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Only ornery recruits for this boot camp
Peter Carry
July 20, 1970
Searching for tough kids who fill the requirements of the international style of play and will still be amateurs in 1972, the U.S. Olympic Committee comes up with a campful of sturdy studs
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July 20, 1970

Only Ornery Recruits For This Boot Camp

Searching for tough kids who fill the requirements of the international style of play and will still be amateurs in 1972, the U.S. Olympic Committee comes up with a campful of sturdy studs

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The studiest stud of them all last week was Joby Wright, a 6'7" forward who smiles frequently and chats pleasantly off the court. On the floor Wright is the meanest-looking man since Sonny Liston and he knows it. "I've worked on looking this way," he said. "It helps me intimidate people." Wright, who will be a sophomore at Indiana next fall, plays as mean as he looks. An officer from the Air Force athletic department asked Academy Assistant Coach Hank Egan, "What class is that Wright in?" Said Egan, "Any one he wants to be in." Ranking with Wright in orneriness were Creighton's Cyril Baptiste and Chuck Terry, a recent graduate of Long Beach ( Calif.) City College. All three have a good chance to make the team that will play four games in Sweden and Poland and then eight in Russia.

There were also some big, strong guards in camp, particularly Southern Cal's high-jumping 6'4" Paul Westphal and Utah State's quick and muscular 6'4" Nate Williams. But the backcourt pair that was most impressive was the East's combination of Army Lieut. Art Wilmore, a calm playmaker who has had previous international experience, and Dartmouth sophomore James Brown. Brown, only 6'1" but a dunker, scores in bursts, particularly on the blitzing fast breaks so common in international play.

The center choice for this summer's tour may be another sleeper like Haywood. Elmore Smith, the 7' NAIA All-America from Kentucky State, does not yet have Haywood's offensive ability, but then he has only played basketball for four years and is still getting his kicks by rebounding and blocking shots. "He's a human shot rejector," said Bach after Smith snuffed 15 in his first workout.

Iba and Gudger agreed that one or more of the five high school players at the camp should make this summer's trip. "The emphasis here is on development, not selection," said Gudger. "If we wanted the best record in Russia, we'd take college juniors and seniors. But we'll take some losses this summer to build for better Pan-Am and Olympic teams."

Steve Erickson, who will attend Oregon State in September, stands 6'10" counting his thick shock of blond hair and, even though he played mostly against Smith, he performed well. So did Jim Bradley, another 6'8" stud from East Chicago, Ind. Still, the recent high school graduate most likely to make the squad is 6'11" Tom McMillen, who played both forward and center, alternately swinging down the lane for the left-handed hook he never seems to miss and then moving out for long jump shots that he rarely had an opportunity to try back in Mansfield, Pa. McMillen, who weighs only 201 pounds, is not ideally suited physically for the international game, but he was perhaps the most impressive offensive player in camp. And he had plenty of help. With him on the North squad were Wright, Baptiste, Williams and North Carolina State's good 6'5" guard, Ed Leftwich. With such teammates, even a thin man can play in any class he chooses.

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