The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 14, 1995 · Page 33
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 33

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, May 14, 1995
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Page 33
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Ifhe Salina Journal COMMENT Hal Bock THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 4 jKareem's style ialmost obsolete in today's NBA > | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would pave had trouble fitting into today's woofin' world of the NBA. Coo businesslike. Not enough style. •Too buttoned-down. Not enough pizzazz. ! He didn't wear an earring and pidn't have a tattoo, and before middle-aged baldness made him one of the NBA's early shaved heads — Holy Dennis Rodman! — he had the same colored hair every night. He didn't do a lot of talking, a lefinite drawback in modern basketball. He survived strictly on tal- ;nt, playing an old-fashioned, nuts- tnd-bolts game for 20 magnificent Reasons with quiet dignity and loud Domination. He was just the best player of us generation and on Monday he jets the payoff for his accomplish- nents — induction into the Basket- tall Hall of Fame. Today's basketball often seems o value style over substance, 'layers bump chests, preen for le cameras and strut around as if icy'd just discovered the cure for ancer. Abdul-Jabbar has noticed, aying simply, "They didn't have he 'Play of the Day' when I was laying." The only chest bumping Abdul- abbar ever did was under the >oop, banging for baskets and re- ounds, which, remember, was the whole idea of the game in the first place. Few did it better. 5 Consider the numbers: He ^cored a record 38,387 points in the regular season. Add the playoffs and the total is 44,149. He played ftiore games (1,797) and blocked ijiore shots (3,189) than any player in NBA history. • In a 1975 game against Detroit, lie pulled down a record 29 defensive rebounds. $ Had enough? Well, there's more. He played in 19 All-Star games and won six MVP awards. I;He barely has enough fingers to accommodate all his championship rings — three from UCLA and six from the NBA, one with the Milwaukee Bucks and five with the L.OS Angeles Lakers. ^He was truly Special K. i-This is the kind of impact Abdul- Jabbar had. The Bucks finished in seventh place, 28 games under .500 iff 1969. Then they won the coin flip for the No. 1 pick in the draft, selected the best player in college tjjtsketball, and two years later \jrere world champions. . i-rin his prime, Abdul-Jabber was tlje kind of force who turned {fames his way. He had a long, lop- i{>g stride down the court and \fhen he got where he was going, W played like a traditional center, wjth his back to the basket. That's almost never done now in the sjammin', jammin' style of mod- ejm basketball. <At 7-foot-2, Abdul-Jabbar wasn't aij acrobatic, fly-through-the-air pljayer. He scored the bulk of his Baskets with the sky hook. He'd extend his arm, looking for all the \tbrld like a eagle spreading one enormous wing. Then he'd launch tfe hook shot over the defender and more times than not, it would drop smoothly through the net. '\fl was able to beat one-on-one coverage every time and shoot ' ;h percentage shots that created lot of stress on the defense," he lid. "That gave everybody who yed on the perimeter an extra ip, and we were able to win contently using that theory of play. Nowadays, I don't see anybody it's in there able to score as con- itently as I did as far as shooting •centage and getting good shots." /That means Abdul-Jabbar's scor- record is probably safe for time to come. The closest ac- tiye player is 11,000 points away, and that's only if you count creaky Mpses Malone as active. Michael Jordan was 17,000 points short when he retired. . J-Abdul-Jabbar's style might not nave been exciting enough for the MJV generation, but it worked for tfie big guy who made uniform No. 33 his personal ID. And it quickly cgiught the attention of the basketball authorities after UCLA won a fiejce recruiting battle for him. Ifle was only 7 feet then, but he v{as still growing. The other two iflches were added during three na- tiq'nal title seasons with the Bruins. »The NCAA took one look at him a£id, in an attack of utter foolish- nfcss, decided to ban dunk shots. TJiat was no problem for the big guy. He had this hook shot and as long as they didn't ban that, he vJasOK. SPORTS Golf D2 Indianapolis 500 D3 Scoreboard D6 Baseball D7 Section D Sunday, May 14,1995; Soccer storm rising • Youth soccer in Salina hits growth spurt, while many hope to move sport into high schools BY LARRY MORITZ Model: Zak Fellers Photo illustration by Kelly Presnell/Salina Journal THE SALINA JOURNAL Almir Begic would climb to the top of Salina's Indian Rock, shouting out the benefits of youth soccer if he thought it would help spread the word on one of the area's best-kept secrets. Begic wants the people of Salina to take notice of what others around the state have begun to see: Salina is developing a solid youth soccer program. And it's a program that goes beyond the Saturday recreation leagues sponsored by the Salina Family YMCA, which have been instrumental in developing interest in both the Salina Thunder and Salina Storm. "I'd like to see our program get to a level where we could show the people in this community that interest in the sport is large," said Begic, coach of the age 12-and-under Thunder boys squad. "We want to raise its level to that of a premier league program, and we've started in that direction. "We went to the Emporia Invitational last week and finished third, and it surprises a lot of the people down there. They've never heard of Salina as far as soccer, because there is no program at the high schools, and this program is still very young." Salina's program is three years young now and starting to emerge from the learning stage most traveling teams go through early in their