Bobby Knight, coach of Indiana University's national basketball champions, is a strong believer in recruiting close to home. It came as a surprise, therefore , to learn he has made Uwe Blab his latest recruiting catch.
Though Uwe is from West Germany, Knight didn't travel far to find him. The 7 ft. 2 in. foreign exchange student played high school basketball in Effingham, Illinois. Blab arranged to come to the US in 1979 after seeing Effingham's Flaming Hearts on a European tour. He received offers from more than 120 colleges, eventually choosing Indiana over Duke.
Though fundamentally not a sound player when he arrived in this country, Uwe has improved considerably, according to Effingham Coach Jim Maxedon, who calls him a good passer. Knight, who originally drew national acclaim coaching a West Point team with no player over 6-5, has never had a seven-footer at Indiana. Blab may have arrived just in time, though. The Hoosiers have lost two starters: guard Isiah Thomas, MVP of the Final Four NCAA championship tournament in Philadelphia, and 6-9 center Ray Tolbert, the Big Ten's most valuable player last season .