Thunder signs 7-time All-Pro G. Gait

December 17, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The "bona fide star" that Thunder coach John Tucker lamented that his team painfully lacked last season has finally arrived.

Gary Gait, perhaps the sport's greatest offensive player, made it official yesterday by signing with the Thunder.

He will be in uniform when Baltimore opens its inaugural National Lacrosse League season against the Syracuse Smash and his twin brother, Paul, on Jan. 3 at Baltimore Arena.

"I think this is really the missing piece of the puzzle," said Tucker. "Gary can do things that no one else can do. He is the Michael Jordan of our sport."

Gait, who co-starred with Paul during three national championship seasons at Syracuse, has dominated the defunct Major Indoor Lacrosse League throughout the 1990s, earning first-team All-Pro honors the last seven years and claiming the league's MVP award the last three.

Gait is the MILL's all-time points leader with 369.

Last season, Gait, 30, led the league in scoring with 40 goals and 32 assists and shared the top goal-scoring honors with his brother. His 32 assists eclipsed the team record of 24, set by Tucker in 1989.

"He's one of those few guys who alone is worth the price of admission," said Tucker, whose team was last in the league in 1997 at 2-8. "Adding him makes us a legitimate contender."

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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