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Time Capsule: 1996

By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.

January 29, 1996: A twin-engine Cessna crashed in a Parker Ranch pasture, killing the pilot and injuring two passengers. The state legislature was mulling over a proposal to limit driving privileges for teenage drivers. And Kansas Senator Bob Dole and businessman Steve Forbes were neck-and-neck in the battle for the Republican nomination for the 1996 presidential election.

Let’s hop into our time machine and journey back to that date – exactly 25 years ago – and find out what were the major sports happening of the day!


♦ Members of the newly-crowned Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys arrived in Honolulu for the NFL Pro Bowl.   Among the players was former Punahou and University of Hawaii standout Mark Tuinei, who returned home for his second straight Pro Bowl appearance.

♦ Earvin “Magic “ Johnson announced that he was coming out of retirement to make one final run with the Los Angeles Lakers. “It’s now or never. I’m 36. If this is the last hurrah, so be it. If it’s next year, we’ll see.” (Note: Johnson would play 32 games that season, averaging 14.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists. He would retire again at the end of the season.)

♦ Coveted Punahou defensive lineman Jason Ching announced that he had given a verbal commitment to attend Notre Dame. The 6-5, 270-lb. prep All-American chose the Fighting Irish over Michigan, Stanford and UCLA.

♦ Rainbow Wahine basketball player Tania Brunton was named “Big West Player of the Week” for the second consecutive week. The senior forward scored 55 points in two games, including a career-high 30 against Cal State Fullerton. Her efforts helped UH extend their winning streak to 13 games.

♦ Behind Llewellyn Smalley’s 26 points, the No. 2-ranked HPU Sea Warriors trounced Chaminade, 79-49, at McCabe Gym.

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