Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey on February 2, 1993 · Page 26
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Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey · Page 26

Asbury Park, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 2, 1993
Page 26
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: D2 Asbury Park Press Tuesday, February 2, 1993 I' HrcHIMitriltaic, ' BY TONY GRAHAM rn Hi Monmouth has need for athletic players onmouth College, not unexpectedly, is suffering through all the growing pains that go with a new basketball team loaded with freshmen and first-year players. But in sculpting its present team, which relies mainly on skill and finesse, the scarcity of athletes in the program continues to become more and more apparent. The last three years the dearth of athletes had been effectively masked by the sheer presence of Alex Blackwell, but this year the mask has come off. Saturday night, Mount St. Mary's 6-4 junior forward Michael Watson, averaging nine points and six rebounds vs. everyone else, looked like Michael Jordan against the Hawks. Taking off like a cruise missile, Watson scored 20 points, blocked a career-high five shots, grabbed eight rebounds and threw down three dunks. Monmouth's only sizable athlete, slender 6-6, 180-pound junior Steve Barnes, is having a productive year (13.7 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game). But too often the Hawks have been out-jumped and outquicked by the two or three athletes at a time that seem to come leaping out of the lineups of Fairleigh Dickinson, Robert Morris, Rider, and small but ultra-quick Long Island University. This isn't to say the highly regarded freshman class of the Hawks (7-10, 4-5 Northeast Conference) has flopped. On the contrary, point guard John Giraldo has been outstanding and the other freshmen have shown bursts of promise. It seems almost unfair to the players when the Hawks start three freshmen and sometimes play four at the same time. When the Hawks play the NEC's more athletic teams, the situations become even more difficult. "What Monmouth needs is athleticism," said Steve Keller of Had-donfield, long-time editor of the Middle Atlantic Sports News and editor of the Jersey Cage Review, publications which rate high school and collegiate basketball talent. Keller, who has watched most of Monmouth's new players perform on the high school level, attended the Hawks' 69-54 loss to FDU last week. "If Monmouth wants a finesse team, fine," he said. "But if they want to give a different look they need athletes on the bench to do so. Right now, you have the same thing coming off the bench as you do on the court. For other looks, it would pay for them to look at players perhaps less skilled (than what they have) but more athletic. "John Giraldo has, I believe, already exceeded even the most optimistic expectations," said Keller. "The other freshmen have all showed flashes of the ability to be major factors in the league. But like freshmen they've all shown extended periods of time where they've been overmatched, mentally and physically. That's why they're losing these ball games." For next year, Monmouth has added 6-7 Rutgers transfer Glenn Stokes and has signed 6-8 Toms River South star forward Corey Al-bano. "Stokes has decent size and the years have given him some needed added strength," said Keller. "I rate Albano the 12th best player in New Jersey, but he's still more of a finesse player." Coach Wayne Szoke said last night that Monmouth, with two scholarships remaining for next season, is recruiting a guard and a forwardcenter type but declined to comment on the athleticism issue. College scouts, however, say seeking to upgrade its athletic talent has become a primary Monmouth target. v Monmouth will hold its last Youth Basketball Night of the season Feb. 27 when the Hawks host Rider in their regular-season NEC finale. Contact Monmouth assistant coach Ken Dempsey (908) 571-3415 for further information. Both men's and women's games, Thursday from Robert Morris and Saturday from St. Francis of Pennsylvania, will be carried by WMCX (88.9 FM), Monmouth's student radio station. Dom Alagia of Toms River, former Meadowlands public address announcer who still does some Monmouth basketball and Army football games, will be inducted into the New York Sports Hall of Fame Feb. 10 at the Sheraton Hotel. Tony Graham is an Asbury Park Press staff writer. E2 n h. n rr n nilUMiailHIMHIIIl LIVE EVENTS NBA Bullets vs. KnlcKs at Madison Square Garden. N.Y., 7:30 p.m. COLLEGE BASKETBALL Men Gloucester at Ocean County College. Dover Township, 7 p.m. George Washington vs. Rutgers at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Piscataway Township, 7:30 p.m. Providence vs. Seton Hall at Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford, 8 p.m. Women Middlesex at Ocean County College. Dover Township, 5 p.m. HORSE RACINQ Uve Racing Freehold Raceway, Freehold, stan-dardbreds, 12:30 p.m. post time. The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, standardbreds. 7:30 p.m. post time. Simulcasting Laurel 12:30 p.m., Meadowlands and Ladbroke at the Meadows. 7:30 p.m., to Freehold Raceway, Freehold. Freehold and Laurel 12:30 p.m. and Gulfstream 1 p.m. to the Meadowlands. East Rutherford. TVRADIO NBA Bullets at Knlcks. 