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Volume 26 No. 227
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Names In The News

The N.Y. TIMES' Vanessa Friedman profiled stylist ERICA HANKS, who has been "building a power base in Charlotte, N.C., far from the fashion capitals" of N.Y. and L.A. Hanks works with clients like NFLers TRAI TURNER, CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN, GRAHAM GANO, THOMAS DAVIS and MELVIN INGRAM, as well as NASCAR drivers MARTIN TRUEX JR., KEVIN HARVICK, KYLE LARSON and CLINT BOWYER. Hanks also just "got the contract to outfit all 28 Fox Sports NASCAR announcers, most of whom are former drivers" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/8).

HONORS & AWARDS: Pro Football HOFer JIM KELLY will be honored with the Pat Summerall Award at the Legends for Charity Dinner on Jan. 30. The dinner will benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital (Legends for Charity)....WWE's BROCK LESNAR has been named as an honorary Univ. of Minnesota wrestling coach for the team's Big Ten opener against Wisconsin on Friday as the program "celebrates the 20th anniversary of his NCAA championship" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/7).

NAMES: Trail Blazers C HASSAN WHITESIDE in '16 offered to "pay for a major upgrade to a local gymnasium" in his hometown of Gastonia, N.C., But his mother, DEBBIE, "confirmed last week that it's highly unlikely the proposed installation of a new basketball court at Phillips Center will go forward." She blamed that change on a "breakdown in conversations with city leaders, and a misunderstanding about the logic of investing so much money in an aging, 53-year-old building" (GASTON GAZETTE, 1/7)....The two-year-old girl struck by a foul ball hit by Cubs CF ALBERT ALMORA JR. during a game against the Astros last season has a "permanent brain injury." No legal action has been filed, but the family's attorney, RICHARD MITHOFF, "declined to comment on any conversations he may have had with the Astros" (NBCSPORTSCHICAGO.com, 1/7)....The Medical Alley Association plans to "shine a spotlight on mental health in April" with a "'fireside' chat during the group's annual meeting in Minneapolis" featuring MICHAEL PHELPS and former U.S. Rep. PATRICK KENNEDY (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/7)....Country music artist SAM HUNT will headline the Navy Credit Union NHL Stadium Series outdoor game between the Avalanche and Kings at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium on Feb. 15 (NHL)....Browns WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. last night sat courtside at the Carrier Dome for the Virginia Tech-Syracuse men's basketball game as the "latest guest of local businessman ADAM WEITSMAN, who continues his run of bringing engaging names into the building" (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 1/7)....MADISON PREWETT, the oldest daughter of Auburn Dir of Basketball Operations CHAD PREWETT, is "competing on this season of 'THE BACHELOR'" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 1/8).

IN MEMORY: GEORGE PERLES, the "polarizing and outspoken" former Michigan State football player, coach, AD and trustee, "died peacefully in East Lansing" late last night at the age of 85. Perles announced he was battling Parkinson's disease in '17. In '90, Perles "used talks" with the Jets to land a 10-year deal as MSU football coach and AD that "did not last." His stint as AD ended in '92 because of "friction" with then-university President JOHN DIBIAGGIO, who "demanded Perles pick one job or the other." In '06, Perles ran and won a seat on the MSU BOT as a Democrat, and served from '07 until November '18, when he "resigned and cited health concerns following a year which included fallout from the LARRY NASSAR conviction." Following his stint as MSU coach, Perles in '97 "helped create the Motor City Bowl" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/8).