Names In The GameThe Associated Press , Associated Press
Jan. 28, 1996 12:17 PM ET
EDMONTON, ALBERTA EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) _ Jason Arnott of the Edmonton Oilers says it has been difficult coming to grips with being the father of a 5-month-old son.
The 21-year-old center, who says he hardly knows the boy's mother, refuses to blame his sluggish play at times this season on the distraction of being a father, he he acknowledges it's been distracting.
``I would think I should be strong enough to put everything behind me, go to the rink and play hockey,'' Arnott said in the Edmonton Journal's Sunday editions. ``Well, sometimes it's hard to just do that.
``I'm still learning to cope with this, accept it. It's a responsibility and something I have to accept.''
Arnott says he intends to provide the boy and his mother with financial support. Lawyers for both sides are currently working out an agreement. Arnott is in the final year of a three-year, $2.1-million contract with the Oilers that will pay him $600,000 this season.
Arnott said he met the woman in 1994 at an Edmonton singles bar but did not continue the relationship with her.
MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Five-time World Cup ski champion Marc Girardelli says he wants to climb 26,315-foot high Shisha Pangma in the Himalayas next spring _ and ski down it.
``It will be difficult to ski down icy slopes, but I have already had some experience in extreme skiing. I'm sure I can do it,'' said Girardelli, an Austrian-born citizen of Luxembourg.
Girardelli, one of the most successful skiers ever on the World Cup circuit, said he was looking forward to a new experience, ``to live part of my life out of civilization, in almost unprofaned areas.''
Girardelli will be accompanied during the ascent by experienced climbers, but he will ski down from the top to a camp at 18,700 feet alone. He said he will not use oxygen bottles.
The 18-man expedition will leave in April, shortly after the end of the World Cup season in Lillehammer, Norway. The ascent on Shisha Pangma, in Tibet, was scheduled for early May.
MESA, Ariz. (AP) _ Rob Vanderhei kicked a 50-yard field goal five minutes into overtime to lead a team of amateurs to a 37-34 victory over a squad of former NFL players led by Tony Dorsett and Jim Plunkett in the fourth Cuervo Margarita bowl football game.
The game benefits the Miami Project, which benefits the Buoniconti Fund, which is named for Mark Buoniconti, son of Nick, who was paralyzed in a football accident while playing at the Citadel.
Former All-Pro tight end Russ Francis scored three touchdowns and Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow added one for the NFL team in a game played before 5,500.
Brad Corliss threw four touchdown passes, including one to Vanderhei with one second remaining to send the game into overtime.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ For much of his career, Syracuse point guard Lazarus Sims has been regarded as a savvy playmaker. Now Sims is out to make a name for himself as a scorer.
On Saturday, Sims doubled his previous career high with 18 points, scoring in double-figures for the first time in 95 games, to help No. 17 Syracuse snap a three-game losing streak with an 88-73 victory over No. 20 Boston College.
``All year, I've been telling him to shoot more. I guess it took a while to get through,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.
``It is important. It gives us another weapon, and it makes people have to respect him and play up on him. The more balance you have the better you team is going to be _ always,'' Boeheim said.
Syracuse will need Sims' offense again Monday when it returns to action against No. 7 Villanova (16-3, 7-2) in the Carrier Dome.
ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) _ Two roads diverge in Kobe Bryant's future, and both are paved with hardwood.
The 6-foot-6 suburban Philadelphia phenom can choose the well-worn path and play for any college in the nation next year, or he may select the road less traveled and jump straight to pro basketball.
The senior guard-forward averages 35 points and 10 rebounds a game, he won MVP honors at the elite Adidas-ABCD summer camp, and he held his own in summer workouts with the Philadelphia 76ers.
His athleticism, grace and end-to-end court savvy summon up comparisons to Anfernee Hardaway or Grant Hill. Dick Vitale calls him a ``bona fide blue chipper, babeeeeeee!'' A ``diaper dandy'' who's on everyone's wish list.
``Kobe Bryant is the most complete player in the class of 1996. What he can't do, can't be done,'' said high school recruiting guru Tom Konchalski. ``He has no weaknesses. None. Zero. Zip.''
Not many 17-year-olds can dictate their own recruiting terms to coaches the caliber of Dean Smith, Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski. But Bryant has: no official campus trips and no home visits. In other words, don't call him _ he'll have somebody call you. Maybe.
``After the season, I will let everyone know,'' Bryant said. ``Right now, I don't even know myself.''