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Names In The Game

June 15, 1993

NEW YORK (AP) _ Washington receiver Art Monk, who set an NFL record for receptions last season, thought his career was over 11 years ago.

″I was running through my neighborhood in 1982 when I felt a tightening in my chest and throat,″ Monk recalled Monday. ″I couldn’t breathe. I thought it was a heart attack. I thought I was going to die.″

Monk sat on a curb for 45 minutes, trying to collect himself. The next day he went to the doctor. Shortly after that, he had his diagnosis: Asthma.

″It worsens when I work out,″ he said.″It is exercise-induced. I’ve had it happen in games and in practices. I never had a problem before I came to Washington.

″You never appreciate being able to breathe until you can’t. It can be dealt with if you get the proper attention and medication.″

Monk was in town to present 15 high school students with $40,000 in college scholarships as winners of the ninth Asthma Athlete of the Year Scholarship Program.

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HAMILTON, Ontario (AP) - Don McPherson’s long wait is over.

When the 28-year-old former Syracuse star takes a look at the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ depth chart, he sees his name at the top of the quarterback list.

″It’s definitely a different feeling,″ McPherson said Monday. ″But saying you’re the No. 1 quarterback is more for the front office and the media.

″Every time a quarterback steps into the huddle, he’s in charge and when he gets to the line of scrimmage it’s his show. I think every quarterback has that mentality, whether he’s starting or not.″

McPherson spent three seasons in the NFL with Philadelphia and Houston and has been a backup since joining the Tiger-Cats in 1991.

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ATLANTA (AP) - Organizers of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics say it’s time to give their Whatizit mascot a real name. And they’re asking children for help.

Beginning today, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games is soliciting suggestions from kids. A panel of Atlanta-area children will review the entries and select the name this fall.

Children 15 and under are eligible to submit suggestions through July 30 to: Itzaname, P.O. Drawer 2488, Atlanta, GA, 30301-2488.

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OSHAWA, Ontario (AP) - When 7-year-old Trevor Cox told Pauline Laing that he didn’t need to read to be a hockey player, the education director for the Durham board of education suggested he write to Wayne Gretzky.

The second grader at College Hill public school told Laing in no uncertain terms that he’s a Toronto fan and would write to Maple Leafs center Doug Gilmour instead of Gretzky.

In his reply, Gilmour told Trevor:

″If you have a dream to be a hockey player, an artist or a jet flyer it is very important to be able to read and write well.

″I read many things every day. I enjoy reading the daily newspaper to keep up with current events and other sports. I read letters sent to me by hockey fans and in the summer I read several books while I am relaxing ...

″As a hockey player I must be able to read and understand items such as contracts and advertising proposals, which are very important to my career.″

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JERUSALEM (AP) - Levan Ben-Levy is now Levan Petrovic.

The high school student from a Tel Aviv suburb officially changed his name in memory of Drazen Petrovic, the Croatian basketball star killed in a car accident in Germany on June 7.

″I want to continue to remember him so he should be alive for me,″ he told Israel television Monday.

The new Petrovic is also mourning the New Jersey Nets guard according to Jewish tradition by growing a beard.

Clad with a training shirt he received from the basketball star, the youth said, ″I am growing it whether he’s a Jew or not.″

″Some people tell me it’s not good, you should only mourn this way for a parent, but for me, he was exactly like a parent.″

Levan went to basketball camps in Yugoslavia for six straight years just to see Petrovic. The youngster displayed stacks of photo collages and a clock of the player.

″I play basketball, and I’d like to follow in his footsteps so that my name can be a memory for Petrovic,″ he said.

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HOUSTON (AP) - Darren Dreifort, the star pitcher and slugger who led Wichita State to the College World Series final, was named the winner of the R.E. ″Bob″ Smith Award as college baseball’s player of the year.

″I wasn’t going to boast if I won or cry if I lost,″ said Dreifort, selected second overall in this month’s amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. ″This is one of the biggest player of the year awards and I’m definitely just honored to be in this company.″

Dreifort was 11-1 with four saves and a 2.28 ERA and held opponents to a .180 average while striking out 110 in 93 innings. The junior hit .328 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs.

The other finalists were Texas pitcher-designated hitter Brooks Kieschnick, Texas A&M pitcher Jeff Granger and LSU second baseman Todd Walker.

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