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The traits that I admire most in great athletes," says Sports Illustrated staff writer Ralph Wiley, "are versatility, flexibility and relentlessness." Over the past five years, Wiley has demonstrated his own mastery of those virtues in stories for SI on subjects ranging from Patrick Ewing to John Elway to the fight between Ray Mancini and Duk Koo Kim that ended in tragedy. In this week's issue Wiley writes about Alabama's basketball team and paints a sensitive portrait of struggling NBA rookie Chris Washburn, who has yet to understand the qualities that could someday make him great. "Chris has transcendent ability," says Wiley, "but he knows nothing of relentlessness."
|Ralph Wiley believed in John Elway before many others did.|
|One of Ralph Wiley's favorite subjects was Thomas Hearns.|