Tuesday, September 13, 1977 The Daily Tar Heal 5
Tar Heel basketball greats return
By WILL WILSON
"I looked at my jersey as I went to the
showers. I looked at the number on it and
thought to myself that this would be the last
time I would take it off."
March 28, 1977
Walter Davis was a disconsolate soul that
Monday night in the lockerroom at the
Omni in Atlanta where Carolina had just lost
to Marquette in the national championship
While Davis surely never will forget that
post-game moment, he did get another
chance to wear that light blue uniform with
the 24 on it, and he wore it with style.
The occasion was the Pro-Alumni game
Saturday in Carmichael Auditorium, and
Davis" performance was such that when he
left the game with 4:34 remaining he earned a
minute-long standing ovation from the
crowd of 9,000.
Davis, seemingly completely healed
the broken wrist he suffered in a pick-up
game in June, went full throttle for the 21
minutes he played, scoring 17 points. Davis'
Blue team, also sparked by 1976 graduate .
Mitch Kupchak, Bobby Jones ('74), Bill
Chamberlain ('72) and "old men" Lee
Shaffer ('60) and 1 arrv Rmn r'6.1).
swamped the Whites 105-60.
Most Tar Heel basketball fans know that
Kupchak, Jones. Robert McAdoo and
Charlie Scott are well-established pro
players. They also know Davis, John
Kuester and Tommy LaGarde will be trying
to become the same this fall.
But Carolina has a couple of other
representatives in the National Basketball
Association that some may not know about.
Both were present for the game Saturday.
George Karl, who wa,s graduated from
UNC in 1973. has played for the San
Antonio Spurs for the past four seasons. His
pro career has been sporadic, plagued by a
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Stiff photo by Jowpti Thomai
Steve Previs gets ready to drive in for a basket during the first
annual Pro-Alumni basketball game this weekend. Previs is
driving on Darrell Elston (32), Donald Washington (44), Bob
McAdoo and Charlie Scott (33). The game gave former North
Carolina basketball players who have played in the pros a
chance to return and remember the good ole days
Tennis togs replace gowns at Open
By KAREN OATES
and JEANNE NEWSOME
NEW YORK - The lobby of the
Roosevelt Hotel was packed with the sort of
people usually not found in New York hotel
lobbies. Tennis people. Men in white tennis
shorts lounged at the baf , eyeing women who
obviously were enjoying being eyed.
Racquets with prestigious names were being
held by prestigious tennis players. (Rumor
had it that Chris Evert was staying on the
second floor. So was Bjorn Borg, Dick
Stockton and John Newcombe, or so the
management claimed. Despite craning necks
and nervous glances around the lobby, they
never appeared.) Foreign accents were more
common than New York nasal. Long,
formal gowns and cigarette holders
contrasted sharply with shorts and t-shirts.
The feeling in the hotel was that the tennis
courts were right outside in midtown
Manhattan, and that the gowns and suits
were out of place, some kind of anachronism
before sports was made king of downtown
The West Side Tennis Club was a letdown
as well. Futile attempts to beautify the
grounds were represented by the crumpled
brown remains of plants in the small, white
flower boxes that surrounded the tennis
court. Flags of the participating countries
lined the outer rim of the stadium. The
crowds were shifting, never still and rarely
quiet. On a hot humid Saturday afternoon, it
was difficult to get comfortable on hard
stadium seats. This definitely was not the
Forest Hills we expected. It was all so
realistic,-right down to the rumble of the
subway trains in the background.
The linespersons entered single file and
circled the court before seating. Then the
umpire led the way for the two players to
enter the court, Victor Amaya and
(Vilas won the Open with a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6
0 win Sunday over defending champion
Jimmy Connors.) The crowd roared for
Vilas, looking sharp in his red and white
tennis shirt; somehow Amaya in his Carolina
blue shorts just didn't look as good. As the
match began, it was clear that Vilas would
triumph; it was just a matter of time. Even
the ball kids, who looked IS or 16 and
remarkably quick, appeared a little bored.
The linespersons yelled out their calls in
loud, ringing voices that were never
disputed, except once by Vilas. Otherwise,
the people around us proved more
interesting than the tennis.
Three rows in front of us sat comedian
Alan King, a frequent front-row fan of
tournaments; Ion Tiriac, Vilas's mentor,
watched the match from the sidelines.
Australian tennis star Colin Dibley and
Jimmy Connors' ex-manager-agent Bill
Riordan sat nearby. Across the court was the
press box, holding Tony Trabert, Pat
Summerall, and numerous TV cameras and
workers. What looked like a Kennedy boy
sat underneath the awning which covered the
seats reserved for VIPs and BPs.The awning
looked inviting from the hard, sweltering
Back in the Roosevelt after fighting the
subway battle, we headed to the bar again.
The counters were a mess: bottles, glasses
and napkins everywhere. It looked like a
cyclone had hit in our absence. We looked at
the bartender. "Yeah," he said
apologetically, "de Atlanta Braves been heah
Somehow, it just wasn't as glamorous as
we had expected.
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That knee is the reason he played only two
minutes Saturday. He had knee surgery in
May after tearing it up during the season,
"Hopefully I'll get to play this year," Karl
said after the game. "I've been working with
weights and stuff, but it's just not coming
around as fast as I had hoped.
"Whatever happens, this will definitely be
my last year (in the pros)."
Karl, who was married earlier this year
and now makes his home in San Antonio,
hopes to go into coaching on the college or
professional level after this season.
Another goal of Karl's is to return next
year and play in the second Pro-Alumni
game, if it is held.
"I had a good time seeing all the people,
but I really didn't enjoy sitting on the bench
all that time. I'd like to come back w hen I can
Darrell Elston (74) has been bouncing
around the pro circuit the past three years,
playing with the Virginia Squires for two
years and his home state Indiana Pacers last
year. He never really got into the swing of
things with either team, and now has hopes
of playingfor the Atlanta Hawks this season.
"I went to a tryout camp down here this
summer," the 6-foot-3 inch guard said.
"They brought back four players from that,
and I was one of them. I'll be going down
Elston spent most of the summer in
Chapel Hill rather than going home to
Indiana. He thinks it will prove to his
advantage when he goes to Atlanta.
"The best competition in the country is
around here," he said. "1 get to play against .
all the young players. 1 couldn't get this kind
of play in Indiana."
The players' favorable response to the
game is a strong indication that it will
become an annual event, as its backers hope.
Although he played only six minutes, Billy
Cunningham ('65) said he'd love to come
back. "It was a great reunion, and I had a lot
of fun. I only get down here a couple of times
Lennie Rosenbluth, the oldest player who
returned, was glad to just get through the
game. "I was just praying to make it." said
the 1957 national player of the year, who saw
17 minutes of action. "I haven't played in
about 10 years. I'll come to about five more
of these and then stop."
Charlie Scott ('70), who scored just one
point in 19 minutes, said, "I'd come back for
the fun of it, but it's hard to play in a game
like this. I don't play for fun anymore I'm
working toward a team goal."
Scott said it was not just this game that
was hard for him, but other all-star contests
as well. "The pro one is just terrible." he said .
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Stiff photo by JoMpft Thomu
Dennis Wuycik tried for a layup over Bobby Jones (34) during the Pro-Alumni game
this weekend. The game gave the former Carolina players a chance to return to
Chapel Hill and gave basketball fans in the area a little taste of the sport as football
season gets underway.
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