The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 18,1991- Page 3
H ig gins
The former Wolverine talks about his
adjustment to the NBA and his future
Former Wolverine basketball
player Sean Higgins decided to pass
on his senior season and enter the
NBA draft a year early. Originally
*projected as a possible first-round
draft pick, Higgins was not selected
until the 54th pick (the last overall
selection in the draft) by the San An-
tonio Spurs. He contributed to the
Wolverines' national championship
in 1989, and was a starter last sea-
son for Michigan, finishing fourth
on the team in scoring. Daily Sports
Writer Eric Sklar caught up with
Higgins before a recent Spurs game.
* Daily: How have you been ad-
justing from college to the NBA?
Higgins: It's been pretty
smooth actually. You know, (San
Antonio) Coach (Larry) Brown has
been a big help to me, basketball-
wise. I've had a chance to really
get adjusted to playing against
smarter and more mature basket-
ball players, and I think that's
helped my game also, just to be
Wable to watch and be out on the
same floor with them. I think the
adjustment has been smooth. I
mean, I'm a basketball player, so I
think it was an easy adjustment.
I'm still adjusting. The travel is
hard, but I'm used to that now.
D: What you've done so far is
much longer than a college bas-
s H: Definitely. We play just
about three college seasons at this
level. But it's fun. This is what I
want to do. Basketball is my life
right now, and you only get to do
this once in a lifetime, and it's go-
ing to be cut short pretty soon, so I
try to make the best of it.
D: Even though you are a
rookie, are you comfortable with
the situation you are in now - go-
ing from a starter at Michigan to
coming off the bench with the
H: This is the way I look at it:
I'm on one of the best teams in the
NBA. We have one of the best
records and some great players. I
lookat it as if I was on a subpar
team I might be playing more
minutes, maybe even starting, be-
cause I think that I proved that I
can play at this level. Being in
San Antonio is a great opportunity
for me because we have a chance
to win a world championship, and
that's kind of good. I'm in a good
situation actually. I'm not looking
to come in my first year and domi-
nate the league or anything like
that. It's a learning process, and I
think every rookie goes through
that, whether they're playing a lot
D: What things do you feel you
have to work on to help you adjust
to the NBA style of play?
H: I think that one thing I want
to do this summer is pick up some
more weight. I weigh about 215
now, I've picked up about ten
pounds since college. I want to get
up to about 225 so I can play the
forward position. That's a goal of
mine. I try to set goals for myself
each summer, to challenge myself.
D: How has the situation with
playing time been for you?
H: The last couple of games,
my time has been cut down a little
bit, but then he (Brown) pushed
me back up in the rotation a cou-
ple games ago. I get a lot of confi-
dence when he does that, when I
play a lot like that. It's been fun.
You know, that's what I want to
do, play basketball. I'm the type of
guy who doesn't want to sit on the
bench, but I'll sit there and learn.
I'm not the type of guy who'll sit
there and mope.
late in the second round? A lot of
people thought you would go
higher in the draft than you did.
H: Yeah, a lot of people did,
and that was one of the reasons
why I came out. A lot of people
told me that I was definitely going
to go in the first round, but I guess
whatever happened, happened.
You know, once I got picked, my
eyes kind of lit up because I'm a
competitor, I'm a fighter, and I
don't give up. So I went into rookie
camp and tried to play my butt off.
I came into training camp in shape
and tried to play my butt off there,
and it paid off.
D: What are some of the goals
you've set for yourself as your ca-
like being an All-Star or anything
H: Yeah, I do. I set high expec-
tations for myself personally.
That's one of them. When I came
into this league I said 'I don't want
to be a marginal player. I want to
be a standout,' and that's my goal.
D: You said before that if you
weren't on such a good team that
you probably would be playing
more, but do you think that you are
in a good situation with the Spurs?
H: Definitely. And I don't want
to leave San Antonio. I love the
city. I bought a house down there,
and I'm there to stay. Even if I end
up getting traded or something, I'm
still going to live in San Antonio. I
fell in love with the city. So I re-
ally don't want to leave the orga-
'You know, everyone
knows that you make
a lot of money playing
this game, whatever,
but I wanted to play
pro basketball. I felt
that the time was
right for me. That was
basically it. There
was nothing else
really, no other
factors besides that '
D: Besides weight lifting in the
summer and that type of stuff,
what else do you plan to do to help
yourself adjust to the NBA?
