1996: The New England Blizzard became a charter member of the American Basketball League, which played games in Hartford and Springfield. UConn's Jen Rizzotti highlighted the roster. UConn's Kara Wolters played in 1997; the team was coached by Celtics legend K.C. Jones. 1996: Longtime UConn assistant Howie Dickenman, a Norwich native and Central Connecticut graduate, was hired by his alma mater as the men's basketball coach on April 17. Dickenman, now in his 18th season, has led Central to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000, 2002 and 2007. 1996: Yale held a press conference Sept. 7 to announce that Carm Cozza would retire after 32 years as football coach. Cozza, 66 at the time, led Yale to 10 Ivy League championships. His career record was 117-111-5. 1996: Marcus Camby, a Hartford Public High graduate, was the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft. Camby played in the NBA until 2013, developing into a solid defensive big men while averaging 9.5 points and 9.8 rebounds 1996: Kristine Lilly of Wilton won gold medals in 1996 and 2004 and the silver in 2000 while helping popularize women's soccer throughout the U.S. and the world. She started playing at age 16 and retired at 39 after playing in five World Cups, including the hugely popular 1999 World Cup in the U.S., and registering a record 352 appearances in games with the national team.
John Clarke Russ / Special to The Courant