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Monday, June 29, 1998

Murray claims top spot in Reno rodeo

RENO, Nevada, June 29 (AP) -- Texas rodeo performer Ty
Murray continued his quest for another all-around world
title with victories at the Reno Rodeo.

Murray, who'll be appearing later this week at the West of
the Pecos Rodeo, collected $9,405 Sunday when he finished
second in bull riding and another $9,805 by winning the
Nevada rodeo's all-around title.

The Stephenville rodeo performer and Odessa College graduate
is seeking a record seventh all-around title.

The Nevada rodeo was the first major summer rodeo sponsored
by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Other
upcoming major rodeos include the West of the Pecos Rodeo,
the Calgary Stampede and the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

Murray was one of only two cowboys who were able to stay on
their bulls in the final round at the Reno performance. He
finished with a three-ride score of 262, only two points
behind Aaron Semas.

Murray leads in the race for the All-Around title after
injuries sidelined him for most of the past two seasons.
Prior to that, he won six straight titles, from 1989-95.

Slack competition got underway this morning at the West of
the Pecos Rodeo, with steer roping competition, and would
resume at 6 p.m. tonight with the first go round of team
roping, calf roping and steer wrestling.

Slack continues Tuesday morning, with the special pre-rodeo
performance of bull riding as part of Tuesday night's slack.
The 116th edition of the West of the Pecos Rodeo officially
begins Wednesday night.

Bird heads list of six Hall inductees

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., June 29 -- Larry Bird, whose talent and
tenacity led the Boston Celtics to three championships and
the NBA into a new era of prominence, was elected to the
Hall of Fame today with five others.

Also chosen were another basketball wizard, Marques Haynes
of the Harlem Globetrotters, former coach Alex Hannum, early
NBA big man Arnie Risen, current Texas women's coach Jody
Conradt, and ex-Yugoslavian coach Aleksandar Nikolic.

Last Monday, Lenny Wilkens joined John Wooden as the only
two-time inductees. Already in as a player, Wilkens was
honored as a coach.

Bird's candidacy in his first year of eligibility -- having
been retired five years -- probably didn't require much
discussion from the 24-member selection committee.

Bird thanked his high school, college and NBA teammates and

``I hope they all share in this because, like other awards I
have received, this is as much a team accomplishment as an
individual accomplishment,'' he said in a statement. ``I'm
very honored to be part of the Hall of Fame.''

He planned to comment further at a news conference in
Indianapolis on Tuesday.

``All the Celtics who made the Hall of Fame deserved it,''
said Red Auerbach, Boston's former coach, general manager
and president who is among 23 other Celtics already in the
Springfield, Mass., shrine. ``Larry absolutely deserves

Bird was rookie of the year in 1980, MVP in 1984, 1985 and
1986 and Finals MVP in 1984 and 1986. With him, the Celtics
won titles in 1981, 1984 and 1986 and the league soared to
unprecedented popularity. He was designated one of the NBA's
50 best players ever and often is mentioned among the top
five. And he was chosen coach of the year with the Indiana
Pacers last season, his first as an NBA coach.

He went to Indiana State after playing high school ball in
tiny West Baden, Ind., and took the Sycamores to the 1979
NCAA title game where they were beaten by Michigan State,
their only loss of the season.

Bird joined Boston in 1979-80 and transformed a franchise
that had missed the previous two playoffs. The Celtics went
from 29 to 61 wins in his rookie season and won the
championship the next year with coach Bill Fitch. The other
two titles came under K.C. Jones.

``Larry was the epitome of what a player should be,'' Jones
said. ``He had the total game ... great shooting, passing,
defense, rebounding, court sense and heart, as demonstrated
every time he dove for a loose ball.''

Back problems forced him to retire after the 1991-92 season,
his 13th. He was chosen for 12 all-star games and had career
averages of 24.3 points, 10 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

He and Magic Johnson could have been inducted together at
ceremonies set for Oct. 2 had Johnson not ended his
retirement on Jan. 29, 1996, when he returned to the Los
Angeles Lakers for 32 regular-season and four playoff games.
Johnson had sat out 4½ seasons, just short of the five-year
eligibility requirement. Now he must wait until 2002.

