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February 04, 1987 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-04

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Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 4, 1987

McCormick fills Philly


Murtf"n Thront-clies
By Adam Martin

Picture third graders at ex-
Michigan basketball coach Johnny
Orr's camp telling what they want
to do with their lives.
"OK, so Joey wants to be an
astronaut and Susie wants to be
president of the United States. Tim,
what do you want to be?"
"I want to play basketball for a
major college team," says Tim. "I
want to be on the Olympic team
and I want to play professional
basketball in the NBA."
Present Philadelphia 76er center
and Michigan graduate Tim
McCormick might never have
known that his third- grade dreams
would come true. Career-threatening
knee injuries in his high school and
early college days could have ended
his aspirations.
"I worked very hard to overcome
these injuries and I feel relieved that
I have been virtually injury-free
since high school and early
college," said McCormick. "In fact,
I don't think I've missed more than
ten games in the last five years."
Injuries have played a major part
in McCormick's stay with the
76ers. Starting 76er center Jeff
Ruland's knee injury has allowed
McCormick to step into the
limelight and average almost 12
points and 7 rebounds per game as
the starting Sixer center this year.
"I realized that I was acquired as
a backup center to Jeff Ruland, but
I knew that he had had some
injuries, and so I figured I might

get my chance at some time during
the year," said the Clarkston native.
McCormick came to
Philadelphia from Seattle, the only
team he had played for in the NBA,
but he had no hard feelings about
leaving the Pacific Northwest.
"I enjoyed two years in Seattle,
but I have always wanted to play
for the 76ers," said McCormick.
"As a kid, I always loved the
Sixers. Every time the 76ers would
be in town, I would go to see them
play the (Detroit) Pistons.
"To now play with Philadelphia
and with players the caliber of
Julius Erving is an honor that I
could have only dreamed of as a
After being drafted 12th in the
1984 draft, McCormick was traded
twice in five minutes before even
playing a game in the NBA. "When
I was traded twice in the first five
minutes, I was extremely confused,
but I later found out that the trade
was pre-planned," said McCormick.
"It didn't really matter to me
because I was just thrilled to be a
part of the NBA."
McCormick's final childhood
dream was aided considerably by his
performance at the Olympic Trials
in the spring of 1984. McCormick
made it to the final cuts, to almost
everyone's surprise, and was named
to an alternate position on the
Bobby Knight-coached team.
"If I could point to one part of
my career where I learned the most,
I would point to the Olympic

Trials. Sure, I was disappointed not
to make the active roster, but to be
able to participate in that type of
atmosphere is something I will
never forget."
McCormick's play during his
senior year gave him the
opportunity to realize his goal of
making the Olympic team. With
the knee problems aside for the first
time in his Michigan career, he was
able to show the Tim McCormick
that he felt could play with the best
of them.
"There was great talent at
Michigan when I was there," said
McCormick. "I liked it a lot, but I
don't really think that I showed
what I could do. I felt I could have
showcased my game more than I
McCormick did showcase his
game in his senior year for the NIT
championship Michigan squad.
After averaging 12.3 ppg and 6 rpg
during the season, McCormick

saved the best for the NIT. He
cranked out a career-high 28 points
in the final against Notre Dame and
took home the MVP trophy.
"I wanted to play in my last year
of eligibility and go to graduate
school, but I didn't get in,"
explained McCormick. "Other than
not getting into the grad school, I
have no regrets about coming to
Michigan. I got to stay with my
parents, which meant a lot to me."
With all three of his goals
accomplished to a certain extent,
what more could McCormick ask
"I don't know," he answered.
"Right now, I'm extremely excited
to play for the Philadelphia 76ers.
That enables me to compete in a
type of basketball that has tradition.
The great rivalry between the Sixers
and the (Boston) Celtics goes back
so far and has such tradition that
I'm just happy to be a part of it.
"I can't ask for more than that."

