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DON GIBSON was named Exec VP/Marketing & Development for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Gibson, who spent seven years at MLB where his duties included licensing and corporate sponsorship, will develop a new 100,000 square feet facility, events and corporate sponsorships, and grow the Springfield, MA-based Hall's licensing program. The new facility is due to open in late '98 or early '99. Gibson: "We're looking to make the Hall more international and serve every constituency" (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 1/13 issue).
The Reds named MIKE RINGERING Dir of Public Relations and Publications (Sports Ticker)....Ice Capades, Inc. named MINNIE MADDEN President, Ice Capades Productions, and JOHN WIGNALL Senior VP, Ice Capades, Inc. (Ice Capades).
The two men who did the documentary "Hoop Dreams" have signed with Dreamworks and Producer GARY DAVID GOLDBERG to do a biopic of basketball Hall of Famer CONNIE HAWKINS, and hope to get the Pistons' GRANT HILL to make his film debut and play the lead role. PETER GILBERT, who along with Steve James worked with Hill before on a Fila commercial, said Hill's size and agility are "perfect" to portray the NBA star who almost never went pro due to a point-shaving scandal in college. Gilbert: "Like Connie, he can play a quiet and shy guy" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/12).
ARNOLD PALMER said he learned he has prostate cancer on Friday (NEWSDAY, 1/11)....Former Spurs Owner ANGELO DROSSOS, credited with bringing the three-point shot to the NBA and pro basketball to San Antonio, died at the age of 68 (WASHINGTON POST, 1/11).....Olympic skating champion OKSANA BAIUL was hospitalized with a concussion after a car accident Sunday in CT (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/13)....NBC's BILL WALTON has led an effort to restore a recreation area in South Mission Beach, CA (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/12)