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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

McCray Jumps From ABL to Rival WNBA

September 16, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

The WNBA is expected to announce the signing of Nikki McCray, the most valuable player in the ABL, today.

McCray, a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, averaged a league-best 19.6 points in leading the Columbus Quest to the league title.

McCray, who earned $150,000 last season, will probably wind up with one of the league's two 1998 expansion teams, expected to be placed in Washington and Orlando.

The WNBA maximum player salary is $50,000, but the league may have offered her a personal services deal in addition to her player contract.

ABL chief executive officer Gary Cavalli said McCray and her agent, Lon Babby, made unrealistic salary demands.

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Tracy McGrady, the No. 9 pick in the NBA draft, signed a three-year, $4.7-million contract with the Toronto Raptors, the maximum allowed under the NBA salary cap.

McGrady averaged 27.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists in leading Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C., to a 26-2 record.

Golf

Miguel Angel Martin, who has threatened to sue if removed from the Ryder Cup, was offered expenses, a uniform and the right to call himself a European team member if he willingly leaves the squad.

Martin, who underwent wrist surgery Aug. 5, was removed from the team two weeks ago when he refused to play to prove he was healthy.

PGA European Tour director Ken Schofield said Martin was told he could receive the nearly $6,000 in expenses given to team members.

Tennis

Defending champion Boris Becker will face Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman in the first round of the Grand Slam Cup, tennis' richest tournament. The tournament, which runs Sept. 23-28 in Munich's Olympic Hall and carries a purse of $6 million, also matches Pete Sampras against Felix Mantilla of Spain in the first round.

Jurisprudence

A South Carolina judge stayed his order to unseal a search warrant of Charlotte Hornet owner George Shinn's home following a woman's allegation of sexual misconduct.

Shinn has been identified as a target of the investigation by a local TV station and newspaper.

A former topless dancer pleaded guilty to perjury for falsely accusing two Dallas Cowboys players of sexual assault.

Nina Shahravan, who earlier in the day pleaded innocent, changed her mind during jury selection and admitted lying to police about Michael Irvin and Erik Williams. The 24-year-old woman did not say why she did it.

Shahravan, who told police Dec. 30 she had been raped by Williams and an unidentified man at Williams' home, faces a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Auto Racing

Former Formula One racing champion Emerson Fittipaldi was recovering at his Miami home from surgery to repair a broken back suffered in an ultra-light plane crash Sept 7 in Brazil. Fittipaldi, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, underwent five hours of spinal surgery last Thursday to decompress and stabilize his spine.

Names in the News

Julio Cesar Chavez and Miguel Angel Gonzalez, ranked No. 1 and No.2 by the World Boxing Council, respectively, will fight for the vacant WBC super-lightweight championship Oct. 25 at the Plaza De Toros Bull Ring in Mexico City.

Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully and Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray are among four recipients of The Historical Society of Southern California's annual Community Enrichment Awards to be honored Sept. 24 at the Biltmore Hotel. The awards luncheon is part of a tribute to the late Jack Smith, a longtime columnist for The Times.

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