H: Well, this summer I'll be
back in Ann Arbor going to school.
I'll be going to school this summer
working on that degree, because
that's one thing, you know, that
you can't live without, I feel. That
was one thing I promised myself
when I left school early, that I was
going to obtain a degree.
D: How far are you from your
H: I'm about 40-45 credits
away. A year, a year and a half.
D: A degree in what?
H: Communications. Sports
management and communications.
Then I want to take it a little far-
ther after that, and go to graduate
school and do some things when I
get time. This is a hectic schedule
here, but I'll be back there. I miss
school actually. I miss the college
life. I didn't think I would until I
left. I miss all the campus get-to-
gethers and things like that, the
social life. I miss that.
D: Do you plan to go into
communications when your career
is over? Do you want to go into
H: Yeah, I think so. I think that
broadcasting is something that I
really want to get into. I haven't
had a chance really to weigh any
options, one way or another, but
that's something I might want to
Voice of 'M' hockey
shares in rise to top
Ken Kal doesn't wear a Michigan hockey player's uniform. He-
doesn't even show up for practice very often. And his name is not
noted anywhere in the lists of former or current players. Yet, Kal, the
voice of Michigan hockey, feels so indoctrinated in the program that
he doesn't mind if the coach criticizes him.
Red Berenson may tell Kal "great game" after listening to the tape
of a broadcast. He hears him when reviewing the team's videotape of
a game, which uses Kal's WPZA (1050 AM) broadcast for audio. He
isn't afraid to criticize Kal either.
"I look at myself as one of his players, and he just wants to help
me out - even if it means criticizing me," Kal said. "He was a friend
of Dan Kelly (the late voice of the St. Louis Blues, considered to be
the best play-by-play man ever). If he has some advice, and he knows
I would like to try this out as a career, he'll pass along the
Lately, Kal's performances have warranted praise - and it comes
just when more and more listeners are tuning in to see what Michigan
hockey is all about. Along with Drew McCaughey, his partner of two
years, Kal will broadcast Friday, Saturday, and possibly Sunday from
Boston, telling avid supporters of Michigan's bid for the NCAA Final
In seven years of calling the trials of the hockey team, these
games will be the biggest of Kal's career. And while he has nothing to
do with the outcome of any game, his career has closely paralleled
that of Red and the Michigan hockey team.
When Kal began broadcasting the Wolverines, the team was in the
pits - and he claims his broadcasting wasn't far behind. Aside from a
couple high school games, Kal had never called a hockey game. He
was working as a disc jockey at WAAM, which had rights to the
broadcasts until WPZA grabbed them last year.
"If you heard the first couple of games I did, oh gosh, it awful,"
Kal laughed. "The whole thing at that time with Michigan hockey -
with the radio station picking up games and Red starting to turn,
around the program was: 'let's try to get the bugs out now so once the
team is turned around, we'll be doing a top notch job."'
4 4> 4. *
D: What factors went into your
decision to leave Michigan early?
H: Well, actually, I wanted to
play professional basketball. You
know, everyone knows that you
make a lot of money playing this
game, whatever, but I wanted to
play pro basketball. I felt that the
time was right for me. It was unfor-
tunate where I got drafted, no one
really thought that, but I made the
best out of it. That was basically it.
I wanted to play pro basketball.
There was nothing else really, no
other factors besides that.
D: Were you somewhat worried
that you didn't get drafted until so
reer goes on?
H: As I did at Michigan, I want
to win a championship at this level
too. I mean, that's the ultimate
goal. Like I said, championship is
one. I think that should be a
player's ultimate goal at this level.
I don't have too many individual
goals. I think that if I go ahead and
work hard each summer and come
back better than I was the previous
year, I think that the individual
goals will speak for themselves.
Championships are all that's on
my mind. I want to win as many
championships as Bird and Magic.
D: What about personal goals,
by Ken Sugiura
Daily Sports Writer
To get to Austin, Texas, and
Indianapolis, sites of the upcoming
men's and women's NCAA
Swimming and Diving Champi-
onships, both Michigan diving
squads had to travel a rather cir-
Diving coach Dick Kimball
took his teams to Columbus this
weekend for the NCAA Zone C
.Diving Meet, where the Wolver-
ines, four from the men's team and
seven from the women's, at-
tempted to qualify.
