BIBBY TURNS PRO: All-America sophomore guard Mike Bibby moved toward millionaire status Thursday, announcing he's leaving the University of Arizona to make himself available for the NBA draft.
"It's just been a dream of mine since I was a little boy, and now that that chance is here, I don't want to let it pass me up," Bibby said at a campus news conference.Some NBA officials believe the 19-year-old Bibby will be the first point guard taken in the draft and have few doubts he has the skills and talent to be a success in the league.
"Mike is very ready to play in the NBA," said Wildcats coach Lute Olson, who was told by Bibby of his decision to turn pro last weekend.
Bibby, the son of former NBA guard Henry Bibby, becomes the second Arizona player in the 1990s to leave early for the NBA. Center Brian Williams declared himself eligible for the draft in 1991 after his junior year.
WNBA SIGNS 8: The WNBA announced the signing of eight more college seniors to its list of players to be made available for the April 29 draft, in which the Utah Starzz have the first pick on each round.
Signing to play in the league are two conference players of the year, Howard's Alisha Hill, a 5-foot-11 forward of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and Iowa's 6-4 center Tangela Smith, the Big 10's top player.
Others to sing: Memphis 6-1 forward LaTonya Johnson, Stanford 6-2 center Olympia Scott, Colorado 5-3 guard LaShena Graham, Iowa 6-0 swing player Angela Hamblin, Virginia 5-9 guard Mimi McKinney and Vanderbilt 6-2 forward Lisa Ostrom.
LONGLEY OUT AGAIN: Chicago Bulls center Luc Longley went back on the injured list Thursday with a bruised left knee.
The Bulls activated Joe Kleine from the injured list before Thursday night's game against Cleveland.
Longley, averaging 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, has missed 18 games this season. He was placed on the injured list with a sprained left knee on March 17 and missed six games. Activated on March 28, Longley missed Chicago's last three games with a bone bruise.
Kleine, who has played 43 games, missed the last five with tendinitis in his left knee.
MANNING OUT OFFICIALLY: The Phoenix Suns finally made it official Thursday: Danny Manning is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
The Suns placed the veteran forward on the injured list and activated center Horacio Llamas, who has missed most of the season with a bruised left heel.
Manning, who averaged 13.7 points and 5.6 rebounds, hurt his right knee in Tuesday night's victory at Sacramento.
He was examined Wednesday, but Suns general manager Bryan Colangelo said doctors had not yet diagnosed the extent of damage.