YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Orange County Roundup

Thornton Becomes First Irvine Player to Make NBA

October 25, 1985

Bob Thornton, who played center for UC Irvine from 1981 through 1984, became the first Anteater alumnus in history to make an NBA club this week. As the New York Knicks made their final cuts of the season, Thornton remained on the 12-man roster.

After playing for Mission Viejo High School and Saddleback College, Thornton spent the next three seasons at UCI. During his senior season, he averaged 12.3 points per game and 8.1 rebounds.

He was selected by the Knicks in the 1984 draft in the fourth round, but elected to play last winter in a pro league in Madrid. Of the nine Anteaters in history to be drafted byu an NBA team, three were chosen in '84.

Numerous players have played in Europe before trying out for in the NBA, including Jeff Ruland, Marc Iavaroni, and Kurt Rambis.

Runners representing 18 Summer Olympic host cities will be in the field for the Orange County Marathon Dec. 15, starting at the Irvine Company headquarters in Newport Center and finishing at UC Irvine.

Among the cities sending runners to the race are Athens, Seoul, Paris, Helsinki and London.

Athens will be represented by Greek national champion Panayotis Skoulis. Stockholm will send Kjill Eric Stahl, formerly Sweden's fastest male marathoner, and Solvieg Hanysson, who won the women's division of the 1984 Seoul Marathon. Esa and Taivi Tikkanen, a husband and wife who are each top international marathoners, will represent Helsinki.

Two Canadian runners will also be among the favorites to win, according to Bill Toomey, 1968 Olympic decathlon gold medalist and co-director of Sports Directions Ltd., the Dana Point company organizing the race. Kathe Needham of Toronto has a best time of 2:48, while Muya Wachira of Ottawa ran a 2:17.05 in the 1984 Houston Marathon.

Top male and female runners will receive $2,500. Other prizes, including a truck, will be awarded to winners from each of Orange County's 26 cities and seven unincorporated areas. For more information, call 661-6473.

The Capistrano Racquet Club will be the site of the seventh Lomas San Juan Pro-Am Tennis Tournament this weekend. Several teaching pros from Southern California, including Whitney Reed, Jim Yarborough and Doug Smith, are scheduled to compete. The public is invited and admission is free. Play begins Friday and concludes Sunday.

Ruth and Tom Wysocki of El Toro will defend their shared title in the Foot Locker Partners National Championship 8-kilometer race at Griffith Park in Los Angeles Nov. 2.

Ruth Wysocki represented the United States in the 800 and 1,500 meters at the 1984 Olympics, and her husband Tom is a top 10,000-meter competitor.

The Foot Locker Partners National Championship allows pairs of runners to compete for awards in five age groups, as well as in sibling, husband-wife, father-son and mother-daughter divisions. Entries are available at Foot Locker stores, or by calling (213) 396-7727.

Los Angeles Times Articles