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Pro Athlete Musicians

Athletes step off the field and into the studio

America hasn't heard much from "Make 'Em Say Uhhhh" man and former U of H basketballer Master P since his disastrous Dancing With the Stars turn, and now we know why: The erstwhile No Limit soldier has been grooming his son, teen rapper Lil' Romeo, for a big-time basketball career. Last week Romeo, born Percy Romeo Miller, signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Southern California after the Trojans offered him a full scholarship.

Romeo, all of 11 years old when he hit No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100 with 2001's "My Baby," has got game: Currently a junior at Beverly Hills High School, he's averaging 17 points and nine assists per game and is rated among the nation's top point-guard prospects by several recruiting services. Usually, however, this train runs the other way: Over the years, many, many professional athletes have tried to crossover dribble into the music business, with decidedly mixed results. (Meanwhile, the British group Athlete's Beyond the Neighbourhood is one of 2007's better indie-rock albums.) See if you can match them up.

1. Bronson Arroyo

Lil' Romeo: On his way to the Final Four?
Lil' Romeo: On his way to the Final Four?
Mike Piazza sheds the tools of ignorance.
Associated Press
Mike Piazza sheds the tools of ignorance.

2. Oscar de la Hoya

3. "Black" Jack McDowell

4. Denny McLain

5. Shaquille O'Neal

6. Mike Piazza

7. Mike Reid

8. Wayman Tisdale

9. Bernie Williams

10. Barry Zito

A. 1969 Outland trophy and Maxwell Award (for college football's best player) winner at Penn State; All-Pro defensive lineman for Cincinnati Bengals; won 1984 Grammy for writing Ronnie Milsap's "Stranger in My House"; wrote Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me"; had No. 1 country hit with 1990's "Walk on Faith"; 2005 inductee, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

B. 1993 AL Cy Young Award winner with Chicago White Sox; won 127 games over 11 seasons with White Sox, Indians, Yankees and Angels; once got into barroom brawl in New Orleans while partying with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder; released four albums as guitarist and frontman for alternative-rock band Stickfigure

C. Five-time All-Star New York Yankees outfielder and four-time World Series champion; accomplished smooth-jazz guitarist who released Latin-tinged album The Journey Within, featuring Ruben Blades and Bela Fleck, to positive reviews in 2003

D. Semi-pro guitarist and Cy Young Award-winning southpaw for Giants and A's, noted for devastating curveball and personal idiosyncrasies; once sat in with Dave Matthews Band in Cincinnati; father was longtime composer and arranger for Nat King Cole

E. Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox right-hander who performed songs by Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, among others, on 2005 album Covering the Bases; contributed vocals to Dropkick Murphys' "Tessie"

F. 14-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-American at LSU; four-time NBA champion with Lakers and Heat; released five rap albums including Shaq Diesel, Shaq Fu: The Return and Respect; reserve officer with Miami Beach Police Department

G. Boxing gold medalist at 1992 Summer Olympics; first man to win world titles in six different weight divisions; self-titled 2000 Latin pop album reached No. 2 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart

H. Last pitcher in the major leagues to win 30 games during a season, often in trouble with the law after retiring; sometimes played the organ during ballgames and released self-titled 1969 album of lounge-pop on Capitol Records

I. Three-time All-American forward at University of Oklahoma; played 12 years in NBA with Indiana, Phoenix and Sacramento; has released seven albums as jazz bassist, both solo and with his group Fifth Quarter, several have topped Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Albums chart

J. Twelve-time All-Star catcher for Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and Athletics, often seen rocking out at NYC-area heavy metal shows; occasional drummer for all-teammate pickup band the Bogmen

Answers: 1-E, 2-G, 3-B, 4-H, 5-F, 6-J, 7-A, 8-I, 9-C, 10-D

 
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