The face is familiar but the name, well, that's hard to forget,too. Fennis Dembo, the former Wyoming star who made the cover of Sports Illustrated, has turned up playing in the CBA.
Dembo, who was selected in the 1988 draft by the Pistons, went on to an undistinguished pro career, averaging 1.2 points in 31 games. Last year he played overseas.Now the player SI termed "One Dazzling Dude" is back, working in Rapid City, S.D. for the CBA's Rapid City Thrillers.
But in Rapid City, there are apparently two Dazzling Dembo Dudes. Dembo's nephew, Kirk Dembo, is in town as well, playing for the National College Mavericks.
Says Fennis, "I believe the best way to get back to the NBA is by playing in the CBA. I am excited about playing in Rapid City. The Thrillers have great fan support, which will help a player like me who thrives on emotion."
BACK IN BUSINESS: When last officially heard from, Larry Farmer was being fired from his job as basketball coach at Weber State. His name surfaced again last summer in a Deseret News story by Scott Taylor, detailing how Farmer lost his job, thanks to Sadaam Hussein. Farmer was coaching Kuwait's national basketball team until the Iraqi invasion, which put an end to basketball in that country.
Now he's back. Farmer has been hired as a full-time assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.
SPECIAL DELIVERY: He may be a tough guy under the rim, but the Jazz's Mailman, Karl Malone, apparently has a soft spot for those U.S. soliders in the Middle East.
Stars and Stripes recently solicited Thanksgiving messages from several NBA stars, among them being Malone.
"I would like to wish everyone over in the Middle East a Happy Thanksgiving. I am sorry you cannot be home in the States with your families. We are behind you no matter what happens, and we want you to know you are in our prayers.
"As much as you admire what we do, we also admire what you are doing. So, hang in there and I hope as soon as you get back to the States you will tune into some Utah Jazz games.
"I want you to know how much we are pulling for you as a team. We appreciate the work your doing for the country and the world. What you are doing is what life is all about. I just want to say thanks, and deliver! The Mailman will!"
STAR POWER: Dallas' Herb Williams isn't exactly a star, with a 10.4 scoring average this year, but that doesn't mean there aren't any stars in the family.
Williams' wife, Deborah Williams, was crowned Mrs. USA at the annual pageant in Irving, Texas on Nov 4. The 31-year-old Mrs. Williams has a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Deborah, the beauty queen, says Herb, the basketball player, was gracious about her success. "Herb, being the quiet person that he is, didn't say anything when I won," she said. "He just stuck out his chest and grinned from ear to ear. When it came time for him to put the crown on my head, of course he ended up putting it on sideways."
THOSE OLD FAMILIAR FACES: The Jazz trade for Jeff Malone that sent Eric Leckner and Bobby Hansen to Sacramento is beginning to look better all the time.
While Malone is shooting .465 percent and averaging 15.6 points for the Jazz, Leckner and Hansen are having their problems in Sacramento.
Actually, Hansen was clipping along just fine until injuring the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. He hasn't played since Nov. 15. Prior to that he started six games, averaging 34 minutes an outing. He was scoring 10.3 points a game.
Team officials are worried the injury could keep him out the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, Leckner is reportedly in Coach Dick Motta's doghouse. He has played only 111 minutes in nine games, and averaged just 3.1 points.
HURTS SO BAD: If the Jazz think they have had problems due to a heavy travel schedule, consider this: At least a dozen important NBA players on other teams are out from four weeks to an entire season, due to injuries.
While injuries are common in the NBA, serious ones, especially this early, aren't. In the first 10 games, Cleveland's John Williams sprained his foot badly; Dallas' Roy Tarpley and Philly's Johnny Dawkins are out for the season with knee injuries; New York's Kenny Walker, New Jersey's Roy Hinson and the Clippers' Danny Manning are out indefinitely with knee problems; and the Clippers' Ron Harper is out until Jan. 1 due to knee surgery.
The Jazz have avoided serious injury to date, except rookie Alan Bannister, who had surgery before the season began.
Coach Jerry Sloan has little to say on the subject of injuries: "I don't even like to talk about it."
AND YOU THOUGHT JAPAN WAS A LONG TRIP . . . : New Jersey guard Lester Conner after the team lost its record 33rd straight road game: "We can't win on the road or at home. Maybe we need to schedule a couple of games on the Moon or Mars."
PARTING SHOT: Sacramento Coach Dick Motta on his next life: "I used to want to be a groin pull in my next life, then I wanted to be tendinitis. Now I want to be a stress fracture because no one understands what it is, so they respect you and they leave you alone."
This report may include materials from other news sources.