SBD/29/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              NBA TeamUp Chair Bob Lanier and other NBA execs
         attended The Presidents' Summit for America's Future in
         Philadelphia (NBA)....Orlando "continues its pursuit" of the
         NFL Pro Bowl as NFL Exec Dir of Club Administration and
         Stadium Development Joe Ellis toured the area last week
         (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/27)....The U.S. Men's Clay Court
         Championships at the Walt Disney Sports Complex drew more
         than 15,000 for the week, including 4,600 for Sunday's
         final.  In Orlando, Charean Williams wrote the new facility
         and "even the ball boys and girls made an impression on the
         players."  Michael Chang: "I don't know whether they take a
         friendly course or what" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NFL, Walt Disney

              The WNBA held its inaugural draft yesterday as 32
         players were selected by eight teams.  The Houston Comets
         selected USC All-American Tina Thompson with the first pick. 
         The WNBA begins its season on June 21 (WNBA).  In S.F., Jake
         Curtis writes that "of the dozen top college seniors
         targeted by both the WNBA and the American Basketball League
         in their competition to sign high-profile players,
         [Stanford's Jamila] Wideman and Thompson were the only two
         signed by the WNBA" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/29).  In Hartford,
         around 400 people greeted the ABL's press conference
         announcing Kara Wolters' signing with the Blizzard (Bruce
         Berlet, HARTFORD COURANT, 4/29).
              TALE OF TWO LEAGUES: In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs compares
         the WNBA and ABL: "At this point, it's hard to determine
         whether the WNBA is a basketball league or the Jock Miss
         America Pageant. ... [the] WNBA seems content as arena-
         filler to jackknife between tractor pulls and indoor
         football."  Jacobs, on the ABL: "Women's basketball might be
         huge in Hartford.  But there's a bigger beast than the WNBA
         in much of America.  It's called potential lack of interest"
         (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/29).  USA TODAY's Dick Patrick profiles
         the two leagues, noting "If the ABL has the edge with '96
         Olympians and the class of '97, the WNBA counters with three
         marquee names" in Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes and Rebecca
         Lobo.  But Patrick writes the WNBA's "reputation is less
         player-knowledgeable and player-friendly," and that it
         "alienated some players with its inflexible approach on
         salaries and decision deadlines."  Jerome Stanley, agent for
         Tina Thompson: "It's hardball.  It's the same as the NBA
         only it's dressed up because this is women and it's new"
         (USA TODAY, 4/29).  In N.Y, Jack Cavanaugh calls the Wolters
         signing "another coup" for the ABL and a "balm of sorts" for
         Hartford which is "still reeling" from the Whalers' decision
         to relocate (N.Y. TIMES, 4/29).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, WNBA
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