The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, opening in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday as the first institution of its kind devoted to a woman's sport, is no shrine to the past.
"My joke is that it is more Disney World than it is a museum," spokesman Jeff Simpson said Wednesday during a tour of the 32,000-square-foot facility, with its 17-foot sculpture of leaping players at one end and a 30-foot-wide Baden basketball perched atop the other.
"This place is interactive. It is fun. It is playful. It is an entertainment destination as opposed to a museum with old balls in it."
Certainly, old leather balls are here. Along with wool jerseys and bloomers from the 1920s, old sneakers and rule books and trophies recording the victories of long-forgotten AAU teams.
But there is more to this $9.3 million hall, funded partly by private and public donations and partly by corporate contributions.
"We are making it interesting," said John Gruber with 1220 Exhibits of Nashville, which helped collect the memorabilia and write the story line of 107 years of women's basketball. "It can't be behind glass. Artifacts behind glass don't work."
Track & Field
Michael Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the 200 meters, has withdrawn from Sunday's inaugural TFA Pro Championships because of the death of his maternal grandmother.
Johnson, who was scheduled to face 100-meter world champion Maurice Greene in the 200, is staying at home in Dallas to attend Saturday's funeral and be with his family.
Johnson's grandmother died Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Gillian Russell of Jamaica was added to the women's 100-meter hurdles field and Debbie Marshall was added to the women's mile. The hurdles is the meet's "jackpot" event, with the winner receiving a $100,000 bonus.
Ex-Kentucky Coach Dies
Former Kentucky football coach Charlie Bradshaw, an Alabama native and Bear Bryant protege known for his aggressive, disciplined style, died yesterday. He was 75.
Bradshaw, who played for Bryant at Kentucky, coached at Kentucky from 1962 to '68 and at Troy State in Alabama from 1976 to '82.
Second DUI Charge
Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Shane Burton already has a two-year-old drunken driving conviction on his record, meaning he could get jail time if convicted again for a similar arrest last month.
Under Florida law, a second DUI conviction within five years brings a mandatory jail term of between 10 days and nine months. He also would face a fine of between $500 and $1,000, and up to a year's probation.
Burton was arrested by Davie police May 9 after driving his Lexus east in the westbound lanes of State Road 84 around 6:30 a.m., according to a Florida Highway Patrol arrest report. His blood alcohol level was .106--the legal limit in Florida is .08.
Couples to Face Legends
Retired sports legends Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and John Elway could hit the links together in a made-for-television charity golf match with PGA Tour player Fred Couples.
Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell said the event would pit the threesome in a best-ball format against Couples. The one-day, 18-hole event, tentatively called "Legends at Play" would be held at Houston's Shadow Hawk Golf Club sometime in November and air on Fox on Christmas Day.
The Potomac Valley Association and USA Boxing will present the first Knock Out Night fund-raiser tonight at 7:30 at the Richard England Clubhouse and Community Center on Benning Rd. in Northeast Washington.
The event will feature several bouts and will benefit the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington. Call Robert Simon III at 202-397-2582 for information.
CAPTION: The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, which opens Saturday, will offer many interactive opportunities for fans.