At first glance, it would seem that Dan Kendra III is as suited to
playing Schwarzenegger's rival in some celluloid shoot-out as he is
to quarterbacking Florida State. At 18, he stands 6 ft. 2 in. and 220
pounds, bench-presses 365 pounds, squats 500, runs the 40 in 4.5 and
feeds mice to his pet alligator, Floyd. Most important, he has an arm
so strong he once broke a receiver's nose with a pass. In his career
at Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic, he passed for 6,087 yards, more than Dan
Marino and Joe Montana had when they were in high school in
Pennsylvania. ''The next level is where it all counts,'' Kendra says.
It's a safe bet he and Floyd will make their mark.
Grace Ji-eun Park
In January 1991, 11-year-old golf prodigy Grace Ji-eun Park took a
trip from her home in Seoul, South Korea, to her aunt's house in
Hawaii. Her parents did not tell Grace until later that they had
booked a one-way flight. Her father, Soo Nam, wanted her to live in a
more temperate -- and competitive -- climate to sharpen her golf
game. It worked. Seven months later, at the Japan Cup in Nagoya,
Grace shot 26 under par over 54 holes. She has since moved to
Phoenix, where last fall she led Xavier Prep to its 15th straight
state-tournament win. Says her coach, Sister Lynn Winsor, ''This
golfer will be the best in the world.''
Every winter there is a new one, a high school basketball star
whose exploits are tracked from coast to coast. This year it is a 6
ft. 2 in. point guard from Brooklyn named Stephon Marbury, who will
attend Georgia Tech this fall. He has been compared to Kenny
Anderson, another New York phenom who went to Tech. Ex-UNLV coach
Jerry Tarkanian has called Marbury the best high school point guard
he has ever seen. His game has been honed by his three older
brothers, each of whom was a prized Division I recruit. ''At first,
the pressure was living up to the Marbury name,'' Stephon says. Now
he will have to live up to his brothers' nickname for him: Starbury.
Twenty-year-old Lawrence Johnson of Chesapeake, Va., has two
passions: the pole vault and music. In 1993 he broke four U.S. junior
records in the vault, raising the national mark to 18 ft. 3/4 in..
Then, last year, as a sophomore at Tennessee, he won the NCAA indoor
championships with a vault of 19 ft. 1 1/ 2 in.. ''You rock back, the
wind is rushing by you, and suddenly you're flying,'' Johnson says
of pole vaulting, displaying the gift for evocative imagery he uses
in his other interest, writing R&B lyrics. Who knows? Now that he has
set his sights on world-record holder Sergei Bubka's 20 ft. 2 in.,
Johnson may one day make news with records in two fields.
It's hard to know what's more impressive about the No. 6 female
tennis player in the world, Lindsay Davenport of Murrieta Valley,
Calif.: the way she clobbers the ball or the way she carries herself.
At 6 ft. 3 in., 165 pounds, she has a booming serve and a withering
arsenal of baseline shots. The 18- year-old Davenport also has a
mature attitude in a sport known for producing immature stars.
''People are too spoiled now,'' says Davenport. ''No one is treating
me like a queen or a princess.'' In her first nine tournaments since
turning pro, Davenport has won twice and only once failed to reach
Shortstop Alex Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners made his major
league debut last summer as an 18-year-old at Boston's Fenway Park.
As he was taking his position, he turned to 43-year-old Rich Gossage,
who was trotting out to the Mariners' bullpen, and asked the
reliever, ''You nervous, kid?'' Drafted No. 1 in 1993 out of
Westminster High in Miami, Rodriguez, a defensive wizard, signed a
three-year, $1.3 million contract with Seattle. In 66 games at Class
A Appleton, Wis., he hit .319 with 14 homers, 35 RBIs and 16 steals,
and just 10 1/2 months after signing, he was called up to the bigs.
Says the 6 ft. 3 in., 190-pound Rodriguez, ''I know I can play at
On his left breast, 19-year-old Joe Smith of Maryland has a tattoo
of a snarling bulldog. His friends encouraged him to choose the
fierce image, Smith says, ''because they call me the Beast.'' It's a
characterization that's hard to dispute. Last season, the 6 ft. 10
in., 221-pound center was the NCAA basketball freshman of the year
after averaging 19.4 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. He's a
deadly shooter in the lane with either hand, a threat from beyond the
three-point arc and -- remember that tattoo -- a menacing force under
the boards. As another Smith, Dean, the coach of North Carolina, puts
it, ''Joe Smith is just tremendous.''
In St. Louis, fans used to crawl through a window of the sold-out
gym at St. Joseph's Academy just to see Kristin Folkl play. She gave
them lots of opportunities. When she wasn't leading the basketball
team to four straight state titles, Folkl was leading the volleyball
team to four straight state titles. Now 19 and a freshman playing
both sports at Stanford, she helped the Cardinal win the '94 NCAA
volleyball championship. At 6 ft. 2 in., Folkl has a 29-inch vertical
leap and can dunk a basketball, though she says, ''People put too
much emphasis on it.'' Get your tickets now for the 1996 Summer
Olympics: Folkl hopes to compete in both sports in Atlanta.
Claudio Reyna, 21, led Virginia to three straight NCAA soccer
titles, twice earned player-of-the-year honors and was the youngest
member of the U.S. team in the 1994 World Cup. Though a pulled
hamstring kept Reyna off the pitch during the Cup, Bayer Leverkusen,
a powerful German team, signed him last August to a one-year contract
worth as much as $900,000. A gifted playmaker in midfield, Reyna is
still learning as a reserve with the talented Leverkusen club but
says, ''It's been a positive experience. I don't feel I need to
rush.'' True enough. Already, many think he could become the best
U.S. soccer player ever.
Los Angeles King G.M. Sam McMaster has called Jamie Storr of
Brampton, Ont., the best young goalie he has ever seen -- and he has
seen a lot of Storr. McMaster watched him some 100 times in the
Ontario Hockey League, as well as at the 1994 world championships in
Italy, where Storr's team won the title. The Kings took Storr with
the seventh pick in the 1994 NHL draft, knowing his head wouldn't be
turned by the bright lights of the big city. ''Jamie's not like other
guys,'' says King defenseman Marty McSorley. ''He doesn't try to act
like he belongs -- he just knows it.'' Says Storr, 19, ''My future
may be in L.A., but my heart will always be in Brampton.''