Ex-NBA Referee Strom Dies at 66

From Associated Press

Earl Strom, a 29-year NBA official who retired after working the 1990 finals, died Sunday at his Pottstown, Pa., home at 66. He had undergone surgery in January for a malignant brain tumor.

Strom was widely respected for his hard work and fairness. He learned his trade with the legendary officials of the NBA's formative years--Mendy Rudolph, Norm Drucker and Sid Borgia.

"The NBA will have been played in six decades--and I will have refereed in five," he said a year before retiring.

Bitter that the NBA had asked him to tone down his showmanship, Strom had said: "I feel I'm the last of a dying breed."

Strom, who once suffered a broken thumb while punching a fan, wrote a book about his career entitled "Calling the Shots" and worked as a television commentator for the Dallas Mavericks, Orando Magic and the Clippers. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, two daughters, three sons and seven grandchildren.


David Wheaton defeated Australian Todd Woodbridge, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), in the final of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships at Newport, R.I. . . . Top-seeded Sergi Bruguera of Spain defeated Guy Forget of France, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1, to win the Swiss Open at Gstaad for the third consecutive year. It was Bruguera's 13th career title, including the last two French Opens. . . . Unseeded German Bernd Karbacher upset defending champion Horst Skoff of Austria, 6-4, 6-3, to win the Swedish Open at Bastad.


An arraignment in Lumberton, N.C., for Larry Demery and Daniel Green, the two teen-agers charged with killing Michael Jordan's father, James, has been postponed, television station WTVD reported. The report said that no new hearing date has been set.

Demery and Green have been in the Robeson County Jail since their arrest last summer. Attorneys are still working through discovery motions in the case, WTVD reported.


Denmark's Bo Hamburger won the eighth stage of the Tour de France, and Johan Museeuw of Belgium retained the overall lead heading into a pivotal time trial.

On the 135-mile leg from Poitiers to Trelissac, favorites Miguel Indurain of Spain and Tony Rominger of Switzerland stayed with the pack. Indurain, in seventh place, was only 30 seconds behind Museeuw. Rominger was another 28 seconds behind.


J.D. Jackson hit a go-ahead three-point shot with 36 seconds left, then Rick Fox made two free throws, giving Canada a 93-89 victory over Germany and the title in the SuperCup tournament at Berlin.

Fox, a forward with the Boston Celtics, and Joey Vickery each scored 20 points as Canada finished 3-0 in the tournament, which serves as a tuneup for the World Championships in Canada next month.

At Taipei, Taiwan, the United States defeated Japan, 87-84, to win the William Jones Cup tournament.


Dexter Rogers had 27 kills to lead the U.S. men's national volleyball team to a 15-10, 15-13, 15-11 victory over Canada at Indianapolis and a 3-2 margin in their five-match outdoor tour.

Top-seeded Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan won their fifth consecutive Coors Light Women's Pro Beach Volleyball Tour event, defeating fourth-seeded Deb Richardson and Dennie Shupryt-Knoop, 15-7, in the Santa Cruz Open.


Todd Prestage of Australia won his second tour event of the year and his second career Malibu title in the Body Glove Bud Surf Tour Surfing and Longboarding tournament. Prestage previously won the event in 1992. Josh Baxter of San Clemente easily won his second consecutive longboard title.

Names in the News

Lesley Visser, formerly of CBS, will join ESPN this fall as a correspondent for the cable network's "NFL GameDay" and "SportsCenter" programs.

The Washington Redskins and their top pick in this year's draft, quarterback Heath Shuler of Tennessee, are close to a deal, the Washington Post reported.

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