| DIED |
At age 65 following a heart attack, Giorgio Chinaglia, the Italian striker who won four NASL titles and scored a record 243 goals for the New York Cosmos from 1976 through '83. The Cosmos had bigger names in Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer, but Chinaglia (above) was the scoring sensation who came to the U.S. during his prime (following a standout career for Lazio and the Azzurri) and delivered on the field and in the media. "I'm uncoachable," he once told SI. "That's because I know more than the stupid coaches." Chinaglia was a fixture at Studio 54 during its heyday and embraced his adopted country, even as Italian papers kept calling him in New Jersey. "The quotes were always on page 1," Chinaglia said. "The Pope? He was on page 3."
| DISCOVERED |
By Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, that she has a treatable form of facial paralysis called Bell's palsy. Mulkey, 49, first noticed a "weird" feeling in her tongue while she was in Des Moines for two NCAA regional games in late March, then noticed in a mirror that her smile was crooked and that her left eye was drooping. Doctors ordered an MRI and diagnosed her ailment, a rapid-onset nerve disorder that affects the facial muscles. Symptoms such as light sensitivity and drooping (of which Mulkey joked, "I'm just another ugly coach") are expected to disappear with treatment. In the meantime Mulkey has continued to coach, including during a 59--47 win over Stanford on Sunday in the national semifinal. The Lady Bears played Notre Dame on Tuesday for the championship.
April 9, 2012
| WON |
By Oklahoma State, the school's first women's NIT championship, 75--68 over James Madison, four months after the death of head coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna in a plane crash. WNIT MVP Toni Young, a junior forward, scored 25 points to lead OSU, which played six straight home games to win the title. Before the final last Saturday, men's basketball coach Travis Ford and his wife, Heather, bought 400 tickets for the game, which they distributed free to students. Afterward, women's coach Jim Littell, a former assistant who took over following the November accident that killed Budke, Serna and program supporters Olin and Paula Branstetter, invited Budke's widow, Shelley, to help cut down the net. "Our group decided in November that we were going to pay honor," Littell said. "I don't think there's any question that these young ladies paid honor and did things right."
| DIED |
At age 58 of unknown causes, ultrarunning pioneer Micah True (below), who was reported missing on March 27 after he failed to return from a planned 12-mile trek in the rugged Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. After a search by teams from across the state, True's body was discovered last Saturday beside a stream, with no obvious signs of trauma. True, also known as Caballo Blanco, was a featured character in Chris McDougall's 2009 bestseller, Born to Run, which chronicled True's running exploits among the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico's remote Copper Canyon. True remained a supporter of the Indian community and an inspiration to ultrarunners everywhere. Said McDougall of the infectious joy True brought to his running, "It was utter playfulness."
| DIED |
At age 79 of cancer, former NHL All-Star winger Ron Stewart, who scored 276 goals over 21 years while playing for the Bruins, Blues, Rangers, Canucks, Islanders and, for 13 seasons, the Leafs, with whom he won three Stanley Cups (1961--62 through '63--64). Stewart (right) was best known for an off-the-ice incident in '70 in which he and Hall of Fame goalie Terry Sawchuk, then his Rangers teammate, got into a shoving match. Sawchuk fell, injuring his gallbladder and liver, and despite three surgeries died of a blood clot a month later. (Sawchuk is said to have taken responsibility for the fight, and a grand jury found the death to be accidental.) Stewart played three more years after the incident and coached the Rangers ('75--76) and Kings ('77--78) before leaving the game.
| WON |
By the Beijing Ducks, the team's first Chinese Basketball Association title, behind a standout Finals performance from point guard Stephon Marbury. The former NBA All-Star fouled out with 1:20 left in last Friday's decisive Game 5, but not before scoring 41 points, and the Ducks went on to upset the defending champion Guangdong Tigers 124--121. Beijing took the best-of-seven series 4--1, with Marbury averaging 33.4 ppg. Following a 13-year NBA career that was at times contentious, polarizing and just plain bizarre (memorably, he once live-streamed himself online for 24 hours), Marbury, 35, moved to China in 2010, remaking himself as a gritty, selfless leader and winning over fans with his openness. "This has been an incredible experience," said a tearful Marbury—who reached the playoffs five times in the NBA without winning a ring—following the series. "We have been blessed as a team."
| ADOPTED |
By the London Underground for the 2012 Olympics, a subway map that replaces traditional tube-stop names with those of past Olympians and renames train lines after the Games' sports. Represented are 91 Americans, including all 12 members of the 1992 Dream Team. (Even Christian Laettner.) In other words, to go from the Olympic Village (Michael Phelps) to Madame Tussaud's just take the Pool Events line toward Fu Minxia/Sebastian Coe, changing at Carl Lewis to the Field line, toward Sergey Bubka/Al Oerter, and disembarking at Daley Thompson.
[The following text appears within a map. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual map.]
NHL-record overtime goals scored in 2011--12 by Lightning F Steven Stamkos, whose latest extra-time score beat the Jets 3--2 last Saturday.
Games played in March by the Clippers (11--9) due to schedule-tightening after the lockout. That's the most played in one month by an NBA team since the Cincinnati Royals (8--12) in 1967.
Cost of the Carnegie Deli's new Tim Tebow--inspired sandwich, the Jetbow: 3½ pounds of roast beef, pastrami, corned beef, American cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato on white bread.
Days in jail to which a 21-year-old British university student was sentenced for having tweeted "LOL ... he's dead" after Bolton soccer player Fabrice Muamba collapsed mid-game from a nonfatal heart attack on March 17.
Purse claimed on Sunday, April Fool's Day, by the owners of Calimonco, winner of Santa Anita's inaugural Sidd Finch Stakes. The one-mile turf race was named after George Plimpton's fictional ballplayer who appeared in SI's pages 27 years earlier as a hoax.
NBA PLAYERS POLL
Which current player would make the best coach?
DEREK FISHER, THUNDER PG 11%
JASON KIDD, MAVERICKS PG 11%
STEVE NASH, SUNS PG 10%
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS, CLIPPERS PG 7%
SHANE BATTIER, HEAT SF 7%
Clippers PG Chris Paul also received 7% of the vote.... Celtics PG Rajon Rondo is the youngest (26) of the 34 players named.... The Raptors' Jamaal Magloire (1%) was the only true center named. Meanwhile, 61% of the votes went to guards.... Fisher (who doubles as president of the NBPA) was signed by Oklahoma City on March 21 and has since mentored rookie reserve PG Reggie Jackson, who says Fisher "changed the locker room already. He [talks] me through every moment ... lets me ask questions, and he's always willing to give advice." ... In a similar poll on Facebook, Nash (37%) edged out Fisher (36%) for the top spot.
BASED ON 130 NBA PLAYERS WHO RESPONDED TO SI'S SURVEY