Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Skyview's Bauer signs on at Waldorf

Skyview senior Amanda Bauer has signed a national letter of intent to attend Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Bauer will receive an academic and athletic scholarship to compete in volleyball and basketball at Waldorf, which is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The programs volleyball coach Jodie Dosser and basketball coach Dennis Jerome have put together are considered solid academically and athletically. The basketball team finished third at the NJCAA National Tournament this season. Meanwhile, Dosser will be in her first year at Waldorf. She left a high school job, where she was tied for the most career wins by a high school volleyball coach in Iowa.

Bauer was the Region III/4A Southern Division Player of the Year this season in volleyball. She also led the Panthers to a sixth-place finish at the state tournament and was chosen all-state for her efforts. Bauer had over 700 career kills at Skyview, including 27 in one game. Both those stats are Skyview records.

In basketball, Bauer was named first team all-Region III and led the Panthers with 12 points per game. She also broke Skyview's season scoring record.

"Amanda leaves a mark on Skyview's girls athletics," Skyview volleyball coach Sheila Kupferschmid said in a written statement. "The neat opportunity at the Juco level is Amanda has the capability of stepping right in and producing. A lot of college athletes have to wait until they are juniors and seniors to play."

Uncertain offseason for Mourning

MIAMI -- To coax his diseased kidneys into shape for next season, Alonzo Mourning plans an offseason regimen that includes rigorous workouts, daily therapy and a strict menu.

''Beet juice, parsley, carrots and a little celery,'' he said.

Submitting to such a diet shows how badly Mourning wants to play next season, but no one knows whether it will be possible.

The Miami Heat center was diagnosed with focal glomerulosclerosis last October, missed the first 69 games of the season and returned for the final 16, including a humbling first-round playoff sweep by the Charlotte Hornets.

The disease is in remission, but Mourning could eventually require a kidney transplant. Doctors will decide late this summer whether he's healthy enough to suit up for the start of the 2001-02 season.

Blazers' Dunleavy keeps job -- for now

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Mike Dunleavy's job is safe -- for at least another week, anyway.

The Portland Trail Blazers' late-season collapse, which ended with a first-round playoff sweep by the Los Angeles Lakers, brought speculation that the coach would be the fall guy.

President and general manager Bob Whitsitt said Monday that nothing has been decided, and took the blame for the making a series of personnel moves that backfired.

''The things that didn't work out, that's my responsibility,'' he said. ''That's my fault. I'm in charge of everything that goes on in this organization, and I feel bad.''

Dunleavy, the 1999 coach of the year, met with Whitsitt after Sunday's loss and again Monday afternoon, and Whitsitt said he would decide soon what changes to make.

''We tried to both talk about the season, the last several years, where we are, where we're going, but the main thing is, we both agreed the best thing is, let's get out of here for a week or two,'' Whitsitt said.

''I'm sure Mike's as frustrated as I am and more so, because going into the season, we were all trying to get to the top of the mountain.''

For the first time in his seven seasons with the Blazers, Whitsitt's job status also was uncertain. But Whitsitt said he had been assured by owner Paul Allen that he will return next season. ''I think Paul's just like all of us; he's very disappointed, and he knows when you swing for the fences, you're trying to hit a home run, but there's also times when you strike out,'' Whitsitt said.

Despite an NBA-record $89.7 million payroll, the Blazers never quite came together as a team, and their lack of unity showed on the court in some ugly losses to inferior teams. Counting the playoffs, Portland lost 10 of its last 13 games, and the only victories came against Golden State (twice) and Vancouver. They never were a threat to the Lakers in the playoffs, losing by 13, 18 and 13 points. In the last game, the Blazers played without Dale Davis and Stacey Augmon, who were suspended for an altercation in Game 2. ''It's a shame,'' Portland point guard Damon Stoudamire said. ''It's something we're all going to have to take into the summer -- a long summer -- and think about.''

After the Blazers lost to the Lakers in the seven-game conference finals last year, Whitsitt immediately started collecting veteran players in an attempt to stop Shaquille O'Neal. He traded young forward Jermaine O'Neal to Indiana for Davis, and dealt Brian Grant to Miami and got overweight, overpaid Shawn Kemp from Cleveland in return. At midseason, Whitsitt brought Detlef Schrempf out of retirement and got Rod Strickland off the waiver wire. The additions didn't make much of an impact for the Blazers, but may have sent the message to the team that Whitsitt had little faith in their ability to challenge for the title. After acquiring Strickland on March 5, the Blazers lost five straight games.

There also was feuding within the team. Steve Smith quietly grumbled about playing time after Bonzi Wells took his starting job, and Davis also was unhappy with his reduced role. Late in the season, Pippen got into a fight with Schrempf in practice. In the season's final two weeks, Kemp left to enter a drug treatment program and Wells suffered a season-ending injury.

The biggest headache of all was All-Star Rasheed Wallace, who set a league record with 41 technical fouls, was ejected seven times and suspended four games -- two by Dunleavy. After Wallace threw a towel into the face of teammate Arvydas Sabonis in the season's second-to-last game, he charged Dunleavy in the locker room and had to be restrained by teammates. ''There's a part of his game -- that's the referees and the technicals -- that we have to fix,'' Whitsitt said of Wallace.

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