Originally created 05/23/01


For one game at least, Randy Moss will trade slant-ins for slam dunks.

Moss, an All-Pro receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, will play basketball for the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs, a minor league team coached by former NBA star Darryl Dawkins.

The 6-foot-4 Moss, who was twice selected as high school basketball player of the year in West Virginia and has been playing in a Los Angeles summer league, will play guard and forward in the USBL, a spring-summer league. He is expected to practice tonight and join the lineup Thursday against the Long Island Surf. Moss will decide on future appearances after that, said Dawkins.

"It's a game-by-game thing," team spokesman Joe Heyer said. "He wants to play the first game and see how he feels. He hopefully will be playing for a number of games. He's very much into it. But he doesn't want to commit himself to the season and then disappoint everyone by not showing up."

Former Josey High School all-state player Tyrone Hayes has sign a national letter-of-intent to play basketball at the University of Idaho.

Hayes, who helped Josey reach the state semifinals as a senior, played at Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in Niceville, Fla. He was a first-team All-Panhandle Conference player last season, averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds a game. The Raiders had a 22-6 record last season and won district and region titles en route to the national junior college tournament.

BOXING: Fred Hall of the Augusta Boxing Club won the Southeast Region Junior Olympic Championship's 125-pound, 13-14 age group title over the weekend in Davie, Fla. Hall, a member of Georgia's Junior Olympic Team of Champions, defeated Travis Richarson of Florida 4-1 on Friday night and Gary Lynch of North Carolina 5-0 in the finals en route to the gold medal.

FOOTBALL: Darimy Crawford, a wide receiver from Albany, Ga., has signed to play football at the University of Kentucky, the school said Tuesday. Crawford, a 6-foot-5, 195-pounder from Westover High School, is the 22nd signee for first-year head coach Guy Morriss.

Crawford started as a senior at Westover, catching 20 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned nine kickoffs for 202 yards, including an 88-yarder for a touchdown.

TENNIS: Mary Pierce, who will defend her French Open crown in less than a week, lost to Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday in the first round of the $170,000 Strasbourg Open.

Pierce, ranked 17th in the world, has been dogged by poor performances and injuries leading to the clay-court major that begins Monday.

Also losing was top-seeded Amanda Coetzer of South Africa. She was beaten in the second round by Japan's Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 6-4. Israel's Anna Smashnova downed last year's winner, Croatia's Silvija Talaja, 6-2, 6-4.

Fifth-seeded Meghann Shaughnessy of the United States had an easy first-round win over Rachel McQuillan of Australia. Shaughnessy withdrew from the second round of the Italian Open last week because of an ankle sprain.

Anke Huber, seeded fourth, beat German countrywoman Martina Muller 7-5, 6-1.

TELEVISION: NBC's first telecast of the Preakness Stakes drew its highest ratings since 1992 and viewership increased 56 percent from last year's coverage by ABC. The telecast drew a 6.4 national rating and a 17 share from 5:30-6:39 p.m. EDT on Saturday, when slight favorite Point Given beat A P Valentine in the second event of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series.

That was 56 percent higher than last year's 4.1/11 on ABC, and the best ratings since 1992's 6.5/19.

Just like the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, which drew its highest ratings since 1992, the starting time of the Preakness was moved back about a half-hour in an effort to draw more viewers.

Each national rating point represents a little more than 1 million U.S. TV homes.


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