Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

Updates on Bucknall, Worthy, Jordan and Capel.


* Former Tar Heel Steve Bucknall is holding a basketball camp in London, England this summer, August 14 - 17, under the title of "The Carolina Experience." The Bucknall Essential Skills basketball camp will feature a lecture by guest of honor and North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith.

"Steve Bucknall has played an important part both in my life and within the game of basketball, so I'm delighted he's following up an excellent playing career by passing on his knowledge and experience to the next generation. I am very much looking forward to working with him to develop our great game in England," said Smith, according to the Bucknall Essential Skills website.

J.R. Reid (Leon Caja Espana - LEB/Spain), Bucknall's former teammate at North Carolina, is also scheduled to appear.

Bucknall is currently playing in Greece for Iraklis Thessaloniki where he has played in 21 games with averages of 8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 30.6 minutes per game.


* Former Tar Heel star James Worthy, 42, was "overwhelmed" last Monday with his election to the Basketball Hall of Fame's class of 2003. But he still considers "getting a scholarship to North Carolina" as the defining moment of his career, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Worthy played in the shadow of other great players during his career -- Michael Jordan as a Tar Heel, and Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with the Lakers -- but clearly made his mark on the game of basketball when he was the MVP of the 1988 NBA Finals following a triple-double, (36-16-10), Game 7-winning performance. And, for being named the Most Outstanding Player following North Carolina's 1982 National Championship.

The enshrinement activities will be held in Springfield, Mass., September 4-7. Former Tar Heel great Walter Davis was among the 2003 Hall of Fame nominees not elected.


* Michael Jordan's career came to an end last night in Philadelphia - and the Philly faithful gave him quite a sendoff.

From the golf cart courtesy of Julius Erving and Moses Malone, to the numberous standing ovations and chants of "We Want Mike," the game itself was secondary at best.

Jordan had 15 points, on 6-of-15 shooting, by the way.

According to the Sixers official website, part of Philly's tribute to the end of Jordan's career included some billboards around town showing an Air Jordan sneaker with a message saying, "That's a big shoe to fill. Michael, thanks for the memories!"



* Ed Cota, playing for Zalgiris Kaunas, ended the Lithuanian League (LKL) regular season over the weekend with 14 points and six steals in an 80-71 victory over the LKL's first-place team, Lietvos Rytas. The win improved Zalgiris' record to 33-3 for the season, good for a first-place tie and second-seed in the upcoming playoffs.

Cota, in his third pro season, played 35 games in the Lithuanian League and averaged 28.7 minutes, 10.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.7 steals. He shot 51.7% (167-323) from the field, 41.9% (26-62) on 3-point attempts and made 75.5% (22-29) of his free throws.


* Jason Capel and the Fayetteville Patriots had a nine point lead with four minutes to play on their homecourt last Friday, but could not hold on as Mobile closed out the decisive third game of the NBDL's championship series with a 14-2 run to secure a 75-72 victory and the NBDL's 2003 title. Capel contributed eight points, four rebounds and three assists over 22 minutes.

Fayetteville tied the series last Wednesday with a 77-71 win in Mobile as Capel returned to the Patriots starting lineup and scored nine points, grabbed five rebounds and had five assists in 34 minutes.


* NBA.com wanted to know which school produces the best NBA players. Visitors to the website let them know that it is not even close. The Tar Heel NBA Pros ended the "Big Men on Campus" 'tournament' in style last week with a convincing 77%-23% voting margin in the championship 'game' over Michigan.

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