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West Impressed, Even Though He Hit Road Early Again

March 03, 2000|VINCE KOWALICK

While the Lakers played Wednesday night at Staples Center against the Vancouver Grizzlies, Jerry West sat courtside in the tiny Matadome of Cal State Northridge, watching the Matadors against Weber State and getting another up-close look at Big Sky Conference basketball.

It was the second consecutive Northridge home game attended by West, Laker executive vice president and NBA Hall of Famer. On Saturday, West departed with eight minutes to play and Northridge trailing Portland State by 17 points. The Matadors rallied to win, 79-78.

Joined Wednesday by General Manager Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers, West stayed a bit longer as Northridge routed Weber State, 76-62.

West intended to get a glimpse of two of the Big Sky's best players, Ime Udoka of Portland State and Harold Arceneaux of Weber State, although Udoka suffered a season-ending knee injury two days before the Vikings played at Northridge.

As for the Matadors, West praised their effort and style of play.

"They play well [for a team] at this level," West said. "And it's obvious they are very well-coached."


Northridge might not be seeing the last of Hewitt Rolle.

Rolle, a senior forward for the Matadors, will play his final game at the Matadome on Saturday night against Cal State Sacramento.

But Rolle soon could be back in a Matador uniform--one with shoulder pads.

Rolle, 6 feet 7 and 230 pounds, said he intends to play football in the fall. At least, he is scheduled to meet this week with Coach Jeff Kearin.

Kearin said he knows little about Rolle but is interested in landing an athlete of his caliber.

"I see him as a pass-rush kind of guy," Kearin said.

That's fine with Rolle, who said he played one year as a defensive end in high school in his native Bahamas.

"I'm a big football fan," Rolle said. "I think I could be a good football player. That's my kind of sport."

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