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Names In The Game

February 1, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ Vin Baker of the Milwaukee Bucks, a day after being added to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as a reserve, on Wednesday was selected to play in the NBA Slam-Dunk Championship, part of the All-Star activities.

Baker replaced Detroit Pistons rookie Grant Hill, who doesn’t want to aggravate a foot problem, according to the league.

Hill still is slated to start in the All-Star game Feb 12 in Phoenix. Since a player cannot appear both in that game and the rookie game, Trevor Ruffin of the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday replaced Hill on the rookie-game roster.

Jamie Watson of the Utah Jazz will take the place of Robert Pack of the Denver Nuggets in the Slam Dunk. Pack has a sore back, the league said.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Chris Webber of the Washington Bullets is featured in the NBA’s 1995 public service announcement honoring Black History Month.

The spot, in which Webber recites lines from a poem by Langston Hughes, will be shown Sunday during NBC’s coverage of an NBA doubleheader and will continue through the nmonth during game broadcasts on NBC, TNT, TBS and NBA Radio.

Webber is a collector of historic documents from prominent figures in African-American history. His collection includes letters and notes signed by Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, George Washington Carver and colonial poet Phillias Wheatley. The collection is at Wayne State University in Detroit.

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BAY CITY, Texas (AP) _ Celebrity golf tournaments abound on courses everywhere, but one set for this weekend in Bay City has grabbed enough big-time sports names to outshine several All-Star weekends.

First, there is Michael Jordan.

Then the Ken Griffeys, both father and son; Jeff Bagwell; Thurman Thomas; Bobby Hebert; Earl Campbell; Ricky Jackson; Chili Davis; Dalton Hilliard; Enos Cabell; Ricky Sanders and Pat Swilling.

The Eric Martin Celebrity Golf Tournament is the dream of its namesake, a Kansas City Chiefs receiver who played high school ball at Van Vleck in Bay City, a town of 19,000 about 65 miles southwest of Houston.

``I want to give something back to the community that has supported me in my career,″ Martin said. ``It’s also something for the kids here. It’s hard to be a kid growing up today and I want to help.″

Martin and the other organizers hope to raise between $60,000 and $100,000, much of which will go to local charities. Some proceeds also will help build a youth center and defray some cancer treatment expenses of Alfred Blackmon Jr., a former Van Vleck star and brother of Seattle Seahawks free safety Robert Blackmon.

Martin, who spent 10 years with the New Orleans Saints before moving to the Chiefs, has organized the tournament for several years.

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) _ Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal will miss at least a month of play following surgery on his right foot, but is expected to defend his Masters title at Augusta in April.

The Spanish golfer said the foot had bothered him for the last 18 months, a problem caused by a malformed big toe.

Dr. Ramon Viladot Perice, who headed the surgical team, said the operation to shorten the toe had been successful. He said Olazabal would be released this weekend.

Olazabal’s agent Sergio Gomez said Olazabal would have to withdraw from two tournaments on the PGA Tour, but still expected him to play in several events in the United States prior to the Masters.

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LONDON (AP) _ Any last-minute hitches involving Nigel Mansell’s deal with McLaren-Mercedes have apparently been resolved.

The England-based Formula One team confirmed it will announce is 1995 driver lineup on Friday, two days later than originally scheduled.

McLaren said a news conference would be held at a London hotel. While no details were given, it’s no secret that Mansell’s signing will be announced.

McLaren began negotiating with Mansell after the former world and Indy-car champion was turned down by his old team, Williams-Renault, in favor of David Coulthard.

Apparently, the main sticking point in Mansell’s negotiations with McLaren has been money. British newspapers reported that Mansell was asking McLaren for $1 million per race for the 16-race season. He is expected to get only half that amount.

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LONDON (AP) _ Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear, team captain Vinnie Jones and Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler were charged by English Football Association Wednesday with bringing the game into disrepute and ungentlemanly behavior.

Kinnear and Jones were cited for incidents following last week’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Newcastle.

Kinnear allegedly called the referee ``a cheat″ and confronted officials as they left the field before a police officer stepped in between them. He was upset that Wimbledon was denied a tying goal in the final minutes.

Jones was warned for a foul and abusive verbal attack on Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan in the lockerroom hallway.

Fowler is alleged to have made improper gestures at spectators during Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Leicester on Dec. 26.

``The police received complaints including an allegation that Fowler pulled up his shorts to expose his bottom,″ the spokesman said.

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