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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | OLYMPIC NOTES

Houston May Miss First Game for U.S.

September 15, 2000|ROBYN NORWOOD

Guard Allan Houston is questionable for the U.S. basketball team's opener against China on Sunday because of a sprained right wrist.

"I don't know yet. It's hard to say," Houston said Thursday. "As of right now, I'm playing, but I may feel otherwise if it doesn't get better in two days."

The New York Knick guard was injured when he jammed his wrist going against teammate Shareef Abdur-Rahim in practice Wednesday, but it didn't seem to be a problem until he appeared wearing a splint Thursday.

Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said it's possible the team will be without Houston, who averaged seven points in five exhibitions, for the first game.

"Maybe. They told me two or three days," Tomjanovich said.

Houston admitted he is concerned.

"I'm worried about playing in the Olympics, period. But I think I will," he said.

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Nigerian hurdler Gloria Alozie, the fiancee of the Nigerian runner who was killed when he was hit by a car last week in Sydney, has decided to compete in the Games, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported.

Alozie, the silver medalist in the 100-meter hurdles at the World Championships in Seville last year, was engaged to Hyginus Anugo, who died Sept. 7.

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Alonzo Mourning will travel to Miami Sept. 22 to be with his wife, Tracy, for the birth of their second child, scheduled for Sept. 23. He'll arrive back in Australia Sept. 26, after an 18,660-mile round trip.

"I'll miss about two games, unfortunately, but I do trust my teammates to be able to hold down the fort till I get back," Mourning said, drawing laughter at a crowded news conference.

The games he'll miss will be against New Zealand, making its first Olympic basketball appearance, and France, which hasn't competed since finishing eighth in 1984.

By the way, Mourning already has decided how to commemorate his Olympic experience. The name he and his wife have chosen for their daughter is Myka Sydney Mourning.

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Dawn Staley, a co-captain of the U.S. women's basketball team, along with five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, lobbied hard for Edwards to be chosen as flag bearer, but the honor went to kayaker Cliff Meidl instead.

"I didn't get it done," Staley said. "I felt like the kid who came home after spending the grocery money."

Edwards, who had the distinction of reciting the Olympic oath on behalf of all the athletes in Atlanta in 1996, said being nominated was an honor.

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Australian basketball star Michele Timms, recovering from July knee surgery, expects to be able to play no more than 10-15 minutes a game.

"I'm on the mend, but I'm not going to be anywhere near the Michele Timms of old," said Timms, 35, a former WNBA all-star for the Phoenix Mercury.

"I'm not so worried because I think the backup point guard, Kristi Harrower, is playing such tremendous basketball--that takes all of the worry and concern away from the injury," Timms said.

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