Before he coached Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach, before he won a league championship, before he commuted three hours for a coaching job in New Jersey, before he guided the Washington Spirit to the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs this season, Jim Gabarra was a Warthog. It was 1993, and Gabarra’s wife, World Cup star Carin (Jennings) Gabarra, had just been hired as the Naval Academy’s first full-time women’s soccer coach. Jim’s long career as a pro indoor player was winding down, and after living with his in-laws while playing for Los Angeles United at the Forum, he joined Carin in Annapolis. Around that time, Washington Bullets and Capitals owner Abe Pollin was looking to fill summer dates at USAir Arena in Landover by fielding a team in the Continental Indoor Soccer League.
RICHMOND — The Washington Wizards held an open practice for fans inside the Siegel Center on Friday night. This wasn’t a behind-the-scenes look inside training camp. Players didn’t scrimmage. They didn’t even work through defensive drills, though defense has been the rallying cry for the upcoming season. Also, players stayed away from too much physical contact — unless you count assistant coach Tony Brown waving an arm at the big men as they practiced post-up moves. So, enlightening? Not so much. The Wizards’ loose 3-on-2 fast break drill wasn’t an indication that they plan to toss sloppy lob passes for every transition play this season. But, entertaining? Very much so, as this event provided