Skip Wise has been paroled from the Petersburg (Va.) federal penitentiary for being a "model prisoner" and now would sure like a go at the NBA.
Wise's attorney, Sheldon Friedman of Baltimore, notes, "They do have a morals clause . . . he's an ex-con . . . and he was put in jail on a drug-related charge."
Pro basketball's deputy commissioner, Simon Gourdine, tempers that with notation that the league has "no flat criteria" as to participation. He says, "If Mr. Wise gets himself in shape, the commissioner would determine whether he had been rehabilitated enough or not, and if his playing in the league would cause any hardships."
It's been five years since Wise, out of Dunbar High in Baltimore's inner city, dropped out of Clemson after making all-ACC guard as a freshman, to sign with the Baltimore Claws who folded before even playing a game in the American Basketball Association, soon to crumble itself. It's been two years since he began a 12-year sentence for heroin possession and distribution. And it's been four weeks since he quietly was sent home, in time for Christmas, but unnoticed until now -- although he has been helping his father work on apartment buildings and has slipped in a couple of exhibition games in Baltimore's Turner Station.