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April 19, 1993 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-19

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April19, 1993- Page 15

*F U LL C O UR T.
____________P RE SS
c 1C S - l W S RS
thecenter of attention
by Tim Spolar
Daily Sports Writer _.:..
AUBURN HILLS-- Maybe someone should slip Sonny Vaccaro Rin-
* gling Bros.' phone number.
After what amounted to a three-ring circus at Magic's Roundball Classic,
the Nike vice president, who founded and organized the event, would have
enough personal references to fill a clown car..
To be certain, the event was filled with players who will excite college
crowds across the nation next year and even some who will make it to the
pro ranks. But the hoopla surrounding a group of 22 high schoolers -
granted, All-America high schoolers - bordered on the inane. Seemingly
anyone identifying themselves as autograph hounds were granted access to
the lockerroom area.
However, at the center of the swirling mass of attention was one Earvin
"Magic" Johnson. And where the co-captain of-the Dream Team chooses to
tread, quality and class are never far behind.
In a charity event, obligatory praise for the organizers and financial sup-
porters is the status quo. But Magic went beyond the run-of-the-mill, offer-
ing a heartfelt thanks to those who put themselves out for the benefit of or-
ganizations close to his heart.
"Let me thank all of the players for coming," Johnson said, "because
without them here, there'd be no game. Let me thank also the Pistons' orga-
nization: Tom (Wilson, team president), Matt (Dobek, public relations di-
rector) did a beautiful job, and just the entire Pistons' organization for get-
*ting behind them and letting us use this beautiful building ... my hat goes
off to the Piston organization. You talk about championships, you talk about
all the things they have given to Michigan, but they got behind this game
and really supported it. They gave us everything they had.
But Magic continued with his praise, turning to both the high school
stars and Michigan's basketball squad with repeated adulation.
"How many times are you going to get the chance to see all this talent on
one court?" Johnson queried. "You know all of them will go on to be great
college players, and even some of them you might be watching at the Uni-
versity of Michigan, so you guys can keep your fingers crossed and Jud
(Heathcote, Michigan State's coach) and I will just have our heads down ...
I mean, can you imagine five freshmen? That's unheard of what they did
last year, and then they came back and did it again this year."
Filling the archetype of wise old sage, he went on to comment on the
prospects of bending Chris Webber's ear about his upcoming decision pro-
cess on turning pro.
"I'm sure we'll talk, but my advice is that he has to do what his heart
feels," Johnson said. "He has to talk to his family and see what he wants to
do. I'm not advising him one way or another. If he asks my opinion, I'll
give it to him.",
Donning other hats, Magic expounded on the state of today's players
(very talented but lacking in intelligence and desire), his goal of owning a
team (on which he hopes to have an "announcement" in the next couple of
weeks), and social commentary on the need for organizations such as Boys
and Girls Clubs as a means of curbing the drugs and violence rampant
among today's youth.
Perhaps in the midst of the afternoon's madness, Magic's most fitting
role was that of ringmaster, coordinating an impromptu post-game dunk
contest while encouraging the crowd to join in with the sound system in
singing "Jump Around," "Jump," and "Hip Hop Hooray."
For those few moments, Magic was again on top of the basketball heap,
one of the greatest entertainers on Earth, bringing the crowd to its feet.

High schoolers display magic in Classic
Michigan recnitCmwfoid shines,fries to direc Jones and Fod to playforMichigan

by Ken Davidoff
Daily Basketball Writer
AUBURN HILLS - If it's true
what those over the age of 25 say -
that high school seems like nothing
more than a big blur - then this
won't be any more than a slight
twitch.
In a contest that seemed to go at a
quicker pace than the guy from the
old Federal Express commercials,
the West defeated the East, 131-95,
in the inaugural edition of Magic's
Roundball Classic at the Palace of
Auburn Hills.
Rashard Griffith of Chicago, who
was recruited by Michigan but chose
to attend Wisconsin, captured Most
Valuable Player honors for the West,
while Rasheed Wallace, who last
week announced his intention to
attend North Carolina, won the
award for the losers. Michigan re-
cruit Bobby Crawford of Houston
scored seven points and contributed
a game-high 10 assists.
The game had enough fast breaks
and alley-oops to last an entire col-
lege basketball season. The players
committed a total of 49 turnovers,
and they attempted 205 field goals.
"We wanted to make it fun for
them and make it fun for the crowd,"
said Johnson, who coached each
team for a half, "and I thought that
the West was able to do that, while
the East side turned it over way too
many times. ... Anytime you get
young, spirited players out there,
they're gonna go out there and dunk
and have a good time."
The players, among the best of
their class, did indeed dunk and have
a good time. For the record, Wallace
led all scorers with 30 points, and
Jerald Honeycutt of Grambling, La.,
as of now uncommitted, paced the
victors with 20.
But the score didn't seem to con-
cern fans as much as who was
headed where. Michigan fans,
prominent throughout the Palace
crowd, did their best to welcome
Crawford and to encourage recruits
Avondre Jones and Charles
O'Bannon of Lakewood Artesia
High School in California and
Sylvester Ford, II of Fairley High
School in Memphis, Tenn. to join
Crawford in Ann Arbor next year.
Crawford, who chipped in to the

