It's not surprising that Wyatt Russell would blossom into an athlete. It's just that no one in his family expected he'd wear skates instead of spikes. By week's end Wyatt, the 16-year-old son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, will be one of eight goaltenders in training camp with the Prince George (B.C.) Cougars of the Western Hockey League. The club is so optimistic about Russell that it has put him on its 50-player protected list, which means he is off-limits to other teams. "When I first saw him last year, I was concerned that he wasn't very big," says Russ Smart, the Cougars' director of scouting. "When I found out he'd grown to 6'1", 160 pounds, I was doing cartwheels." The youngest Russell comes from solid athletic stock. Kurt played minor league baseball in the early 1970s for the Padres and the Angels organizations before a torn rotator cuff brought him back to the acting career he'd begun as a child. Kurt's father, Bing, also played minor league ball, and Braves first baseman Matt Franco is Kurt's nephew. To be close to the youngest of their four children, Russell and Hawn purchased a $4 million home in Vancouver earlier this year and will shuttle between there and L.A. for the next two years. While Wyatt probably won't make the Cougars' roster this season, he will most likely play Junior B hockey in the Vancouver area for the Richmond Sockeyes. "It's on the West Coast, so there's some sanity to it for us," says Kurt. "Wyatt's our last one, so we're fortunate to be able to do this with him."
?After motocross rider Carey Hart (left) executed his signature backflip to win a silver medal at last week's X Games in Philadelphia, the woman who currently owns Hart's heart, pop singer Pink, quickly offered her congratulations in the form of an enthusiastic hug. The couple's canoodling, in fact, was so heated during the week that one X Games organizer described the action as "Angelina and Billy Bob-esque." Back in the day, at least. Says Hart, "We met for the first time a year ago at the X Games in Philadelphia, kind of hooked up about two months after that, and things went from there. She's big into skateboarding and from Philly." Away from the track the 27-year-old Hart is an extra in Pink's video for her latest single, just like a Pill.
?Sure, he's played a 3,000-year-old genie (in Kazaam) and a comic book hero (in Steel), but can Shaquille O'Neal play himself? In late July, O'Neal and Judith McCreary, a co-executive producer on NBC's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, pitched CBS executives a one-hour drama involving a teammate of O'Neal's who suffers a career-ending knee injury in a car accident. The player desperately wants to stay in basketball as a coach, but because his reputation is more about flash than fundamentals, no one wants to hire him. That's when Shaq (who will play himself in a recurring role) swoops in to help him get a coaching job at Shaq's old high school. "He's got a million dollars in the bank, but he has to earn the respect of the other teachers," explains McCreary, the show's creator. CBS officials bought the idea and told her to write a pilot. The network will look at McCreary's script around Christmas, and if CBS likes what it sees, a pilot will be shot next February. Should the show get picked up, expect the Big Thespian to tape episodes before training camp for the 2003-04 NBA season.