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On this Date in 1995…

From time to time, we like to hop into our time machine and check out interesting or important sports headlines from the past. Here are some of the notable events that took place on January 17, 1995 – exactly 25 years ago. Of course, the year 1995 itself is remembered for many things: the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured nearly 700 other innocents; OJ Simpson is acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman; Michael Jordan returns to the NBA after a yearlong flirtation with pro baseball; a massive earthquake strikes Kobe, Japan, killing more than 6,400 people; MLB players ended a 232-day labor strike; and eBay opened for business.

Here’s a look at local and national sports happenings on Jan. 17, 1995:

♦ All-State football player George Ornellas makes a verbal commitment to play for Iowa State. However, according to his father, the gifted slotback from Saint Louis School was already wavering on his decision. “I think he’s still confused,” said the elder George Ornellas. The gifted slotback from Saint Louis School would eventually reverse course and sign with the University of Hawaii. He played one season at UH before leaving school.

♦ UH men’s basketball head coach Riley Wallace suffers a broken sinus bone under his right eye and a sprained wrist after slipping and falling near the university’s Special Events Arena (now the Stan Sheriff Center). The incident attracted national attention, even getting a mention on CNN. “He’s big time now,” quipped his secretary Julie Lauofo.

♦ Waimanalo’s Chad Rowan (Akebono) and Waianae’s Fiamalu Penitani (Musashimaru) are tied at the top of Japan’s New Year Grand Sumo with identical 10-1 records. Akebono holds the rank of Yokozuna, or grand champion. Musashimaru is an ozeki, which is the next highest rank.

♦ Darnell Arceneaux scores 24 points to lead undefeated Saint Louis to a 53-49 win over Iolani. One of the players on Iolani’s roster is future Hawaii sports announcer Kanoa Leahey.

♦ The UH softball team is picked ninth in a national preseason poll. Sophomore Brooke Wilkins is one of two pitchers named to the preseason All-American team.

♦ Former UH receiver John Veneri and lineman Kendall Goo are among the players advertised for the 1995 Hula Bowl.

♦ The four-competitor field for the Skins Game at the Mauna Lani Resort is announced: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Raymond Floyd.

♦ Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere announces that the franchise will move to Saint Louis. Among the players affected are former Island standouts Bern Brostek and Leo Goeas.

♦ Notable veteran players such as Chris Doleman, William “Refrigerator” Perry, Steve Beuerlein and Gary Clark are among the names made available in the NFL Expansion Draft for the league’s two new teams: the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

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