existence. Pickup games filled the schedule the first year, followed by a one-year stint in a powerful Sedgwick County league before finally settling into a McPherson league last fall. And interest continues to grow, despite the fact that funding for the teams comes solely from players' fees and private donations. See GROWING, Page 05 Gaetti homer in ninth lifts Royals Two-out blow snaps O-for-24 drought By The Associated Press Kansas City, Mo. — Gary Gaetti liked the first pitch he saw from California reliever Troy Percival in the bottom of the ninth inning, lining it into the left-field stands to give Kansas City a 4-2 victory Saturday night. "I thought it was a fast ball right down the chute," Gaetti said of the game-winning homer that broke an O-for-24 hitless string. "I wasn't looking for anything in particular. It's been a long time between hits. "I didn't feel comfortable up there the first three times, but I felt comfortable that time up," Gaetti said The victory broke a four-game Kansas City losing streak. The game-winning rally started with two outs and no one on with the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth. Michael Tucker grounded a single to right off left-handed reliever Bob Patterson. Angels manager Marcel Lache- mann elected to bring in 151 Angel* right-handed the right-handed Percival to face Gaetti. Patterson was charged with the loss, dropping his, record to 1-1. Kevin Appier went the distance to improve his record to 4-1, allowing three hits and two runs. He fanned eight and walked three. His eight strikeouts gives him 41 and the lead in the major leagues. "I felt good even in the ninth," Appier said. "I felt strong and my rhythm was good." The Kansas City right-hander was happy to see the game-winning homer. "It was a great hit," Appier said. "I knew it was far enough, I was just hoping it would stay fair." Kansas City scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning when Wally Joyner doubled, advanced to third on a fly ball to right and scored on a sacrifice fly to the warning track in center by Greg Gagne. Appier retired the first 13 batters he faced before Tim Salmon walked in the fifth. Salmon then stole second and scored on a two- out single by J.T. Snow, tying the game 1-1. Kansas City made it 2-1 in the fifth on doubles by Brent Mayne and Vince Coleman. Tony Phillips tied it with a solo homer in the sixth, his first of the season. • GAME NOTES: The Royals did not make an error for their fourth consecutive game, setting a season high ... The loss for the Angels was the first in six games that were decided after the sixth inning ... The Royals purchased the contract of left-hander Tom Browning from Omaha of the American Association. Browning will start today against the Angels. The Royals have also asked for waivers on outfielder Felix Jose ... The Royals had three doubles and have had at least one double in every game this season ... This was Appier's 19th complete game of his career, but his first since May 3, 1994. • Boxscore on Pago D7 Rockets, Pacers pocket playoff victories Houston stuffs Barkley H^KmBWHB Indiana takes 3-1 lead Suns 85 By The Associated Press HOUSTON —- Hakeem Olajuwon was at his best and Charles Barkley at his worst Saturday. As a result, the Houston Rockets rebounded from two straight lopsided losses to rout the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals. Olajuwon had 36 points and 11 rebounds, and the Rockets held Barkley to a career playoff-low five points in the 118-85 blowout. "If we play like this all the time, we'll be champions again," Olajuwon said. "This is the best team defense we'ye played all year." Barkley, who averaged 31.4 points in his first five playoff games, was O-for-10 from the field and sat out the fourth quarter. "It was my fault. I'll take the blame for us," Barkley said. "I don't think I ever scored five fc- See ROCKETS, Page D4 The Associated Press Houiton's Chucky Brown (52) and Robert Harry (right) stop a move by Charles Barkley of the Suns during their playoff game Saturday. ir By The Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's center has the Pacers one win away from retribution. The revenge Indiana has sought since losing to New York in the Eastern Conference finals last year could be close at hand after the Pacers took a 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 con- Knlcks 84 ference semifinal series Saturday. Rik Smits, the suddenly much-appreciated man in the middle, had 25 points and 11 rebounds, thoroughly dominating the struggling Patrick Ewing in Indiana's 98-84 victory. The Pacers have been in a similar position before. They led 3-2 last year only to lose in seven games. This team, Smits said, is a better one. "As a team, we feel a lot more experienced and confident enough that we can beat the B* See KNICKS, Page D4 The Associated Press Scott Brayton (right) celebrates his Indy 500-leading qualifying run • with teammate Arnie Luyendyk. Rain slows time trials at Indy 500 By MIKE HARRIS The Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS — A soggy day did what nothing else has been able to during the past week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: slow Scott Brayton and Arie Luyendyk. But it still didn't keep the Team Menard drivers from taking the top two provisional qualifying spots in Saturday's rain- shortened opening round of time trials for the Indianapolis 500. The weather limited qualifying to only the final 75 minutes of the scheduled seven-hour session. Eleven drivers were able to complete qualifying runs, led by Brayton's four-lap, 10-mile average of 231.604 mph. That knocked Luyendyk, the 1990 Indy champion and 1993 pole winner, off the top spot, where he had been sitting at 231.031. "I know we want friendly competition, but he wanted to beat me as bad as I wanted to beat him," said Brayton, who qualified for his 14th Indy start. B» See RAIN, Page D3

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