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Little `Big' Woman Of College Basketball

ANY basketball coach who's preached the value of positioning and desire over height would love Sybil Smith. She is only 5 ft. 4 in. tall, yet easily leads all college players with 23.9 rebounds per game - no one is within six rebounds of her.

Most people have never heard of Smith because she plays for Bernard M. Baruch College, a small Division III school in New York. The program is very low-key. Smith, 28, works 30 hours a week as a bookkeeper for an electrical contractor and doesn't have time to practice. And sometimes she misses the tipoff when stuck in traffic as she drives from work. Besides putting herself through college, Smith is paying a niece's tuition and serving in the Army Reserve. She attributes her success as a rebounder to her leaping ability and the surprise element.

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Knight lines from `Inside' interview

IN one of the best Bob Knight interviews this writer has read, the Indiana University basketball coach tells Inside Sports in the February issue that he would have taken a job with CBS in 1981 if the network hadn't botched the deal. Not inclined to negotiate, he asked for CBS's best offer. When he rejected what was initially presented, CBS raised it two and a half times, which only infuriated Knight.

He has never sought a National Basketball Association coaching job and seems content at Indiana, where he has spent 23 of his 29 years in coaching. In 1988, he entertained the possibility of moving to the University of New Mexico for a new challenge, but he decided to stay put.

In the interview, Knight is asked about a number of incidents that have brought him national notoriety, including one in which he feels he was unjustly accused of kicking his son Patrick, an Indiana player, and a 1985 chair-throwing incident. To balance some of the bad press Knight has received, Inside Sport points out that his players graduate and don't speak badly of him once out of school. And over the past 17 years he has donated or raised more than $5 million for the university, most of which has gone to the library.

US women skiers going downhill fast

AMERICAN skiers Hillary Lindh and Picabo Street are bringing fresh drama to this winter's World Cup circuit. Both are vying for the season-long downhill championship, a title held by European skiers since Cup racing began in 1967. Lindh won the silver in the women's Olympic downhill in 1992, and Street followed suit in 1994. Three more downhills remain before the season concludes March 15 in Bormia, Italy.

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