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Names In The Game

April 17, 1993

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. (AP) _ NASCAR owner Junior Johnson doesn’t plan to retire despite undergoing surgery last month.

Johnson, 60, who underwent bypass surgery in early March to correct several blocked arteries, said Saturday he feels great.

″I’m back to feeling how I felt 20 years ago,″ he said. ″I hope that keeps improving.

″I’ve pretty much been assured by my doctors that in 5 or 6 years I will feel better than I do now. But that goes along with how well I take care of myself.″

Johnson, whose Winston Cup cars have won 136 races in 751 starts for more than $17.5 million, said he’s disappointed by this year’s showings but a report that he’s considering selling his racing teams is false.

″The teams are not for sale,″ Johnson said. ″... In no way is the team for sale or will be for sale as long as I’m here.″

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PHOENIX (AP) - How much is it really worth to see the Phoenix Suns in the NBA playoffs?

The owner of aerospace machine shop bought four seats to as many as 15 Suns playoff games for $10,600 in a bankruptcy court auction, outbidding a ticket broker and an airline pilot.

Brad Musil on Friday outbid Chuck Rich, an American Airlines pilot, by $100, and Jack’s Ticket Agency by $300 for the seats.

The ticket, with a face value of about $2,420, were auctioned by U.S. District Judge Robert Mooreman in bankruptcy court as part of a liquidation sale for a Scottsdale accountant who had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year.

The bidding Friday started at $8,100, the amount initially bid by the Tempe ticket broker.

″I came ready to play, and I hope that’s what the Suns do,″ said Musil.

Musil would get a refund for games the Suns don’t play if they are eliminated before the NBA Finals.

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Phil and Steve Mahre, the brothers who won Olympic and world championships skiing on the snow, this week will take on champion water skiers Bob Lapoint and Carl Roberge.

The competition Friday and Saturday will be held in Reno and on the slopes of Heavenly Lake Tahoe.

The event, believed to be the first of its kind, will be televised on Prime Network.

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MARATHON, Fla. (AP) - Paul Marmano of Boca Raton broke the course record by 14 seconds Saturday in the Seven-Mile Bridge Run over the longest bridge in the Florida Keys.

The 28-year-old fitness instructor’s 33:12 time beat the record set in 1989 by Luis Vanegas of Delray Beach.

Christine Mette, a 40-year-old mother of three, won the women’s division for the second straight year with a time of 39:32.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Reserve center Eddie Lee Wilkins finally was getting more playing with the Philadelphia 76ers because of injuries to teammates. And then, the 30-year old Wilkins tore an Achilles’ tendon in a game against the Orlando Magic.

″At his age, you’d have to say it’s a career-threatening injury, although not necessarily career-ending,″ said team doctor Jack McPhilemy.

McPhilemy said Wilkins would probably undergo surgery to repair the torn tendon, but would first consult with Dr. Norman Scott, the New York Knicks surgeon who has operated on him in the past.

Agent Steve Kauffman didn’t rule out a comeback for his client.

″Dominique Wilkins has been an inspiration to a lot of people,″ Kauffman said of the Atlanta Hawks star, who came back strong this season from a torn Achilles’ tendon last season. The two players are not related.

The Sixers used Eddie Lee Wilkins sparingly. He was brought in as insurance this season and played only 192 minutes.

His salary for the season was $500,000, and he would receive a $100,000 buyout if the Sixers do not exercise their option to renew his contract. He would become an unrestricted free agent.

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - No matter how many cheers Jeff Beckham gets for his precise, high-flying kicks, there always will be some people turning their backs during the halftime dance.

Beckham is Illinois’ new Chief Illiniwek, a source of pride for many Fighting Illini fans, but a symbol of racism those who believe the school is humiliating American Indians.

Wearing a headdress, facial paint and a genuine Indian outfit, Chief Illiniwek performs at football and basketball games.

Beckham, 22, promoted from assistant Chief after final tryouts Thursday night at Memorial Stadium.

″I’m very excited,″ the senior said. ″To me, the Chief is a symbol of strength and dignity for the university, nothing that can be construed as demeaning.

Michael Haney, a Seminole Indian in Oklahoma, has a complaint pending with the Illinois Human Rights Department, saying he was humiliated by the ″hostile environment″ at a Oct. 24 football game, where Chief Illiniwek made his usual appearance.

Illiniwek, which means ″they are men,″ was the loose confederation of Algonquin tribes that once lived in Illinois.

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