Basketball: Burns is ready to become All Star

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DERBY STORM'S Joel Burns could be elevated to All-Star status today if, as expected, the season-long ban on team-mate Rico Alderson is confirmed by the English Basketball Association's appeals committee.

Alderson was selected for the North to play the South in Saturday's All- Star game at Newcastle Arena. But on Monday he and Yorick Williams were due to begin a ban for the rest of the season for their part in the abandoned game at Chester Jets on 31 January.

The ban was stalled by Derby's appeal, although Williams was barred by the Association from playing in last night's England game against Belarus in the European Championships. Assuming Alderson's ban is not removed, The North's coach, Nick Nurse, will name a replacement for his team and would like to select an alternative from Derby. Newcastle's Corey Jackson is another possible replacement.

Both Nurse and the South's coach, Billy Mims, were forced to change their line-ups this week. John White, of Manchester Giants, and Tim Moore, from Mims' club the Greater London Leopards, have temporarily returned to America for family reasons. White has been replaced in the North line-up by Travis Conlan, while Mims has called up his own club captain, Robert Youngblood.

In the United States, the former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman has became a Los Angeles Laker. Rodman, 37, is expected to make his debut at The Forum against LA Clippers. His one-year contract, with a player option for next season, will earn Rodman $468,000 (pounds 290,000), or $12,000 per game.

ALL-STAR GAME (Manchester, Saturday): The North: Dorsey (Manchester), Conlan (Sheffield), Alderson (Derby), Myers (Sheffield), Singleton (Leicester), Browning (Chester), Blalock (Newcastle), Boone (Leicester), Johnson (Sheffield), Holly (Manchester), Berry (Edinburgh), Fite (Newcastle). The South: McCord (Thames Valley), Youngblood (Greater London Leopards), Gaines (Worthing), Lloyd (Birmingham) Windless (Milton Keynes), Siemon (Thames Valley), Kirk (Birmingham), Arena, Lewis, Leak (all London Towers), Morton (London Towers), Burks (Greater London Leopards).