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April 08, 1987 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-08

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Page 10- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 8, 1987

Reliford waits for
Former Wolverine
stranded in CBA




. ?r


Since leaving the University of
Michigan last May, Richard
Rellford has had nothing but
disappointments in his pursuit of a
professional basketball career.
After a standout career at
Michigan, in which he helped the
Wolverines win two Big Ten titles
and the National Invitational
Tournament Championship by
averaging 9.8 points and 3.9
rebounds per game, Rellford
expected to be at least a second-
round draft pick in the 1986 NBA
Things were not so rosy for
him, however, as he wasn't selected
until the fifth round, by the Indiana
"I was disappointed going in the
fifth because Milwaukee called and
said they'd take me in the second
round," said Rellford in a telephone
interview earlier this week.
THE BULKY Rellford (6-6,
235) then played in the Central
Division's summer mini-camp,
where he was the Pacers' leading
scorer. Mysteriously, Rellford was
not invited to the Pacers'
rookie/free agent camp. "I was
surprised," said Rellford.
"Especially since I heard they were
looking for me two days before
According to Rellford's agent,
Dr. Charles Tucker, what probably
happened was "when they changed
coaches and Jack Ramsey took
over, he didn't have a chance to
look at Rellford. The whole
situation changed when Jack took
over." .
Ramsey has been reported as
saying, however, that Rellford was
not invited to camp because he
"will never be able to play/in the
NBA. He's a power forward trapped
in a small forward's body."
Rellford responds, "That's what
they told Charles Barkley and Mark

Rellford signed with the Tampa Bay
Thrillers of the Continental
Basketball Association. He came
off the bench for Tampa after being
unable to break a tough front line,
which included former NBA players
Michael Brooks, Gary Plummer,
Don Collins, and Ken Green.
"It's harder (to play in the CBA)
than people think it is because
you're playing against pro players,
but at a different level," said
After ten games, a cash
transaction sent Rellford to the
Rockford Lightning.
At Rockford, Rellford made an
immediate impact, leading the 22-
26 Lightning team into the Western
Conference finals against
Cincinnati. In the opening round,
Rockford defeated defending Western
Conference champion LaCrosse,
with Rellford leading the team in
scoring in six of the seven games.
FOR THE season, Rellford
averaged 19.9 points and 4.6
rebounds per game, splitting time
at small and power forward.
Rellford was also among the league
leaders in field goal percentage,
making 55 percent.
"Rellford's been fantastic for us
all year," said David Abrams,
Director of Operations for the
Lightning. "He's been one of the
main cogs for us the entire season.
"He's also a community
responsible person and has gone on
numerous speaking engagements
for us," added Abrams.
Rellford, however, still has a
burning desire to play in the NBA.
"I think it's just a matter of time.
We're in the playoffs and I'm
averaging 26 points and eight
rebounds. This is just one of those
things that takes time."
His agent said, "If he loses about
ten more pounds, I think he'll get a
shot somewhere. We hope that
some teams will see how well he's
been playing in the playoffs and
invite him to camp."

Doily Photo
Former Wolverine Richard Rellford, who helped the Wolverines win two Big Ten cham-
pionships, hopes to bring his act to the NBA someday.
Miechian karate club
wel-omes famed visitor

Nightmare ends...
...Higgins signs today
Sean Higgins hopes to author a new and happier
chapter of his life today with one quick stroke of a
pen. When the Los Angeles high school basketball
phenom signs a national letter of intent - for the
second time - he can sigh in relief.
This time Higgins will sign under his own
volition. The pressure from his parents and from
college recruiters will become a bad memory.
"I'm finally going to get it over with," said
Higgins last week. "All that stuff (the events
surrounding his recruitment) will be behind me."
THAT STUFF composes one of the most
bizarre recruiting tales ever. Selection of the right
school is difficult under normal circumstances.
Higgins faced intense pressure from his mother to
stay close to home and from his father, who lives in
Detroit, to come to Michigan.
He decided to play for the Wolverines - or so he
thought. The day before the early signing period in
November, Higgins told his choice to his sister and
natural father. But Higgins' 6-9,250-pound stepfather
intervened with a baseball bat and ordered Higgins to
sign with UCLA.
Add to the family struggle alleged illegal
inducements by a UCLA alumnus, the mysterious
payment of the stepfather's back taxes on the day
Higgins signed with the Bruins, and a Sports
Illustrated investigative article, and one has the
necessary elements for a soap opera. Last month, the
NCAA voided Higgins' original letter of intent.
"The NCAA investigator told me if I wasn't
telling the truth, I should be a screenplay writer," said
A happy ending in the final act of his ordeal
should end the pressure he has endured for months:
Although re-approached by such luminary and rule:
abiding academic institutions as UNLV and
Kentucky, Higgins is more than content to sign with
Michigan - his choice all along.
DURING TROUBLED times last November,
Higgins never gave in. He could have abided by his
mother's wishes, taken the alleged illegal
inducements from UCLA, and remained silent. But
Higgins wanted to dominate his life like he dominates
action on the basketball court. He moved out of his
mother's home when he turned 18.
"Ithink what he has done has shown a lot of
courage and character, because he complained he was
forced into it (signing with UCLA). Instead of letting
it die, he went out and proved it," said Michigan head
coach Bill Frieder. "He must have proved it without a
doubt, or they wouldn't have released him."
There are no doubts about Higgins' basketball
skills. He led his Fairfax High School team with a
27-point scoring average. Fairfax won the Los
Angeles city championship, and many believe
Higgins is the finest prep player the city ever has
produced. The 6-8 swingman moves on the court like
his favorite professional player, Magic Johnson.
Higgins enjoys the comparison and the
accompanying pressure. "All the pressure on me will
affect me in a positive way," said Higgins. "I think
there is going to be a lot of pressure because of high
expectations, but I think I can handle it and rise to the
The pressure to perform cannot compare to his
ordeal. Higgins is finally content. He is working out
his differences with his mother and stepfather.
Thoughts of school and of playing with Gary Grant
and the other Wolverines fill his head. Higgins passed
Proposition 48 and is considering majoring in
He wants to communicate a message to Wolverine
faithful about next season. "I will be playing hard.
There is no doubt about that," said Higgins. "I don't
want the fans to expect a Michael Jordan or somebody
like that. There is only one Jordan, and there's only
one (Magic) Johnson. But there is only one Sean
Higgins, too."
Grant's successor?
Higgins won't be the only player signing with
Michigan today. Kirk Taylor of Dayton Dunbar High
School also is expected to commit. The 6-3, 175-
pound guard is regarded as one of the top players in
Ohio. His high school team won the state

