on March 5. But fans at the Delta Center still
got a chance to razz Harper, who had spurned a trade to the Jazz
last month with the declaration, "You go live in Utah." During
pregame introductions the public address announcer told the
crowd: "By the way, still playing with Dallas, but not playing
in tonight's game because of injury--Derek Harper." The boos,
naturally, followed.... Remember the original Air Jordans, those
ugly red-white-and-black numbers from 1985? Well, an unused
pair, less than $120 when they were introduced, can now fetch as
much as $2,500 from vintage shoe dealers. Even a used set in
good condition is worth $300. Just one more reason to clean up
your bedroom closet.

This is an article from the March 17, 1997 issue Original Layout

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH Finley's production has soared in the wake of the Mavericks' personnel shuffle. [Michael Finley]COLOR PHOTO: ROCKY WIDNER [Luc Longley]COLOR PHOTO: ANDREW MCCLOSKEY [Pair of flippers]


Bulls center Luc Longley is the NBA's most famous--make that
infamous--bodysurfer. He separated his left shoulder on Nov. 24
while catching a wave in the Pacific Ocean, causing him to miss
18 games. Here are the 7'2", 292-pound Longley's favorite places
to bodysurf (in the off-season, of course).

1 Waimea Shore Break, Oahu, Hawaii
2 Crocodile Point, Broome, Australia
3 The Wedge, Newport Beach, Calif.
4 Paku Paku Basin, Lombok, Indonesia
5 Hahn's Reef, Hermosa Beach, Calif.