CALGARY — Bucks of all kinds came through for U.S. speed skater Bonnie Blair when she needed money. Not only did the Champaign, Ill., police department sponsor her efforts in recent years, but professional basketball player Jack Sikma of the Milwaukee Bucks helped Blair go for the gold, too.
Sikma and some of his former fraternity brothers from Illinois Wesleyan University, in Bloomington, Ill., pitched in with about $1,500 apiece "about five years ago," Sikma said Monday night, explaining they had held a couple of fund-raising dinners and a benefit golf tournament. Sikma had gone to Illinois Wesleyan with Rob Blair, Bonnie's brother.
Reached at a hotel in Secaucus, N.J., where the Milwaukee team was staying, just after Blair's winning race, Sikma said: "I saw it all. It was just great. I really wish I could have been there, but maybe I'll have a chance to see her at the next Olympics.
"It's really something. All that pressure, and only 40 seconds. You have to get it all right."
Sikma said Blair had been to a couple of Bucks' games, but that primarily they kept track each other through post cards.
"She has an easier time of keeping track of basketball scores than I do of finding the speed skating results," Sikma said. "But the spotlight right now is rightly and justly hers."