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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Suh, Abdul-Jabbar set to make 'Splash'

By Lynn Hoppes



Celebrities have danced, skated, exercised and boxed.

Now, 10 celebrities on the ABC show "Splash" will compete in regulation platform and springboard diving in front of a poolside audience.

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, football star Ndamukong Suh and action sports star Rory Bushfield are among the competitors on the show, which debuts tonight. The other cast members are: comedian Louie Anderson, actor Drake Bell, personal assistant Chuy Bravo, actresses Nicole Eggert and Keshia Knight Pulliam, Miss Alabama Katherine Webb and TV personality Kendra Wilkinson.

"Each diver is on their own personal journey. It's like a metaphor for life," said mentor Greg Louganis, a four-time Olympic champion. "They are taking their own leap of faith."

Louganis became the only male to sweep both the 3-meter and 10-meter diving events in consecutive Olympic Games (‘84 and ‘88), and he finished with five Olympic medals (one silver), five world championship titles and 47 national titles. But the one thing many of the divers were asking about was the infamous time he hit his head on a springboard in Seoul in 1988.

"Of course they asked about it! They wanted to see the scar!" said Louganis, who ultimately won gold at the Games.

Comedian Anderson said it's more about camaraderie than winning, as is the case with many other celebrity competitions.

"You'd think you'd root against the other people, but you don't. You start rooting for each other and pushing each other," Anderson said. "I decided to do this because I really needed to get off the couch. And what's better than getting paid to get off the couch?"

Expect another athlete to join the mix: Bravo has suffered an injury, and soccer legend Brandi Chastain will join the show next week.