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He Goes From Near Sea Level to Being About a Mile High

Reggie Williams, who sandblasted more than a few rims in his days as a Clipper, is one of the Denver Nuggets’ surprising stars. A washout as a No. 1 draft pick of the Clippers--and later at Cleveland and San Antonio--Williams is scoring more than every Nugget except rookie sensation Dikembe Mutombo.

“In L.A., they wanted me to make every shot,” Williams said. “When I didn’t. I heard the boos. The game isn’t just about jump shots, but they never could see that. My confidence hit rock bottom there.”

Net worth: Agent Tom Reich, who represents Mario Lemieux, Paul Coffey and Luc Robitaille, wants Edmonton Oiler goalie Bill Ranford to be among the NHL’s highest-paid goalies. The top two are Grant Fuhr of Toronto ($1.6 million) and Patrick Roy of Montreal ($1.2 million).

For the record, Kelly Hrudey of the Kings is making $575,000 in the first year of a four-year $2.65-million deal.

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Trivia time: Who is Far-Lon Lookmingkwan?

Winning ugly: Dallas Cowboy quarterback Steve Beuerlein objected to criticism of his passing in last Sunday’s victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. “It depends what you term ‘bad,’ ” said Beuerlein, who was 9 for 31 for 145 yards.

Soccermania: There wasn’t exactly a mob scene at Kennedy Airport to greet the U.S. women’s soccer team after it won the world title in China. “There were about seven people there,” star player Michelle Akers-Stahl said.

Post time: If Kareem Abdul-Jabbar returns to the NBA, it would increase to five the number of former UCLA centers in pro basketball. Other former Bruins: Mark Eaton at Utah, Greg Foster at Washington, and Jack Haley and Keith Owens with the Lakers.

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Time flies dept.: Would you believe it? Most of the high school juniors being recruited by UCLA were born after the Bruins won their last NCAA championship in 1975.

Trivia answer: The IBF mini-flyweight champion.

Simply Marvelous: Former middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler was on hand last week in Atlantic City, N.J., to hand out the first Marvelous Marvin Hagler trophy to the winner of the James Toney-Mike McCallum middleweight title fight.

So who got the trophy? Hagler. Toney and McCallum fought to a 12-round draw.

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Quotebook: Former major league pitcher Pedro Ramos recalled this story at the winter meetings: “Mickey Mantle wanted to bet me $10,000 he could beat me in a race. I told him ‘Mickey, I don’t make $10,000.’ ”


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