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Pacific Tigers

1. They Have An Award-Winning Swede. Sweden's Christian Maraker is the latest international player who has contributed to the recent success of Pacific's basketball program. Maraker was selected as the Big West player of the year after averaging 17 points and nine rebounds this season. Maraker also was selected as a Mid-Major All-America. But that might pale in comparison to Maraker winning the "Astrid Lindgren Award," which is bestowed upon the Swede who best represents his country. Former winners include the rock band Europe and actor Peter Koch, who portrayed "The Swede" in the movie Heartbreak Ridge.

2. The Kandi Man? Not So Bright. The most famous former Pacific basketball player is another international player, Michael Olowakandi. The Celtics bench warmer wanted to play on a campus near the beach, so he opened a book and picked the University of Pacific because he figured it would be on the Pacific Ocean. The University of Pacific is in Stockton, Calif., some 100 miles away from the ocean. Stockton does have the furthest inland port in the world, but probably not what he was looking for. This was just one of many bad choices by Olowakandi which seemed to start a trend.

3. Actually, It's Kind Of A Baseball Town. The Pacific baseball team is coached by Ed Sprague. And his Tigers baseball team is also as bland and indiscriminant as his playing career. But there is a lot of baseball history in Stockton. The minor league baseball team, the Ports, briefly changed their name to the Mudville Nine (2000-01). But even that seemed too hokey, even for minor league baseball. — The Hater Nation

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