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Wednesday February 21, 2007 7:20 PM


Drexler selected to be on Dancing With the Stars


Former Rockets star will compete in fourth season beginning on March 19




Damien Pierce
Rockets.com Staff Writer

HOUSTON -- Clyde Drexler became known as "The Glide" during his Basketball Hall of Fame career because of his ability to soar towards the basket.

Now, he'll try gliding over the dance floor.

The former Rockets star will be a contestant on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, which is set to begin its fourth season on March 19.

"I thought it would be a good experience," said Drexler, who took a ballroom dancing class in college. "When they first called me, I initially said, 'No.' But I thought about it some more and decided to do it."

Drexler is one of 11 celebrities slated to show off their ballroom and Latin dance moves. Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and boxer Laila Ali are also among the upcoming season's cast.

The show has had several athletes in the past, including NFL greats Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith.

"Hopefully, I'll go and represent my fellow athletes well and don't fall on my face," Drexler said. "But I don't think there will be any pressure to be Fred Astaire."

Drexler, currently a television analyst with the Rockets, retired in 1998 after 15 seasons. The 10-time All-Star played the final 3 1/2 seasons of his career with the Rockets, helping the franchise win an NBA title in 1995. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Drexler said he should be in good enough shape for the show.

"I workout two to three hours per day, four or five days per week anyway," Drexler said. "So this is pretty much the same thing that I would do. But this way, I get to learn how to ballroom dance."