Tarkanian’s party helps clear the air

Jerry Tarkanian’s surprise birthday party Saturday turned out to be an ice breaker for new UNLV basketball coach Dave Rice and Rebels great Reggie Theus.

Rice and Theus were spotted chatting and waving off attempts to capture the moment on camera.

They were among a large contingent of Tark supporters who surprised him at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy for his 81st birthday.

Rice and Theus took advantage of the occasion to clear the air after Theus was passed over in the coaching selection process when Rice filled the vacancy left by Lon Kruger’s move to Oklahoma in April.

Also attending: former UNLV stars Larry Johnson and Anderson Hunt and former Tarkanian assistants Tim Gugurich, Chicago Bulls head coach Tim Thibodeaux, and Mark Warkentien, director of player personnel for the New York Knicks.

Others included former college coaches Gene Keady and Tom Penders; Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband, former mayor Oscar Goodman, Brad Rothermel, former UNLV athletic director, and longtime boosters Sig Rogich and Lonnie Hammargren.

‘DANCING’ STARS

Uncensored hypnotist Anthony Cools and weather forecaster/dance instructor Ashlee DiMartino teamed up to win the second “Dancing With the Las Vegas Stars” competition on Sunday at the Palms.

Cools, who headlines at Paris Las Vegas, said he lost 10 pounds during five weeks of rehearsals with DiMartino, who works at KTNV-TV, Channel 13 and teaches dancing at Tony Delgado’s studio.

Adam D. Tucker, a Tim McGraw tribute artist who performs in the Country Superstars show at the Golden Nugget, finished second with dance partner Jennifer Atlas.

Kristen Hertzenberg, who rotates as Christine in “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular,” and Lupe Martinez won “best dance” honors in the cancer benefit, which was held at Rain nightclub.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Tanja Brennan resigned last week as publisher of Stephens Media Group’s magazine division that includes Luxury Las Vegas, which she helmed for eight years. She and her husband, Brad Brennan, are exploring the idea of starting their own media company, she said Saturday during her 40th birthday party at Cili restaurant at Bali Hai Golf Club. He operated Commander’s Palace Las Vegas from 2001, when it opened at Desert Passage at the Aladdin, until its closing in 2006.

SIGHTINGS

Joe Jonas, celebrating his 22nd birthday at Liquid pool lounge (Aria), Yellowtail (Bellagio) and Haze nightclub (Aria). … UFC star Frank Mir, brought on stage during the Jabawockeez show at Monte Carlo on Saturday. … Actor David Arquette, at Sugar Factory American Brasserie (Paris) on Saturday. … Tao Group partner Noah Tepperberg, celebrating his birthday at Lavo (Palazzo) on Friday. He was presented with a cake featuring oversized tennis shoes, his footwear of choice. He was joined Saturday at Tao by actor Lukas Haas, Al Harrington of the Denver Nuggets and R&B singer Maxwell. Robert Iler of “The Sopranos,” performing an impromptu drum solo before Ravi Drums took the stage at Tao Saturday. … Brandi Glanville of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” dining at Tao Asian Bistro (Venetian) on Saturday. … “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, throwing a surprise party for his sister Melissa’s birthday with family members over the weekend at the Sugar Factory American Brasserie (Paris), Gallery (Planet Hollywood) and Chateau (Paris).

THE PUNCH LINE

“Stop forcing us to live on an inhuman $12 million a year.” — From David Letterman’s Top Ten NBA Player Demands

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

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