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Basketball Game Is Postponed : War: Teams from North Carolina and North Carolina State don’t play. NBA players form circle and hold hands.

From Staff and Wire Reports

A basketball game between North Carolina and North Carolina State scheduled for Wednesday night at Chapel Hill, N.C., was postponed, but all pro sports went on as scheduled after war broke out in the Persian Gulf.

There were eight NBA games, including the Washington Bullets and the Clippers at the Sports Arena.

In Milwaukee, Buck players held hands in a circle before their game against Indiana. Fans at the Bradley Center also held hands before singing the national anthem.

“It’s real now. It’s happened. We’re committed,” Buck center Jack Sikma said. “It’s been building up to a point. I think everybody had the opportunity to prepare themselves to put it in perspective. As American people, we realize what our people (over there) are doing for us. They have our respect, our support and our prayers.”

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The NBA said it would “seek additional guidance from the White House and State Department” today.

The NHL also is standing by.

The NFL said earlier this week that it had no plans to cancel Sunday’s championship games.

“The league will have no further elaboration on what we said last Monday,” NFL spokesman Joe Browne said. “Like the rest of the nation, we’re closely watching the news of the events.”

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The North Carolina-North Carolina State game was postponed about half an hour before tipoff.

“This is just a moment of recognition that our lives are changing,” University of North Carolina chancellor Paul Hardin said. “This is not a moment to play basketball.”

North Carolina senior Pete Chilcutt has a brother serving in the Persian Gulf, and teammate Rick Fox said, “I don’t think our minds would have fully been on the game. Some people might be disappointed, but life goes on other than basketball. And there are a lot more important things right now.”

No makeup date was set.

“Ballgames and life go on during times of war,” Hardin said. “Most of us remember times of war when you conduct life as near normally as possible. Therefore, there will be a resumption of, more or less, normal activities. When that will seem appropriate, I can’t tell at this moment.”

The U.S. Naval Academy will review the situation to determine whether to continue the basketball season, Athletic Director Jack Lengyel said.

"(Canceling the season) is a possibility” only in the event of a crisis situation that put the academy or midshipmen in jeopardy, Lengyel said.

In Annapolis, Md., an announcement that U.S. fighters had attacked Iraq was made at halftime of the Richmond-Navy basketball game. About 40% of the fans went home at that point.

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Army was playing at Lafayette when news of the attack spread. There was no announcement of war, however.

Robert Helmick, president of the United States Olympic Committee, said the USOC had sent a State Department advisory to all national sports federations that told them to use caution before sending athletes to Europe and other areas where there might be terrorism.

A State Department official said they would advise athletes to go to competitions in Europe only if they were considered important. He also suggested that U.S. athletes not wear any clothing outside of competitions that would identify them as Americans.


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