Sport: The Natural Resource

Plenty of basketball players can pass behind their backs, fake like Houdini, and riffle the net from 20 ft. But Rodney King Thorn, a gangling (6 ft. 4 in., 180 Ibs.) youth of 21, is probably the only one whose talents called forth a special resolution from his home-state legislature. In solemn session, the lawmakers classified him as "a great natural resource," begged him to attend the local university "to further develop his natural athletic ability for the use and benefit of the State and its 2,000,000 citizens."

The state was West Virginia—but West...

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