* During yesterday's class of 2003 Hall of Fame Enshrinement show on ESPN, James Worthy's Laker teammate Magic Johnson called him, "My ultimate finsher." Johnson then added, "When he put [the ball] in one hand, Statue of Liberty, bam, it was over."
His other Hall of Fame Laker teammate, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, noted that, "James would literally leave people in the dust."
The "legendary" Dean Smith was called to the podium to present Worthy for his enshrinement on Friday night. Coach Smith said he was "pleased and privileged" to have that honor. "Big Game James, come on up," Worthy's North Carolina coach concluded.
Worthy described being a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as "the ultimate." The new Hall of Famer from Gastonia, N.C. proceeded to thank Dean Smith for being there and "for what you have contributed to my life." Smith looked at Worthy and pointed in his direction in the trademark Carolina gesture of gratitude.
Worthy also thanked his former Laker and North Carolina teammates, joked that although Michael Jordan is considered 'the man' at UNC, "I taught Michael everything he knows," and gave a "thanks for everything" to fellow Tar Heel Bob McAdoo (Hall Class of 2000).
OKULAJA, GERMANY ADVANCE IN EUROBASKET
* A 93-71 setback to Lithuania yesterday, following wins over Israel and Latvia, has Ademola Okulaja and the German national team headed to the Eurobasket elimination round today in Sweden, where they will face Italy. The winner goes to the quarterfinal round against Greece on September 10 in Stockholm.
Lithuania, featuring Maryland's Sarunas Jasikevicius and Wake Forest's Darius Songaila, connected on 13-of-28 3-pointers to take first-place in Group B and earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
Okulaja had a preliminary round best of 17 points and 10 rebounds versus Israel on Friday. Dallas Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki led Germany over Latvia with 32 points and nine rebounds on Saturday, as Okulaja tossed in 16 and grabbed six boards. In three games Okulaja averaged 28.3 minutes, 7.7 rebounds and 13.7 points, while shooting 14-for-24 from the field (1-2 on 3-pt. FGs) and 12-for-15 from the line.
In addition to Greece (host country) and Serbia & Montenegro (the current World Champion -- aka Yugoslavia), three other teams at Eurobasket will become Olympic qualified. You can visit www.eurobasket2003.com or www.fibaeurope.com or http://www.nba.com/global/eurobasket2003_index.html for updates on the 2003 European Championship. The event will conclude on September 14.
TEASLEY, SPARKS NEED ONE MORE
* Tonight in Los Angeles, Nikki Teasley and the WNBA's L.A. Sparks will need another win over Sacramento to advance to the WNBA Finals again.
Yesterday, the Sparks dominated Sacramento 79-54 to even the best-of-three Western Conference Finals at 1-1. Teasley paced Los Angeles with 10 assists and eight rebounds, along with scoring seven points (2-6 FG, 3-3 FT) in 37 minutes.
The winner will play a best-of-three series with the Detroit Shock for the WNBA championship. The decisive Sparks-Monarchs game will be televised on ESPN2 at 10:30 p.m.
CRAWLEY A DESIGNING WOMAN
* Former Tar Heel Sylvia Crawley was 5-10 in the fifth grade and now is a towering 6-5. That has always made it difficult to find stylish clothes in her size. Until now. According to an article in the San Antonio Express-News last week, Crawley has started a custom clothing venture -- Ephod Customs -- to help tall women find clothes that fit.
"My goal is to own a chain of stores where customers can come in, try things they like and have it fitted to their measurements by an on-site tailor," Crawley told the Express-News.
Here's a link for the full story -- http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=1680&xlc=1049541 -- including some designs by Crawley.