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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS

Nails Aren't Only Things Flaked

July 21, 1996|ROBYN NORWOOD

The oddball on a volleyball team of California beach boys is Lloy Ball, an Indiana-bred setter with a goatee, tattoos and silver toenail polish who once turned down a basketball scholarship offer from Hoosier Coach Bob Knight.

"He told me I should have no preconceived notions about what I'd do, that he'd decided what I'd do," said Ball, 24. "That didn't seem that ideal to me. All my friends told me I had to go to Indiana. In my heart, I felt volleyball was what I wanted to do.

"Volleyball has gotten me here. I'm not sure what I would have done at IU. Maybe set a lot of picks for Damon Bailey."

Instead, he played volleyball for his father, Arnie Ball, the coach at the University of Indiana Purdue at Fort Wayne.

"In high school, all I did was study and play hoops," said Ball, a 6-foot-8 setter. "I got to college and saw a new world, and I jumped in with both feet."

Both of which now have silver toenails. Ball resisted the temptation to upgrade to gold.

"I just added a new coat," he said. "It was flaked."

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