Of a heart attack, Yinka Dare, 32, the Nets' first-round pick in 1994. Four days after an American scout spied the 7'1" Dare eating a bowl of food on a bench in Lagos, in 1991, a George Washington assistant coach was in Nigeria to meet him. Though Dare spoke no English and had never played basketball, he moved to the U.S., spent one year in prep school and then enrolled at GWU, leading the Colonials to two NCAA bids before turning pro. In four NBA seasons Dare averaged 2.1 points; he didn't get his first assist until his third year in the league.
Righthander Roger Clemens, 41, who agreed on Monday to a one-year, $5 million contract with the Astros. Clemens, whose staggering resume includes 310 wins, 4,099 strikeouts and six Cy Young Awards, had consistently indicated that the '03 season with the Yankees would be his last. "They're ready for me to come home," Clemens said of his family last June, "and I'm ready." Home, however, is Houston, which is also where Clemens's workout partner and close friend, Andy Pettitte, signed in December. "Everything was kicked off and put in high motion when Andy came here to pitch," Clemens said on Monday. "I feel I still have a lotto give."
With a 41-year tradition of hiring a head football coach from within the program, Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson. Spurning counsel from a legendary I Huskers coach—"He made it quite clear," says Tom Osborne, "that this was a one-man operation"—and ignoring the pleas of fans to promote defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, Pederson hired recently fired Raiders coach Bill Callahan after three candidates withdrew their names following their interviews. A former college assistant, Callahan will install the West Coast offense to replace Nebraska's trademark option. "I'm not one to huddle in the corner and hope that things stay just O.K.," says Pederson, 46, who has eliminated more than 20 positions in the athletic department and cut more than $2.5 million from the budget since coming to Lincoln from Pitt in December 2002. "You really have to stay ahead of it."
The contact information for more than 700 sports figures, by the Associated Press. After an employee accidentally sent an internal phone list to media organizations, the list was circulating on the Internet within days. "I got at least a hundred instant messages in one night," says major league reliever Mike Venafro. "And I'm not Hank Aaron or Pete Rose."
In the National Scholastic Surfing Association meet, 10 weeks after losing her left arm in a shark attack, 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton. One of the top amateur surfers in the U.S., she returned to the water on Thanksgiving, but last weekend's meet at Banyans in Hawaii was her first competition since the Oct. 31 attack. Though paddling and getting onto her feet proved difficult, Bethany declined offers from tournament officials for more time between runs and to be placed in a more favorable heat. After finishing fifth out of 24 in her age group, she said, "It was definitely a good start."