When does he hope to be back? "Yesterday," he says.
Anchor A-Weighing In
Tom Brokaw usually defers to opinionated sidekicks like John Chancellor when commentary is called for on the NBC Nightly News. But last week, in announcing the Academy Award nominations, the anchor slipped off the ship of objectivity. After reporting that Hoop Dreams, the lavishly praised documentary about inner-city basketball, had been denied a Best Documentary nod, Brokaw said, "The film's only nomination was for Best Editing—a real surprise and, for many of us, a big disappointment."
"It was so outrageous," Brokaw said off the air last week, explaining his motive for editorializing. "When someone said Hoop Dreams hadn't been nominated, I thought, Yeah, for Best Picture. But when I found out that it hadn't even been nominated for Best Documentary, I thought, This cannot be true. The film works at every conceivable level."
Brokaw closed the broadcast by addressing the film's two subjects, Arthur Agee and William Gates: "Hang in there, Arthur and Bill, because when it comes to being snubbed by the Oscars, Hoop Dreams has some impressive company. Among those never nominated: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Peter Lorre and Lauren Bacall. That's a Dream Team by any standard."
During an AAU game in Washington, D.C., last summer, 18-year-old Doug Dormu knocked down five straight three-pointers against a bunch of guys two years his senior. As Doug peeled back on defense following his fifth trey, he could hear the opposing coach melting down: That boy has one arm. What's wrong with you guys?
That was one of the few times in recent years that Doug, a senior guard at Washington's Theodore Roosevelt High, has been conscious of his handicap on the court. Born with nerve damage in his left shoulder that kept his left arm from fully developing, he still has little feeling in his left hand. So when as an eight-year-old he first taught himself to play basketball, he cradled the ball between his left elbow and right hand and shot from that position.
At the end of last week Doug was averaging 17 points in D.C.'s rarefied public league. Earlier this season he scored 40 points against Eastern High. Doug, who also played fullback on the Roosevelt football team this season, believes he can do anything any other guard can do—and some things others can't, like dunk. "When Doug first came here, of course, I had some reservations about what his limitations might be," says Roosevelt coach Maurice Butler. "But we have a lot of guys on this team that can't use their left hand. And they have two hands."
Though he'll likely enroll at a junior college next fall, Doug's dream is to play at a Division I school. "I like to surprise people," he says. "Most people know me now, but there was a time I'd warm up before a game and be messing around, dribbling the ball off my feet, throwing up bricks, and guys were dying to take me. Pretty soon the same guys were saying, 'Let's stay away from the guy with the arm. He's got game!' "