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Curry Kirkpatrick
December 08, 1986
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December 08, 1986

College Basketball

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In the meantime a compromise was reached for Hebrew's game with Miami Country Day: The Warriors were allowed to wear yarmulkes attached to elastic headbands. "You could say we invented the world's truly safe yarmulke," said Joseph Rackman, the school's attorney. Hebrew principal Rabbi Yossi Haber was not pleased. "This is ridiculous," he said. "The yarmulke is way too low on the head to be proper." Team captain Jeff Meyers said his mother wasn't happy either. "She doesn't like sewing," he said.

Oh, yes. Wearing their low riders, Hebrew beat Country Day 58-53.


Folks associated with the Arizona Wildcats, who sometimes kiddingly refer to the prematurely white-haired coach, Lute Olson, as Frosty, might be amused to learn that teams at Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, Wash., are nicknamed the Lutes. The Lutes play in Olson Auditorium, and, by the way, the school's football coach is Frosty Westering.

Norm Ellenberger, late of the Lobogate scandal at New Mexico, has sold his interest in Stormin' Norman's, an Albuquerque restaurant, and is now serving as a volunteer assistant coach for none other than his old WAC rival and fishing buddy, Don ( Bear) Haskins, at Texas-El Paso. Since being ousted from UNM in 1979, Ellenberger has coached in the Continental Basketball Association as well as the Womens Basketball League. A hiring freeze, since lifted, at Texas state colleges, had prevented Ellenberger from being paid by UTEP, so it's possible that now is the time to pick up a fantastic deal on some of the turquoise jewelry Stormin' used to sell.

Tim Floyd, who left Haskins's staff and somehow reappeared at Idaho as head coach Joe Risnag, has tracked down the source of all the confusion about his name. Risnag, it seems, is a John Doe—type nom de nothing that Big Sky Conference information director Arnie Sgalio has been using for years as a generic Big Sky coach when he sends out sample preseason questionnaires. Risnag has been a standing joke among conference SIDs, but the gag escaped George Ferguson, a retired sportswriter of the Salt Lake City Deseret News, when he was looking over Sgalio's dispatches and saw that Risnag was coaching Idaho. So Ferguson duly noted same in his Big Sky report that appeared in 250,000 copies of Street & Smith's basketball annual. This is about the funniest thing to happen in the Big Sky since Weber State started winning games under Dick Motta a couple of centuries ago and we first heard that the way to pronounce Weber is "Weeber."


On Monday, Nov. 17, LaBradford Smith, 6'4", of Bay City, Texas, told Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls over the phone that he would sign a letter of intent with Jordan's alma mater, North Carolina. Meanwhile, Louisville assistant coach Wade Houston was telling folks that Smith was a lock for Georgetown. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Smith signed with Louisville.

At one that morning, Pacific time, Sean Higgins, 6'9", of Los Angeles, called his sister and then his father in Southfield, Mich., to tell them he was about to sign with Michigan. At 7:30 the next morning Higgins's mother held a press conference in L.A. to announce that Sean had signed with UCLA.

The only surprise was that shadowy men carrying large bags were not observed leaving the scenes of the signings.

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