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SPORTS BEAT
May 12, 2003
Hollywood IT-Girl Kirsten Dunst has said "Bring it on" to the grass courts of the All England Club. Dunst, 21, will play a tennis star in the romantic comedy Wimbledon, to be released next year. Parts of the movie, which costars Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind), will be shot at this year's tournament. To prepare for her role Dunst is taking lessons from 1987 Wimbledon champ Pat Cash. She spends two hours a day on the court (last week Cash fine-tuned her serve) and does an hour of weights, lunges and sit-ups. Look for Cash to make his big-screen debut—the 38-year-old Aussie will reportedly have a cameo in which he'll reenact his famous leap into the crowd after beating Ivan Lendl in the final.
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May 12, 2003

Sports Beat

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Hollywood IT-Girl Kirsten Dunst has said "Bring it on" to the grass courts of the All England Club. Dunst, 21, will play a tennis star in the romantic comedy Wimbledon, to be released next year. Parts of the movie, which costars Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind), will be shot at this year's tournament. To prepare for her role Dunst is taking lessons from 1987 Wimbledon champ Pat Cash. She spends two hours a day on the court (last week Cash fine-tuned her serve) and does an hour of weights, lunges and sit-ups. Look for Cash to make his big-screen debut—the 38-year-old Aussie will reportedly have a cameo in which he'll reenact his famous leap into the crowd after beating Ivan Lendl in the final.

?There was a time when Shonda Schilling saw long hours in the sun as one of the perks of being a player's wife. "It was the ballpark in the summertime, then Florida during spring training—year-round tanning opportunities," says Shonda, wife of Diamondbacks ace Curt Schilling. But in 2001, after a mole on her back led to a diagnosis of melanoma, Shonda changed her philosophy. Last August she launched the SHADE Foundation, which teaches athletes about skin protection. Along with the American Academy of Dermatology, Shonda organized free skin-cancer screenings for players, team personnel and their families at Phoenix's Bank One Ballpark on Monday; other teams will offer screenings at ballparks this month. Several big leaguers-including Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe, Marlins manager Jeff Torborg and Tigers trainer Kevin Rand—have battled skin cancer. And Shonda, who has had five surgeries for six melanomas, says players are becoming more diligent about sunscreen. "Curt passes the word in the clubhouse," she says. "The wives are a big influence too. Erika Mantei got [her husband, Diamondbacks closer] Matt to stop using the tanning bed."

?Last month Los Angeles composer Jef Bek traveled to Tampa to seal a deal with Evel Knievel to produce a rock opera about the daredevil's life. The apparently very psyched Knievel, 64, picked up Bek at the airport in his trademark red-white-and-blue Ford truck and popped in a Bek demo tape of songs from the show. Then, with music blaring, Knievel tore through traffic at a speed you'd expect from a man who once put himself into a coma trying to jump the fountains at Caesars Palace. "It was a little scan." says Bek, 40, "but it was cool, because he seemed to really dig the music." Bek, a former drummer for the Broadway production of The Who's Tommy, has written the story and composed most of the music. He's looking for backers for the show, which he hopes to open next spring. Says Bek, "I envision a huge spectacle with motorcycle stage jumps and music that I is an homage to '70s rock."

?In case you're one of those folks who reads Playboy for the articles, the June issue has a wide-ranging interview with Mets catcher Mike Piazza. In the piece Piazza, who's dating Playmate Alicia Rickter, says he always confesses to a priest after having sex. "I've got friends who are priests," he says. "If I confess to them, they'll say, 'Hey, we teach that you should wait for marriage, but if you care for the girl, that matters too.' "... Gary Stevens finished a distant sixth aboard Buddy Gil in the Kentucky Derby, but you might say it was still a good-looking ride. PEOPLE has chosen the 40-year-old Hall of Famer as one of its 50 Most Beautiful People.

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