Skip to main content
Original Issue


Ron Fimrite's glorious article in your college basketball '87-88 issue (It Was More Than Just a Game, Nov. 18) on the 1963 NCAA championship game brought a few tears and a flood of memories. Like Les Hunter, I have relived that game—which was so painful for us Cincinnati fans—thousands of times. What hurt so much then is a pleasant memory now. And to think that all 10 starters earned degrees!
Cincinnati '59
Columbus, Ind.

I have especially strong recollections of the first of the two games Loyola lost that season. The Ramblers, with a 22-0 record, fell behind 14-2 at Bowling Green State. Loyola never did get into the game and lost 92-75. Falcon fans went crazy. That may have been the best game Bowling Green ever played. The Falcons went 21-4 that season and were led by All-America Nate Thurmond and Howard Komives. Also contributing mightily were Elijah Chatman and Wavey Junior.

Coincidentally on that same night (Feb. 16, 1963) the Cincinnati Bearcats lost their only game of the regular season, 65-64 to Wichita. That cheated Bowling Green out of the next morning's headlines.

I was thrilled by your special college basketball issue, especially the cover featuring Wyoming's Fennis Dembo and the No. 4 ranking given to our Pokes. The story (They're Jumping for Joy) was as colorful as the photographs and captured the hoops mania that has gripped our state. At the time your photographer was here, I read a newspaper item about coach Benny Dees being photographed on top of the Arena Auditorium (a.k.a. the Dome of Doom). How about giving us and all your other readers a look at that picture?
Laramie, Wyo.

•That's Dees on the Dome to your right.—ED.

I was amused to read in your college basketball preview (The Juco Express) that "when juco gunner Kenny Drummond nearly sank North Carolina State last season with his selfish play, Wolf-pack coach Jim Valvano vowed never to recruit in Jucoland again." On Nov. 13, Gary Mattison of Chowan Junior College in Murfreesboro, N.C., signed a letter of intent to play for Valvano next season. Mattison, a wing guard who averaged 18.3 points per game in 1986-87, was the first Chowan freshman ever to be named to the all-region (North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia) team. He started out this season at Chowan averaging 25.7 points in six games.
Salisbury, N.C.

I see you had the same problem that we local sportswriters had when 5'3" Leland Wigington, now at Seton Hall, played at Ventura (Calif.) College: Is it Pookie (page 8) or Pookey (page 69)? He moves so fast, we were never able to stop him to ask which he preferred.
Camarillo, Calif.

•He spells it Pookey.—ED.


How soon you forget! Although Hersey Hawkins is a fine player and perhaps the best guard in college basketball this season (scouting reports, Nov. 18), he is not the best Missouri Valley Conference player since Larry Bird. That honor belongs to Xavier McDaniel, formerly of Wichita State and now a star with the NBA Seattle SuperSonics. Not only was the X-man an All-America, but he also led the country twice in rebounding and was the first and only collegian to lead the nation in scoring (27.2 points a game) and rebounding (14.8 a game) in the same season, 1984-85.
Wichita, Kans.

In your college basketball scouting reports, you mentioned that Fort Hays State, your No. 1 NAIA team, had a Michigan connection—three transfers from Hillsdale (Mich.) College. This is incorrect. Fort Hays State does have three outstanding newcomers and two are from the state of Michigan, but neither is from Hillsdale College. I coached at Hillsdale six years ago and took the Chargers 1980-81 team to fourth place in the NAIA tournament, before becoming coach at Fort Hays State in 1982. I continue to recruit Michigan players but never have had a transfer from Hillsdale.
Basketball Coach
Fort Hays State University
Hays, Kans.

Your college basketball issue was fantastic, especially the article on Western Kentucky's Terri Mann (This Mann Has a Mission). Although she is compared favorably in the piece with both Cheryl Miller and Moses Malone, the photograph of her on page 103 reminds me of another superstar, Michael Jordan. Lady Topper fans are hoping that she'll be able to stick out her tongue all the way to the national championship, just as Jordan did for North Carolina. By the way, thanks for not picking Western No. 1.
Bowling Green, Ky.

Regarding Douglas S. Looney's article The Not-So Big Eight (Nov. 16), tell the Big Eight's Other Six not to lose heart, and its Big Two (Oklahoma and Nebraska) not to get too smug. Michigan football fans remember that not very long ago the Big Ten was known as the Big Two and Little Eight. Among the teams Michigan and Ohio State used to routinely crush were such perennial patsies as Michigan State, Iowa and Indiana. Alas, things have taken on a slightly different look the past couple of years. Apparently Kansas's Bob Valescente is right: Success is never final.
Ypsilanti, Mich.

Please correct your Oct. 12 FACES IN THE CROWD item on Finnie McCombe of Boxford, Mass., in which you said that McCombe "beat Alex Burns of West Palm Beach, Fla., 4 and 3, to win the ladies' club title at the Ould Newberry (Mass.) Golf Course." McCombe defeated Mrs. Alex Burns, not Alex Burns, formerly the pro and now a consultant at Ould Newbury G.C.
West Palm Beach, Fla.




Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.