"Taylor is the most complete guard we'll have
come to Michigan since Gary Grant," said Wolverine
assistant coach Dave Hammer.
Chris Seter of Wisconsin completes the recruiting
class. The 6-9 forward committed during the early
signing period.






The man who first taught karate in the
United States visited the University of
Michigan Karate Club yesterday, leading the
38-member club in a series of exercises,
lectures and demonstrations.
Tsutomu Ohshima is head instructor of
Shotokan Karate of America, the
organization devoted to teaching the form of
karate that the Michigan Karate Club
"The mind never gets tired if it is
strong... the body always wants to follow a
'strong mind... let mind lead body..."
stressed Ohshima over and over. Ohshima
proved his point countless times,
demonstrating how persons of any size or
strength can defend themselves against
bigger opponents.
Because of time limitations, Ohshima

demonstrated many techniques but could
only practice each a couple of times. He said
that in order to become good, however, one
must practice each move 400 times a day.
One move that stuck in the minds of the
audience was his demonstration of a simple
stomp to the feet of an attacker bear hugging
someone from behind.
Karate was brought from Okinawa to
Japan in 1922 by Master Gichin Funakoshi,
the father of modern karate. One of
Funakoshi's greatest pupils, Ohshima, then
brought the art to the United States in 1955.
In 1963, John Teramoto began studying
with Ohshima. Teramoto is now the senior
instructor of the Michigan Karate Club.
Those interested in joining the Karate
Club can contact any of the four black belts
- John Teramoto, Robbie Haas, Brad
Pollack, and Dean Askounis - or attend one
of the club's meetings.


The Michigan softball team is
riding high after its series against
Ohio State in which the Wolverines
won three out of four. Michigan
faces Toledo today at 3:00 at the
Varsity 'Softball Diamond.
The Wolverines are looking to
improve upon their 11-8 record.
The excellent pitching of Vicki

face Toledo
Morrow (6-4 and an 0.77 ERA; 2-0
in the Ohio State series) and the hot
hitting of All-American catcher
Alicia Seegert (.426 with 11 RBIs;
11-for-1S, four RBIs against Ohio)
should be a big help in achieving
The softball -team is also
counting on the much-improved bat
of freshman infielder Jenny Allard.
Allard has overcome her early
season slump and hit well in the
Ohio State games. She is batting
.286 and is third on the team in
RBIs with 7.
Rounding out the pitching staff
will be junior Michelle Bolster.
Against Ohio State she gave up
only 2 runs (both unearned) in 12
1/3 innings, but still managed to
come away with a 1-1 record. Her
season record is 4-4 with an
impressive 1.84 ERA.


Baseball still shows racial
prejudice, says Hank Aaron


ATLANTA (AP)- Hank Aaron,
baseball's home run king, said Tuesday that
Dodgers executive Al Campanis' observation
that blacks may not have all that it takes to
run a major league team is an example that
the game still has racial prejudice at its top
Campanis, the Los Angeles' vice
president of player personnel, was asked on
ABC-TV's "Nightline" Monday night why
there are no black field managers and few
blacks in baseball management positions.
"I don't believe it's prejudice," Campanis
said. "I truly believe they (blacks) may not
have some of the necessities to be, let's say,
a field manager or perhaps a general

manager. I don't say all of them, but how
many quarterbacks, how many pitchers do
you have that are black?"
AARON, now an executive with the
Atlanta Braves, said, "I think Mr. Campanis
is fairly intelligent, but when he makes
statements like that, I think he has his head
buried in the sand. He believes that blacks
are not capable enough or intelligent enough
to run a baseball team, and his belief is not
different than any of the other owners.
"I've been hoping that things would
change for the last ten years. But I don't see
any signs of hope because you still have
people like Campanis with his beliefs."


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