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Beginning next season, some of college basketball's best former women players will have an opportunity to perform before American crowds again. If they are selected in May tryouts by USA Basketball, the sport's national governing body, they will participate in a series of exhibition games against big-time women's college teams during the 1995-96 season and will later tour overseas. The one-time-only Olympic development training program is designed to enhance US preparations for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

``For the first time,'' says C.M. Newton, USA Basketball's president, ``we will be able to provide a prolonged playing opportunity in the United States'' for post-collegians. The core group of approximately 10 Olympians-in-training will be be compensated while under contract. ``I think players who are not making a six-figure salary will be interested in coming home to play for a year,'' says Dawn Staley, a member of various US national teams.

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