When the meet ended, Lisa
Cribari and Margie Stoll found
themselves with spots at next
week's NCAAs, while the men
came home with two qualifiers as
well, Steve Hamerski and Eric
"They did a really good job.
They dove really well," Kimball
said of his divers, qualifiers and
e divers plunge
non-qualifiers both. Their final victory at 3-meter.
placings, many of them just off the "It's a pretty b
qualifying places, attested to of qualifying. "It'
Michigan's depth and talent. you have to get th
On the women's side, success In addition, re
was inversely proportional to board Lesser found his K
height. At the 1-meter board, spot at the NCA
Michigan nabbed two of five spots. into the sixth sp
Lisa Cribari claimed the top spot, event. Lesser1
while Margie Stoll was close be- earned a place at
hind in third. Cinnamon Woods the 3-meter by m
was not so lucky, finishing sixth,
one place out of qualifying.
At 3-meters, the Maize and
Blue missed out on the party. Only
three places were available, and
Michigan failed to capture any of
them. The Wolverines' highest
placer was Cribari at sixth, fol-
lowed by Whitney Scherer in ninth
Hamerski highlighted the per-
formance of the four men's divers.
The senior secured two spots in the
NCAA Championships with a fifth Cr bar i
place on the 1-meter board and a
ig relief," he said
's just something
.dshirt frosh Eric
way to his second
As as he snuck
ot at the 1-meter
t the NCAAs for
neeting the quali-
fying standard at the Big Ten
Championships in Indianapolis.
The Wolverines' other two
divers, Brad Lambert and Jeff
Jozwiak, were on the wrong end of
close calls. Lambert finished sev-
enth on the 1-meter board, one
place out of qualifying, while
Jozwiak ended in fifth on the 3-
meter board, .5 of a pointhout of
fourth place, which was the last
Infcritiquing his teams' perfor-
mance in Columbus, Kimball
found much to be pleased with,
though Lady Luck did not seem to
be on the Wolverines' side.
For the women, it was an im-
provement from last year, when
only Amy Hansen, since gradu-
ated, qualified. an the men's side,
the performance was noteworthy
for while the two qualifiers did not
match last year's three seniors,
Bill Hayes, Mike Bayerl, and Lee
While WPZA does not circulate as far into metro Detroit as
WAAM, Michigan hockey broadcasts have received more support,
which includes letting McCaughey work as color man.
"Without a doubt, I can honestly say that Drew has been the best
partner I've had," said Kal, who can list about as many sidekicks as
the Red Wings can coaches.
Broadcasting Michigan hockey is not Kal's full-time job. Instead,
you'll find him working regular 9-5 days in Plymouth at Caremark
Homecare as a protropin specialist, a growth hormone for growth
hormone deficient children. Kal comes to Ann Arbor every Tuesday to
host the Red Berenson Show at Bicycle Jim's, and for sixth months of,
the year his Friday and Saturday nights are spent travelling with the
"Ken is so dedicated, working two jobs and all," said McCaughey,
whose younger brother, Brad, played with the Wolverines from 1985- R
88. "Since he's been announcing here for so long, he knows
everything about the program which really shows in the broadcasts."
While Kal loves his second job, he also does it for a reason. He
remembers as a teenager staying home with his father on Saturday
nights to eat pizza and watch Hockey Night in Canada. And someday,
Kal hopes he will spend a hockey night in Canada, calling the play-.
by-play of an NHL team.
"It's hard to broadcast hockey well, especially with the speed of
the game" Kal said. "Down the road I want to be one of those people.
who can do it well enough to make the NHL."
There's a little formula Kal keeps reminding himself: "Success is
desire over obstacles."
He keeps plugging away, studying tapes to polish his techniques.
Many players on the Michigan team have aspirations to play in the
pros. Kal, always willing to take coach's criticisms, considers himself,
And maybe one day, he too will make it to The Show.
DETROIT (AP) - Former De-
troit Lions standout Billy Sims
Sims, the Lions' all-time leading
rusher, filed for bankruptcy in July
tional Bank and Business Trade Cen-
ter of Lansing for water purifiers at a
Detroit-area company Sims started,
Continued from page 1
three runs on only four hits whip
walking four and striking out nine
The loss evened Brock's record at Za
2 on the season.