'Big Dipper' Chamberlain makes All-Constellation

Sat, Jan 14

It's a marvelous night for star gazing, and you don't even have to be at the Staples Center to do it. Through the looking glass, Page 2 presents the All-Constellation Team.

LaRon Cephas: The former Maryland Terrapin basketball player isn't a precise match for a celestial configuration, but much as anything in the Milky Way is close to Earth (relatively speaking), Cephas is a decent approximation of Cepheus, one of Ptolemy's original 48 constellations. Cepheus is king of Ethiopia in ancient lore. Cephas was apparently a prince of a guy who tragically died in 2007 while working for a Boys and Girls Club in Annapolis, Md.

Wilt Chamberlain: The author of the most amazing individual performance in NBA history, Chamberlain shares a nickname with a group of stars that make up part of Ursa Major: the Big Dipper. Bright as they may be, can any of them claim to have scored 100 points in a single game? Truly astronomical.

Taurus Johnson: The constellation is known as The Bull, and so was the football player, who excelled for four years with the Bulls of the University of South Florida. As recruiting pitches go, this one couldn't have been that tough: "Taurus, you've to be a Bull. It's in the stars."

Orion Mitchell: Orion the constellation is known as The Hunter because its outline resembles an archer targeting prey. As for Orion the pitcher, who played for the Class B Norfolk Mary Janes in 1919 and 1920, we can't tell if he was a head-hunter because stats of that era don't include hit batsmen.

Ara Parseghian: After going 95-17-4 and winning two national championships in 11 seasons on Notre Dame's sidelines (1954-64), Parseghian was probably worthy of his own star cluster in the minds of subway alumni everywhere. For the record, Ara the constellation predates the coach by a few million years in creation and a few thousand in name. It derives its title in mythology from the name of the altar in honor of the Centaur, a half-man, half-horse known for its perpetual wisdom. Sounds like a few five-star prospects of recent vintage.