Former Clemson basketball standouts Greg Buckner and Will Solomon have earned spots on NBA rosters for the 2008-09 season, which begins today with three scheduled league contests. Buckner will play for the Memphis Grizzlies, while Solomon begins his second season in the league with the Toronto Raptors. Vernon Hamilton and James Mays, former Tigers who also spent time in NBA training camps this month, were waived from their respective teams last week.
Buckner will be playing for his fifth different NBA team this season. The Hopkinsville, KY native played in five preseason games for Memphis and averaged 5.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. He had a preseason scoring high of 11 points on October 8 against the Washington Wizards. The Grizzlies' first regular season game will be October 31 at home versus Orlando.
Buckner was a two-time, second-team All-ACC selection for the Tigers from 1994-98. He led Clemson to three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a Sweet 16 trip in 1997. Buckner has scored over 2,700 points in his professional career.
Solomon played the 2001-02 season with the Grizzlies before spending the last six years overseas. Solomon played the past two seasons in Istanbul, Turkey for Fenerbahce Ulker. He averaged 17.8 points per game in the regular season and 20.5 points per game in Euroleague Top 16 play. Solomon was the fourth-leading scorer in all of Euroleague last season.
Solomon was a first-team All-ACC selection as a sophomore in 1999-2000, the last Clemson player to earn the honor. As a senior, he was second-team All-ACC. He led the ACC in scoring at 20.9 points per game his sophomore season, and was fourth in the league as a senior at 19.7 per contest.
The native of Hartford, CT played in seven preseason games for the Raptors and reached double figures in three of the contests. He averaged 7.6 points and 3.9 assists per game and posted a preseason scoring high of 17 in an October 7 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Solomon and the Raptors tip-off the season on Wednesday at Philadelphia.
Buckner, Solomon Earn Roster Spots
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