7:30 p.m.. MSG Network, 66Q AM. SuperSonlcs at Hawks, 7:30 p.m., TBS. Nets at Spurs, 8:30 p.m., Channel 9, 1310 AM. COLLEGE BASKETBALL Men Michigan at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN. George Washington at Rutgers, 7:30 p.m., N.J. Network, 710 AM. Providence at Seton Hall, 8 p.m.. SportsChannel, 770 AM. St. Louis at DePaul, 8 p.m., WGN. Arkansas at Louisiana State, 9:30 p.m., ESPN. BOXING 9 p.m., USA Network. Jl I 11 w in Sports Feb. 2, 1962: Using a fiberglass pole, John Uelses becomes the first man to vault for more than 16 feet indoors or out. Uelses, a Marine Corps corporal, clears 16 1-4 at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York. A Star-Spangled Group of Performers: The following are some of the artists who sang or played the national anthem at the Super Bowl: SUPER BOWL I: Trumpeter Al Hirt, Ilf? Anita Bryant, V: Marvin Gaye, VIII: Charlie Pride, XIV: Cheryl Ladd, XVI: Diana Ross, XVIII: Barry Manilow, XXI: Neil Diamond, XXIII: Billy Joel, XXV: Whitney Houston, XXVII: Garth Brooks. Source: NFL i Man, my hands felt all sticky after I did it. I don't know what he puts on it. J Emmitt Smith DALLAS COWBOYS' RUNNING BACK AFTER HE MESSED UP COACH JIMMY JOHNSON'S HAIR CELEBRATING SUNDAY'S SUPER BOWL VICTORY. Childhood memories AI Davis has trouble recognizing his old neighborhood. "I lived in Brooklyn in an area called Crown Heights," the Los Angeles Raiders' owner told Los Angeles Times staffer Steve Springer. "Across the street from where I lived was Lincoln Terrace Park. Today, it's one of the most dangerous places in the world. "Mike Tyson lived on the other side of the park, where it was very tough. It was called East New York Brownsville. That's where (Lyle) Al-zado came from, and a lot of tough guys. All the guys from Murder Inc. "I lived there 50 years ago, went through that park every day and it wasn't a dangerous park. Mike Tyson went through that park 10 years ago, and, if you got out with your life, you were lucky. "I was telling Tyson one time that I played in that park, but he didn't understand the time frame, and he says to Don King, 'If he got out alive, he's the toughest son of a I've ever known.' " Tight-fisted After losing more than $8 million last year, the San Diego Padres have started an austerity campaign. . All employees received a letter informing them that they could no longer dial 411 for directory assistance because such calls were costing the club too much money. Said one club official: "I got a phone book for Christmas." WHO WERE the only two players to score at least 50 goals during a National Hockey League season as teen-agers? Associated Press PASSING THE BATON Bo Jackson conducts an orchestra at a benefit event in Birmingham, Ala. over the weekend. He's still super A Super Bowl ring usually is considered a prerequisite for a first-year quarterback inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the career numbers for former San Diego Chargers' quarterback Dan Fouts were so outstanding that the selectors agreed he belonged with the immortals. Fouts played for 15 seasons in San Diego and led the Chargers to three AFC West titles. A superb long passer, the 6-3, 210-pound Fouts completed 3,297 passes for 43,040 yards (second all-time) and 254 touchdowns. "I'm surprised; I thought it might take a while," said Fouts, now a CBS-TV analyst. "I hope my election to the Hall of Fame helps others who didn't make it to the Super Bowl. I don't think that failure should tarnish one's car- ,k eer." Glad that's settled When Bill Koch's America3 successfully de- fended the America's Cup last May, many won- , dered whether the multi-millionaire owner, an am-, ateur sailor, or veteran helmsman Buddy Melges should get the most credit. During Yachting Race Week at Key West, Fla., y last month, the issue was resolved. Sort of. Com- - peting on rival boats in the primary class, Koch " finished eighth and Melges ninth. Slowpokes and speeders A Golf Digest poll pinpointed the fastest and slo-' west golfers on the PGA Tour. The slowest: Bern-J hard Langer, Ken Brown, Denis Watson and Nick Faldo. The fastest players are Fuzzy Zoeller, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Craig Stadler, Mark Calcavec- -p chia, Sandy Lyle, Jim Gallagher, Bruce Lietzke, ' John Daly, Chi Chi Rodriguez and Lee Trevino. :; Y'all come back now, hear Among the guests of honor at a gala ceremony ; in Tuscaloosa, Ala., honoring Alabama's national t champion football team was Corky Simpson, a columnist for the Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen who was the ;v only sportswriter who voted the Crimson Tide c No. 1 all year in the Associated Press poll. Coach Gene Stallings presented Simpson with an Alabama Sugar Bowl jersey emblazoned with the number "1." Quiz answer Wayne Gretzky and Jimmy Carson. The Los A ngeles Times Yip From page Dl player is David Zhuang of East Brunswick, one of the nation's rising talents. "This is the best club in the United States," says Lily Yip. Born in China 29 years ago, she now lives in Metuchen and ranks as America's No. 1 women's player. A mother of two, she played in the Barcelona Olympic Games and was honored by the U.S. Olympic Committee as its table tennis player of the year for 1992. A visitor can't help admiring her skill. Armed with her penholder-style grip, fast attacking style and good backhand blocking skill, along with some remarkable instincts, she handles virtually everything a male sparring partner can dish out. Fact is, she gives back far more than she gets. She is a remarkable New Jersey athlete who is virtually unknown in New Jersey other than to her sport's most serious devotees. The Garden State has always been an all-sports mecca. The USOC's "athlete of the year" selections reflect this