Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Russian Basketball Team to Miss 1996 Olympics

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Russian Basketball Team to Miss 1996 Olympics

Article excerpt

Lithuania, Croatia and Yugoslavia joined Greece in the semifinals of the European Basketball Championship and clinched berths for next summer's Atlanta Olympics. The four Olympic slots from Europe go to the semifinalists, meaning Russia, the silver medalists at the 1993 European Championship and last year's World Championship, will not play in the 1996 Games, in Atlanta.

Toni Kukoc had 24 points and 10 rebounds in leading Croatia over Italy 71-61. Arvydas Sabonis scored 33 points and had 14 rebounds, powering Lithuania past Russia 82-71 and Vlade Divac scored 13 points and anchored Yugoslavia's 104-86 victory over France. Panayiotis Fassoulas and Fanis Christodoulou combined for 37 points and 20 rebounds, pacing Greece to a 66-64 victory over Spain.

Croatia and Lithuania will play in one semifinal today. Yugoslavia faces Greece in the other semifinal. The tourney is being played in Athens, Greece.

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BASKETBALL

Knicks Talk With Nelson

The New York Knicks are having serious discussions with former Golden State coach Don Nelson about their vacant coaching job.

General manager Ernie Grunfeld met with Nelson's attorney, John O'Connor, but said no job offer had been made. The Knicks are searching for a replacement for Pat Riley, who resigned June 15 with a year left on his contract. Nelson, 55, resigned from the Warriors under pressure in February after a tumultuous season. He coached the Warriors for 6 1/2 seasons. Dennis Rodman signed autographs for jurors and joked about getting a new hair color after a jury in Atlanta found no evidence that he gave herpes to a former Atlanta Hawks cheerleader. The U.S. District Court jury ruled in favor of Rodman in a suit brought by Lisa Beth Judd. She was seeking $1.83 million in damages. Judd claimed Rodman infected her with the incurable sexually transmitted disease in 1993. The Chicago Bulls traded power forward Corie Blount to the Los Angeles Lakers for future considerations. He averaged 3.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 68 games last season. Blount became expendable when the Bulls drafted Alabama power forward Jason Caffey on Wednesday. Golden State hired George Irvine as an assistant coach. He has spent 24 years as a player, coach and executive in pro basketball and joins the staff of new Warriors coach Rick Adelman.

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SOCCER

Man Given 43 Years For Killing Player

The gunman who killed Andres Escobar, whose blunder in a game against the United States helped eliminate Colombia from the World Cup, was sentenced to 43 years in prison. Humberto Munoz Castro shot Escobar on July 2, 1994, outside a bar in Medellin. Several days earlier, Escobar accidentally kicked the ball into his own net in a 2-1 first-round loss that eliminated the team from the World Cup.

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MOTOR SPORTS

Fox To Be Released From Hospital

Stan Fox, who suffered a critical head injury in a first-lap crash in the Indianapolis 500, probably will be released from the hospital within two weeks to start rehabilitation, the race car driver's neurosurgeon said. …

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