Sports star Patrick scales new heights

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 July, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 July, 1993, 12:00am

DREAM Team basketball star Patrick Ewing breezed into town yesterday to buy a couple of suits and promote his own-brand sports gear.

Towering over everyone else at a press conference, Ewing answered most questions with confidence.

Is he a role model for kids? ''Yes.'' How seriously does he take that? ''Seriously, but I have to live my own life as well.'' What does he think of Asia? ''I'm truly shocked at the huge amount of interest in basketball.'' But when Keeping Posted asked the name of the tailor who would be cutting the patterns to fit Ewing's lofty frame, the 2.1-metre star looked momentarily at a loss.

''Do I tell her?'' he whispered urgently to a suited member of his basketball squad-sized entourage.

When the response was unambiguously negative, he turned back with a charming smile and said: ''I never release that kind of information.'' The number 33 player from the New York Knicks was less reticent when invited to talk about his new range of sportswear for shooting baskets in.

''My basketball shoes are a fashion statement for athletes,'' said Ewing, who wore specially-made size 131/2 boots with his own name inscribed on the outside and the laces very deliberately undone.

Ewing's general manager, Doug Trautman, confirmed that the label was set to expand to include hiking boots and cross-country trainers.

But he said they would not be tempted to follow the lead set by Bjorn Borg, whose marketing team created own-name aftershave sold in fuzzy tennis ball-shaped bottles, which for months could be seen remaindered in boxes in airport duty free shops.

''Absolutely no aftershave . . . but maybe we could go in for sunglasses,'' he mused.