Haynes, nominated for the first time, graduated from
Langston University in 1947 after leading it to a 112-3
record over four seasons. In more than 12,000 games over
more than 40 years with the Harlem Globetrotters and Harlem
Magicians, his ballhandling and showmanship dazzled
audiences in 97 countries.

Hannum spent 16 seasons as a coach with seven NBA and ABA
teams, winning three championships.

Hannum, retired and living in San Diego, reacted to his
election with ``utter and complete shock.''

``I think it's a tremendous honor and it's something you can
only dream about,'' he said.

He led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 68-13 record in 1966-67,
when they won the NBA title, a team Hannum still considers
the best of all time. They were 62-20 in 1967-68. The next
season, he took the Oakland Oaks to the ABA title, becoming
the first coach to win championships in both leagues. Bill
Sharman did it later.

Hannum began coaching as player-coach of the St. Louis Hawks
in 1956-57, when they lost Game 7 of the finals to Boston,
then won his first NBA title as coach of the Hawks the next

Conradt, the winningest women's coach of all time, has spent
the last 22 seasons as coach of Texas. Her 709 wins make her
one of 14 college coaches of men's or women's teams with at
least 700, and she took Texas to 14 of the last 16 NCAA

``If I had dreamed every dream imaginable, I could not think
this could be a reality,'' said Conradt, reached during a
recruiting trip in Indianapolis. ``It's just amazing to me
the whole process by which women's basketball has claimed

Risen, 6-foot-9 and about 200 pounds, had the size of a
small forward in today's game. But he was an aggressive
rebounder in a 13-year career that began with Indianapolis
of the National Basketball League in 1945-46. He moved to
Rochester of the NBA in 1947-48 and stayed there until his
last three NBA seasons in Boston.

With him and Bird, the Celtics will have 25 Hall of Famers.

Nikolic began coaching the Yugoslavian national team in 1953
and led it to two silver medals and a bronze in European
Championships in the 1960s. He later became an outstanding
coach in Italy.

Nominees not selected were: Larry Costello, Adrian Dantley,
Artis Gilmore, Gus Johnson, Sidney Moncrief, Chet Walker and
coaches John Thompson and Tex Winter in the regular
category, former Wayland Baptist coach Harley Redin in the
women's basketball category, shoe company executive Grady
Lewis in the veterans category and Ubiratan Pereira Maciel
of Brazil in the international category.

U.S. coach steps down after World Cup

PARIS, June 29 (AP) -- Some familiar names are filling the
quarterfinals of the World Cup, while a new name soon will
be filling the coach's seat for the United States.

Steve Sampson quit today as U.S. coach less than four days
after the Americans finished dead last among the 32 teams.

Stung by criticism from players, Sampson's resignation was
announced following a breakfast meeting with U.S. Soccer
Federation president Alan Rothenberg.

``We at the federation thank Steve for his tremendous
service to our national team program and to soccer in the
USA,'' Rothenberg said in a statement. ``His tireless work
has helped advance our sport and on balance it was an era of
growth. I compliment him on his many achievements with our

Sampson led the U.S. team to a 26-22-14 record and a spot
in its third straight World Cup. Players and officials
openly talked of at least duplicating the performance of
1994, when the Americans reached the second round.

But the team never lived up to those expectations, and was
shrouded in controversy even before it arrived in France.

The low point came a week ago Sunday when the United States
lost to Iran 2-1, wiping out any chance of advancement. They
finished 0-3-0 and scored just one goal.

At the top of the Cup standings, the chances were shaping
up of Brazil vs. Europe again in the quarterfinals.

That was how World Cup '94 turned out, when seven European
nations made it to the last eight, only for the South
American soccer giant to win the title for a record fourth

On Sunday, France edged Paraguay 1-0 in the most dramatic
of styles -- the first sudden-death overtime ``golden goal''
in World Cup history, and Denmark outplayed Olympic champion
Nigeria 4-1 to reach the last eight.

With Italy already there along with Brazil, that makes it
three out of four from Europe.

Today's games were an all-European encounter between the
Netherlands and Yugoslavia, while Germany faced probably the
weakest opening-round survivor, Mexico.

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