SI Vault
Edited by Jack McCallum
November 22, 1993
Passenger 23E
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November 22, 1993


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Green may not be as unpopular in Big D as he was in Minnesota, where last season a fan called him "a greedy, money-hungry, egotistical, country-club-seeking lizard." But he's making a run at it.

Bring in the Ringers

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are gone, and Charles Barkley swears he'll be history by next season. But we have an ideal, not to mention patriotic, solution to the alarming problem of what these retirees will do with all the time on their hands. Two words: team handball. The sport stresses agility, quickness, court sense, jumping and that near-mystical knack of deking defenders while hanging in the air. America's best basketball players have never taken to the sport—indeed, most of them are unaware of its existence—so the U.S. is usually swallowed up on the international stage by teams like France and Sweden. ( Sweden?) But that could all change with a few personnel adjustments on the national team.

Believe it or not, U.S. Team Handball Federation executive director Mike Cavanaugh has been thinking precisely along those lines. "Of the 16 players on our squad for the '96 Olympics, at least one will be a name player from another sport," says Cavanaugh. The No. 1 name he's thinking about is M. Jordan, who is more than welcome, says Cavanaugh, to bring along a few of his friends.

Kept Keeper

A ruling expected within the next three weeks from Colombia's prosecutor-general will determine whether fans at next year's World Cup finals will get to see the man that World Soccer magazine has called "the world's most spectacular goalkeeper." Ren� Higuita of Colombia's World Cup team has been held without bail in a Bogot� prison since June 4. Charged with violating Colombia's 1992 antikidnapping law, Higuita faces as much as 10 years in jail if convicted.

Nicknamed El Loco for his mad dashes out of the goal box, Higuita has attracted unwanted attention for his association with drug lord Pablo Escobar, one of the world's most wanted fugitives. Higuita was first linked with Escobar when he visited the jailed cocaine kingpin in July 1991, a year before Escobar escaped the luxury prison, which he had accessorized with a hot tub, a 60-inch TV and a private soccer field.

Now Higuita stands accused of improper involvement in a kidnapping case. Without police permission he negotiated the release of the daughter of Luis Carlos Molina, a former associate of Escobar's, after she was snatched in Medell�n last spring. Higuita admits he acted as a go-between but says he did so solely for humanitarian reasons—and an alleged $50,000 fee.

If the prosecutor-general, who concluded his investigation on Nov. 9, believes he acted altruistically, Higuita may be freed immediately and would likely rejoin the Colombian national team.

Being There

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