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Archive for Wednesday, July 26, 1995

BIG O

July 26, 1995

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Greg Ostertag the basketball player is now Greg Ostertag the budding movie star.

Ostertag has landed a major speaking part in the movie "Eddie," starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Two weeks of rehearsals will begin next week in Charlotte, N.C., with filming of the movie to start in mid-August.

Ostertag, a 7-foot-2 former Kansas University center, will play the role of Joe Sparks, a rookie on the New York Knicks, coached by Goldberg. He reportedly has received a hefty salary for filming the movie, though it was not revealed Wednesday by Ostertag's wife, Heidi.

"It's a godsend for us because of the lockout," Heidi said Wednesday. Her husband was out of town working a basketball camp in Tennessee and was not available for comment.

"Also, it's perfect because he'll be working out every day, because it's a basketball movie. If the lockout ends, the NBA takes priority. That's in the contract," Heidi Ostertag added.

Greg Ostertag read for the part prior to the NBA draft, in which he was a first-round pick of the Utah Jazz.

"It's a comedy, but the part he read was serious," Heidi Ostertag said. "He was a little nervous, because people in the lobby were actors trying out for commercials and they were so serious they made him nervous."

For a time, it was believed Ostertag would land the part of "The Russian," but that went to former North Carolina player Eric Montross.

"I was glad he didn't get that part because he would have had to speak with an accent,," Heidi said. "I think this part will bring out his personality."

The Ostertags are busy packing for a move to Utah, where they already have bought a house.

"We are leaving Lawrence. We'll miss it and want to thank everybody for being so supportive," Heidi said.

And Heidi is certain their infant son, Cody, will be as supportive of his father's big-screen career as he was amused by his appearances on the little screen.

"Even now, when he sees his dad on TV, he laughs," Heidi said. "I guess it's his presence. A lot of people wanted him to change his personality. I'm glad he hasn't. And now he'll be making money because of his personality."

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