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4. MISSING HIKERS: Hope dims for former UConn star
December 20th, 2006 1:42AM



Hope dimmed Wednesday night for Brian Hall, a University of Connecticut and Dallas Rockets goalie, and another climber missing on Oregon's Mount Hood for 10 days. The body of a third hiker, Kelly James, was found.

The ground search for the 37-year-old Hall and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke was reportedly scaled back because of dangerous conditions. Hall played four seasons (1986-88, 1990) on a soccer scholarship and one year on the basketball team as a walk-on while at UConn.

"He was such a physical specimen," former UConn coach Joe Morrone told the Hartford Courant. "He was like an Adonis. Just a strong, strong kid. And, remember, in those days, we didn't have the strength and conditioning programs that they have today. Nor did we have the equipment. So we emphasized it as much as we could, especially in the offseason. And he did a great job with that."

Hall's former UConn colleagues insisted that if anyone could beat the odds on Mount Hodd, it was Hall.

"If anybody can get through this, he can," former UConn assistant Eric Swallow told WTNH News. "He was that kind of guy, and I look at him as somebody who was a warrior, who was a survivor."

Hall, a personal trainer in Dallas, and James are feared to have been swept off Mount Hood in bad weather.

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