Duke courts dreamers for day

October 16, 1991|By Ron Green Jr. | Ron Green Jr.,Knight-Ridder

DURHAM, N.C. RNB — DURHAM, N.C. -- It was a night for dreamers in Cameron Indoor Stadium but it looked, at times, like a scene from a Bill Murray movie.

The Duke Blue Devils, the reigning kings of college basketball, held open tryouts yesterday for one spot on their roster.

Participants were required only to be male, enrolled at Duke and confident or imaginative enough to believe they belonged on the court with Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley.

There were 38 players who answered coach Mike Krzyzewski's call to try out. A few were good enough to get a serious look. Others were there for the fun and the memories.

The two-hour session was painted with sweat, nerves and million-to-one shots. Krzyzewski sat in one corner of the bleachers, eyes riveted to the floor, searching if not for gold for some granite.

One threesome, seemingly overwhelmed by the moment, went into a three-man weave on a layup drill. But when they reached the basket, no one dared shoot.

One player stumbled running down the court in a layup drill -- and he didn't have the ball.

"One kid had more collisions tonight than Richard Petty had in his whole career," Krzyzewski said.

When one guy launched a three-pointer that didn't scare the basket, he cast a glance Krzyzewski's way, hoping the coach hadn't seen it. He was disappointed.

But the chance had been offered. Sometime today, somebody will get a phone call asking them back to practice.

Others, even one obviously out-of-shape guy who knew he wouldn't make the team, had their moment.

"That guy, the one everyone knew was the worst out there, came up to me and said, 'Thanks, it was a big thrill,' " Krzyzewski said. "It was a neat thing."

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