large turnover count with nine of his
own - also a game-high - made
an open effort to befriend his fellow
recruits, most notably Jones. While
the teams warmed up before the
match, Crawford tossed a ball
around with the 6-foot-11 power
forward, and the pair posed for many
photos after the game.
"We talk about it all the time,"
Crawford said of Jones' pending de-
cision. "I think he's coming to
Michigan."
Jones indicated he would proba-
bly announce his choice one week
from today, and he said that
Michigan did indeed rank as one of
his top choices, along with Southern
California. He also said that
Wolverine forward Chris Webber's
decision on turning professional
would not affect his decision, and he
hinted that he doubted that his high
school teammate O'Bannon would
select the Wolverines.
Ford, who has Memphis State
and Arkansas at the .top of his list,
also ranked Michigan as "real high."
Much like Jones, he was heavily
pursued by Crawford, at this point
the Wolverines' most influential
recruiter.
"He talked to me and Avondre
about it," Ford said. "He was telling
me how we could be like another
Fab Three.' I guess he wants some-
body to play with for the next four or
three years."
Jones had nine points and five
rebounds, while Ford contributed
eight points and seven assists.
O'Bannon, who riled up the crowd
with fantastic dunks and blown
slams, had 11 points and five
rebounds.
Michigan coach Steve Fisher and
assistant Perry Watson ranked
among the many coaches in atten-
dance. Seton Hall's P.J. Carlesimo,
USC's George Raveling, Memphis
State's Lary Finch and Wisconsin' s
Stu Jackson also showed up. Fisher
could not comment on any of the
uncommitted players, but he ex-
pressed pleasure with Crawford's
play.
"Bobby Crawford will be a very
tenacious defender," Fisher said.
"He's got good quickness, and be
plays extremely hard, so he'll be a
guy that you can stick on a scorer on
another team and I'll think he'll do a
good job defensively."

DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily

High school senior Charles O'Bannon attempts to slam in the dunk contest
that followed Magic's Roundball Classic. O'Bannon helped the West team
to a 131-95 victory in the Classic's first year at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

MICHIGAN SPORTS ROUNDUP:
Women runners claim two firsts at Kansas; water polo wins Big Tens

by J.L. Rostam-Abadi
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's track and
field team concluded its four-day
competition at the Kansas Relays in
Lawrence, Kan., yesterday, coming
home with two event victories in ad-
dition to several top place finishes.
Wolverine junior Molly McCli-
mon won the i500m run last Friday
with a time of 4:30.6. The Michigan
distance medley relay team claimed
first Saturday (11:32.61).
Top Wolverines in the field

events last weekend included senior
Julie Victor and sophomore Carrie
Stewart. Victor finished third in the
discus, bettering her team season-
best mark with a 48.12m throw,
while Stewart placed third in the
javelin with a throw of 45.56m.
Michigan placed in the distance
events with sophomore Kelly Chard
finishing second in the 10,000m run
(36:05.0), and senior Amy Buchholz
finish ing third in the 5,000m with a.
Michigan season-best time of
17:34.7. Courtney Babcock was

second in the 3,00m (9:45.33).
In the sprints, Wolverine junior
Richelle Webb finished runner-up in
the 200m dash (24.6).
WOMEN'S WATER POLO: The
Wolverines laid waste to its con-
ference foes to win the Big Ten title
in Evanston last weekend. In yester-
day's championship game, Michigan
prevailed, 5-0, over Illinois.
The Wolverines were led by tour-
nament MVP Candice Russell and
her 15 goals in the tournament. Se-
nior captain Lori Barnard, who

joined Russell and Michigan goalie
Justine Sarver on the all-tourney
team, led Michigan with 17 tallies.
In the six-game title run, Michigan
outscored its opposition, 72-10.
"The biggest thing was it was an
excellent opportunity for all of our
players to play in big games," Mi-
chigan coach Scott Russell said.
Next on the itinerary for Michi-
gan is the Midwest regional champ-
ionships this weekend at Canham
Natatorium. It is a qualifier for the
national championship.

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