Sailing im no breeze...
.says the novice mariner
G liding through the shimmering blue waters of the Indian Ocean
aboard the fastest nature-powered boats in the world seems so
glamorous on TV. Especially when the country which gave the
America's Cup its name leads the pack.
But don't let sun, salt, sea or designer sunglasses cloud your
vision. Sailing isn't all glamour. Sure, it combines all the skill,
technique, and perseverance attributed to it by ESPN's expert
commentators Jim Kelly, Gary Jobson, and John Bertrand. But what
the total sports network has failed to explain to millions of viewers,
who never really thought they could watch three hours of sailing
(sailing?), are the basic human foundations behind this glorious water
sport - sunburn and seasickness.
Fun in the sun
I learned first-hand about these stepping stones at 14, on a free-for-
all, work-a-shipload sailing trip in the Virgin Islands. Like any other
arrogant adolescent who wants to experience adult privileges, I
jumped at the chance to vacation for a few weeks in that land of the
the invisible drinking age called the Caribbean.
Before getting sloshed, however, I was singed by the sun and
sickened by the sea. And to this day I don't think there is a worse
torture than sitting on a slow-moving vessel with ultra-violet rays
boiling my flesh while my stomach takes a dip in the environs.
After a week of such cruel and unusual punishment in lands and
waters protected by the constitution, I was ready to surrender and go
Then, just as I squeaked "I can't take it anymore," my sunblisters
popped and my sea legs arrived. No, I didn't send for them in the mail
or purchase them in a house of Caribbean tourist fodder. My sea legs
simply told me my body had finally gotten used to incessant boat-
rocking. All nausea was forgotten, and yeah, I started to tan.
White faced
The one thing I had in common with the bronzed boaters of the
America's Cup was a white face. I too knew the advantages of that
white, gooey stuff called zinc oxide, which adorns all forms of sun-
worshippers and mostly quasi-lifeguards, so I generously applied it as
the package instructed.
After that first hellatious week I learned to sail without
exorbitantly expensive technology or on-board TV cameras. I even
learned how to tie nautical knots. Most important, I learned to
appreciate sailing for what it is - a sport.
Millions who have watched the Race Down Under in 1987 have
only now made this realization. They see perfectonists on both sides,
people who strive to win by driving their boat with brainpower. The
viewers listen to ESPN's cool, calm, clear, and collected commentary
and wish they could learn as much in an hour of everyday life.
Such cerebral stimulation undoubtedly edifies all those who can
stay awake. Contrary to popular misconception, sailing is not boring
and neither is its TV coverage - it's just on kind of late.
Some will argue that because sailing hardly stimulates the optic
nerve, it's useless, except for its elite participants. But the beauty of
sailing resides in its mental dimension: you must understand what 's
going on to appreciate the video highlights. And, thankfully, ESPN
has put a premium on viewer understanding.
But amid all the sailing education going on between 12:00 and
4:00 a.m., ESPN has failed to accurately convey what its like to sail
if you're a plebeian, especially one with fair skin.
Okay, maybe sunburn and seasickness are just too basic to mention
in the same breath with the lingo of the high seas. The problem is
that the superb TV coverage of sailing's finest hour will stir the
adventurous to try it at home.
So while the experts talk about tacks, jibes, spinnakers, rudders,
mainsails, and halyards ad nausem in the clearest of terms, a word
about sunscreens and Dramamine couldn't hurt.





Tonight the LSA Student Government will hold
its weekly meeting in the MSA office on the 3rd
floor of the Union.
The LSA SG is tired of apathetic people criticizing
our efforts to improve student life. Our job is to
serve our needs. If you have a problem, and
you do not tell us about it, how are we to know?
Not one LSA student has attended our meetings
to tell us what is on their mind. When elections
come around, do not blame us if you do not know
what the issues are.
Meeting begins at 6 p.m.
For more information call 763-4799


Tim McCormick, shown here in his Michigan days, has conquered knee
problems and is starting center for the Philadelphia 76ers.



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