PLAYGROUND LEGEND DIES: He was the greatest player never to make the National Basketball Association, an incredible leaper who made dunking an art form back when Michael Jordan was in diapers and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was still Lew Alcindor.

Earl "The Goat" Manigault, the New York City playground legend whose descent into heroin addiction cost him a professional career, died Friday of heart failure at Bellevue Hospital. Manigault, whose life was made into a 1996 HBO movie, was 53.


MENDY SHOCKS NAZAROV: Veteran French fighter Jean-Baptiste Mendy handed Orzubek Nazarov of Russia his first loss Saturday, winning the WBA lightweight crown Saturday night in a unanimous decision.

- Anatoly Alexandrov of Russia won the vacant WBO super-featherweight title Saturday night, outpointing Julien Lorcy of France.

DON KING TRIAL: Boxer Julio Cesar Chavez is running out of rounds in his fight to make it to Manhattan in time to finish testifying at promoter Don King's insurance fraud trial in New York. U.S. District Judge Lawrence M. McKenna says he better be in court Monday morning or he will risk being charged with contempt of court.


GWYNN PROBABLY OK: An MRI exam on Tony Gwynn's twisted right knee showed no cartilage damage, and the San Diego Padres batting star could be back in the lineup in the next few days.

FORMER MAJOR LEAGUER DIES: In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, former big league outfielder Rufino Linares, 47, was killed early Saturday when his car slid off a highway and crashed into two palm trees.


TURNER EYEING ALBERT? Turner Sports is the latest reported to be interested in hiring Marv Albert to broadcast NBA games, according to The New York Times.

"There have been preliminary indications of interest from Turner, although its NBA announcing crew on TNT and TBS is complete," the newspaper reported today. No source was cited for the report.


NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Central Division title in women's tennis came down to the No. 1 and No. 2 seeded teams, with number two Kansas upsetting Arizona 5-2, Saturday in Provo.

Arizona and Kansas battled over three hours at the No. 1 and 3 singles positions in order for Kansas to take a 4-2 going into the doubles competition. Kylie Hunt defeated Arizona's Vicky Maes 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 with the Jayhawks Kris Sell beating Monique Allegre 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

BYU, who hosted the championships, was one of 10 teams receiving an automatic bid into the team championship. The eighth-ranked BYU team will be making its tenth appearance at the NCAA's with a 22-2 record.


BYU GOLFERS MISS CUT: BYU men's golf team never found its rhythm at the NCAA West Regionals at the Karsten Golf Club in Tempe, Ariz., shooting a final round 300 Saturday for a total of 888 and a 12th-place finish. As a result, BYU missed qualifying for the NCAA championships, as the nine teams in the West will advance to the championships May 28-30 in Albuquerque.

WAC school New Mexico, ranked 22nd in the nation, tied for the title with host Arizona State.


NCAA WOMAN OF YEAR KILLED: Lisa Coole, the 1997 NCAA Woman of the Year, a swimmer at the University of Georgia, was killed Saturday in an automobile accident in Champagne, Ill.

Police said Coole, 23, pulled into the path of a garbage truck, and that she may have been blinded by the sun.