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Referee Had No Problem Seeing It All

Skip Thayer, trainer for the Pittsburgh Penguins, was ejected from a game against the New York Rangers last month after he waved his glasses in the direction of referee Terry Gregson.

“I didn’t say a word to him,” Thayer told the Boston Globe. “He asked me what I was doing, and I said, ‘Glasses are a little steamy. I’m just airing them out.’ I guess 10 minutes was too long to air them out.”

Trivia time: Who ranks third behind Bill Walton and Lew Alcindor on UCLA’s all-time list of field-goal percentage leaders?

Dazzling debut: Twenty-five years ago last week, on Dec. 3, 1966, Alcindor played his first game for the UCLA varsity, contributing 56 points and 21 rebounds in a 105-90 victory over USC at Pauley Pavilion.

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Alcindor, who changed his named to Kareem Adbul-Jabbar after he left school, scored more only once in 87 more games at UCLA, getting a school-record 61 in a 100-78 victory over Washington State on Feb. 25, 1967.

King of the Beach: In the book, “Boris Yeltsin: From Bolshevik to Democrat,” the Russian president reveals that he slept with a volleyball on his pillow and, as a student, spent six hours a day playing the sport.

Captain Hook: Jama Bile of Fork Union, Va., lost his right shoe at the start of the Kinney Southern Regional high school cross-country race at Charlotte, N.C., last week, but still managed a second-place finish over the 5,000-meter course to qualify for the National Championships next Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego.

Bile limped in with a bloodied right foot after 15 minutes 19 seconds, having survived the rough gravel and dirt terrain throughout the race.

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He then found that a fishhook had lodged in his foot somewhere along the course.

“I didn’t know when it happened,” said Bile, whose older brother, Abdi, was the World Cup 1,500-meter champion in 1989. “It was hurting, but I couldn’t stop.”

She can dream: Colleen Matsuhara, first-year women’s basketball coach at UC Irvine, predicting that Virginia and Tennessee will reach the Final Four April 4-5 at the Sports Arena: “The other two teams coming to the Final Four? Should it be the Anteaters, I’ll be in for a huge bonus.”

UC Irvine was 1-27 two seasons ago, 5-22 last season.

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Quite an incentive: Said Tulsa Coach Dave Rader, asked what impact a 9-2 record and a Freedom Bowl bid has had on him: “It got me named Grand Marshal of the Tulsa Christmas Parade.”

Making up ground: Washington Coach Don James visited Miami during the Hurricanes’ spring practice in 1988 and ’89 and came away favorably impressed both times.

“I saw them in the spring of ’88, and I came home thinking we probably only had one player who could start for them,” James said. “Last year when I saw them, I thought we had closed the gap a little bit.”

But not all the way, yet. Going into the bowl games, Miami is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, Washington No. 2.

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Beware the Horned Frogs: Texas Christian apparently doesn’t command much respect outside of Ft. Worth.

Maybe it’s the name.

“Tennessee, they thought we were a bible school,” center Reggie Smith said.

TCU’s basketball team defeated the Volunteers, 73-59, and is 6-0 this season.

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Trivia answer: Stuart Gray, who made 57.3% of his shots in three seasons, 1982-84.

Quotebook: Bob Weiss, coach of the Atlanta Hawks: “We’re going to be exciting. . . . Of course, it was exciting when the Titantic went down.”


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