perfectly. The other Jerseyans on the USOC '92 all-star list are freestyle skier Donna Weinbrecht of West Mil-ford Township, Passaic County, and taekwondoist Herb Perez of Palisades Park, Bergen County, both of them Olympic gold medal winners. Lily Yip did not win a medal at Barcelona or even come close. She lost in an early round of women's singles, and in doubles with Diana Gee of San Carlos, Calif. She is, nevertheless, the best America has, and she is forever trying to get better. The Dec. 15, 1992, world rankings of the International Table Tennis Federation, based in St. Leonard's-on-the-Sea, England, listed Yaping Deng of China first, Hong Qiao of China second, Jung Hwa Hyun of the Republic of Korea third and Bun Hui Li of the People's Republic of (North) Korea fourth. Lily Yip was 112th. On the men's side of the world rankings, the U.S. fares just a little better. Jan-Ove Waldner of Sweden, Jean Philippe Gatien of France, Jorgen Persson of Sweden and Mange Wa of China are 1-2-3-4 ... and top American Eric Boggan 73rd. The Barcelona gold medals went to Deng and Waldner. 0 :. Lily Yip works on her game at the New Jersey Table Tennis Club in Westfield. There are millions of serious table tennis players in China. It is more than a national pastime. National craze might be more like it. Once upon a time, Lily Yip was one of China's best, too. "I started playing table tennis when I was 8," she said. "It was the natural thing for me to do. Table tennis is the national sport." At schools, in recreation centers, at the beaches, in large cities and small villages everywhere in the world's most populous nation, Chinese boys and girls, men and women, take up paddles with the ease American youngsters grab baseball bats or handle basketballs. The number of certified players in China runs into the millions. Among these multitudes, Lily Yip began standing out at an early age. "By the time I was 9, 1 was the girls champion of Guangdong province," she said. Guangdong is the former Canton and she was one of its rising stars through her teen-age years. At 16, she was playing in the Chinese National Championships for girls. At 17, she scored a notable victory over China's 1979 national champion, Young Lui. At 24, though, she was an American. Previously harsh Chinese emigration policies were relaxed and she was able to settle in the U.S. She arrived with a physical education degree from the University of Guangdong and every new American's dream of a brighter life. Table tennis became her route to new friends and a new outlook on life. It sped her Americanization. By 1990, she was competing in the U.S. World Team Trials and placed a strong third. By 1991, she was in the Pan American Games and came home from Havana with two gold medals (in doubles and team competition) and one silver (women's singles). By now a U.S. citizen, that cherished status paved the way for her Olympic appearance. If you think all the best women's players in the world come from the Far East, you'd be only partially correct. In addition to China and the Koreas, other leading international players come from Czechoslovakia, France and the former Yugoslavia. On the men's side, it's the best of Sweden, France, Czechoslovakia and Poland who more than hold their own against the Far East's best. If the U.S. stock is moving up, a big part of it is that it's relying partially, at least on imported talent. Other good players from China are already here. Coaches from China, too. Some will be seen competing for the U.S. as soon as they complete citizenship requirements. U.S. passport proudly in hand, Lily Yip now travels the world in her USA uniform. Next on her schedule will be the Czechoslovakian Open tournament. Then it's the World Championships in Sweden in May. She collected Garden State Games gold last July en route to Barcelona and the Governor's Cup as the best athlete in her sport at the "New Jersey Olympics" last. November. While she is professional in her approach to her sport, she is certainly PETER ACKERMANAsbury Parti Press not a big-time professional athlete. A modest grant from the USOC along with part-time earnings giving table tennis lessons keep her going. In the rest of her time, she's enrolled at Middlesex County College, studying computer science. Table tennis is a game of spins and loops, slams and drops, touch and tricks. Born in England in the 1800s, it soon went worldwide and made its debut on the Olympic Games program in 1988. Californian Diana Gee and Sean O'Neill of McLean, Va., the lone U.S. singles entries in '88, were eliminated in the first round. Jim Butler of Iowa City, Iowa, and O'Neill bowed out in the first round, too, in '92. "Footwork is everything in table tennis," says Lily Yip, who is forever on her toes, bouncing this way, that way, every which way the white ball comes her way. It was "Ping Pong Diplomacy" that helped open China's face to the West in 1971. The historic goodwill journey of a U.S. delegation led by former national champion Dick Miles helped bring down the barriers the politicians had set in place. True to the sport's requirements, it took some fancy footwork by the diplomats of both sides to bring it off. Meanwhile, Yip will continue her drive to table tennis excellence. "I hope to play at least 10 more years," Yip says. - Along the way, her friends;"' teammates, students and practice partners at NJTTC hope she reaches a ' lot higher in the world rankings. - It's a long, looping chop shot, but it's a definite possibility.

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