Ralph Tasker, one of the winningest coaches in the history of high school basketball, died yesterday at his home after a short battle with cancer.
Tasker, who turned 80 last Thursday, was fighting pneumonia, said longtime friend and assistant Don Abbott, who drove to Tasker's home in Hobbs, N.M., Sunday to be with the coach. Tasker's record was 1,122-291, with 11 state championships. His final team finished third in the New Mexico state tournament, falling a game short of becoming Tasker's 37th 20-game winner.
The winningest coach is Morgan Wootten at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville with a record of 1,185-178.
Tasker "basically changed the way the game of basketball was played," said Abbott, who had known Tasker since he played for him in the mid-1950s.
His teams were known for an unrelenting full-court press and for high-powered offense. His 1970 team averaged 114.6 points a game, a national high school record set without the benefit of the three-point shot.
Diaz Arce Traded Again
Former D.C. United forward Raul Diaz Arce has been traded again, this time from the San Jose Clash to the Tampa Bay Mutiny for forward Alejandro Sequiera and future considerations.
Diaz Arce, who has four goals and two assists this season, is Major League Soccer's second all-time leading scorer, behind United's Roy Lassiter. After two seasons with United, Diaz Arce played for New England last year.
Diaz Arce, a fan favorite while with United, makes his first trip to RFK Stadium with his new club on Aug. 8. . . .
United's trade of midfielder Brian Kamler to the Miami Fusion for midfielder John Maessner became official yesterday. Maessner and rookie forward Chris Albright, also acquired from Miami over the weekend, will practice today at United Park and likely play Sunday at New England.
Starting defender Diego Sonora (strained groin muscle) will not play against the Revolution, the club announced. . . .
The success of China's Women World Cup team is translating into greater support for its sport. One firm is contributing $1.2 million to the government-run All-China Women's Federation, a new fund used to improve living and training conditions for the women's team and to expand domestic and international exchanges in women's soccer.
The Chinese players were treated as national heroes on returning home after their loss to the United States in the championship game.
Parnevik Tops Woods
Jesper Parnevik held off a late charge by Tiger Woods to edge the American, 2 and 1, as the Nordic All Stars tied the Rest of the World team, 3-3, in the SAS Invitational match play tournament.
Six matches were played simultaneously in the Nordic capitals of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo. The final six matches in the two-day meet, won last year by the American-British team, will be played today outside Copenhagen.
Parnevik clinched victory over Woods on the 17th hole, as Woods missed a last-gasp putt from about 17 feet. . . .
Woods maintained his lead at the top of the official world rankings after tying for seventh at the British Open.
Two-time world champion Michael Schumacher was in good condition back home in Switzerland after surgery on his broken leg and nearly a week in a clinic outside Geneva.
Schumacher broke his right leg in two places in a head-on crash into a tire wall at the British Grand Prix on July 11. Surgeons at Northampton General Hospital in England inserted a steel pin in his leg.
The 30-year-old German is expected to be out of racing for about three months, meaning he probably will miss the remainder of the Formula One season. However, Ferrari chief technician Ross Brawn said he believes the cockpit could be revamped with heavy padding for Schumacher's leg if he returned early, the German newspaper Die Welt reported.
Rangers Sign Lefebvre
The New York Rangers continued their spending frenzy, signing veteran defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre to a four-year deal worth $10 million. Lefebvre, 31, became the sixth free agent to join the Rangers in the past two weeks and the third player to come to New York from the Colorado Avalanche.
Wheelchair Racers Sue
A group of wheelchair racers filed suit against the New York Road Runners Club, claiming the club has discriminated against them in the New York City Marathon.
The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court on behalf of nine wheelchair marathoners, alleges that the club "is guilty of a type of bigotry and elitism which has caused humiliation and harm to many of the athletes who participate in their signature event--those with mobility disabilities."
The wheelchair racers claim that for the past several years they have been unfairly stopped and rerouted at various points along the 26.2-mile course. Last year, police halted 30 wheelchair racers so that foot racers and vehicles could pass, the suit said.
Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu, who is recovering from knee and back injuries, will not compete in the upcoming U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Moceanu will have arthroscopic surgery on her right knee next month in Houston, preventing her from competing in the Aug. 25-28 meet in Sacramento.
Bowie Hires Frazier
Central High School football coach Henry Frazier was named coach of his alma mater, Bowie State. Frazier was the quarterback at Bowie from 1986 to 1989 and as a senior led the team to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship. Frazier had a 20-30 record in five seasons at Central.
Strickland Hosts Game
The first Rod Strickland Celebrity Softball Game will be held Sunday at Prince George's Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox. Among those expected to participate along with the Wizards point guard are NBA players Ray Allen, Mario Elie, Steve Francis, Allen Iverson, Mark Jackson, Charles Oakley, Laron Profit, Mitch Richmond and Chris Webber.
General admission is $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 3-13, and reserved seating is $19 for all ages. Proceeds will go to Young Athletes Inc., a nonprofit organization created to assist youth in New York and Washington with sports and education. . . .
The Harlem Globetrotters will dribble from the Capital YMCA (1711 Rhode Island Ave. NW) to the White House today, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event will launch the Globetrotters' world tour and promote their summer basketball camp.
CAPTION: Tiger Woods, who remains the world's top-ranked player, plays at SAS Invitational in Stockholm, where he lost to Jesper Parnevik in match play.