Snubbed by the NBA, Okulaja again excels overseas

Ademola Okulaja can at least rest easy knowing he gave his all this summer in NBA play.

The former Tar Heel forward was consistently one of the San Antonio Spurs' top players in NBA Summer League action, averaging 14.7 points and 7.4 rebounds.

But the Spurs signed three coveted free agent forwards in early August, leaving no room for Okulaja.

Not a problem for "Addie," as he's learned that he can instead be a star overseas.

Last season, Okulaja left the Philadelphia 76ers' roster to play in Spain -- and proceeded to earn several awards including Rookie of the Year.

This year, Okulaja is already off to a great start in international play.

EuroBasket 2001 is underway now in Turkey and Okulaja, and former Heel Vasco Evtimov, are both participating.

Okulaja is a member of the Federal Republic of Germany, along with Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Bradley of the Dallas Mavericks. Evtimov is on France's roster.

In Germany's first game, a 92-71 win over Estonia, Okulaja tallied 8 points (3-11 FG, 2-3 FT), 8 rebounds and 2 assists in 28 minutes (games are 40 minutes). Nowitzki led Germany with 33 points and 12 rebounds.

In game two, played yesterday, Ademola played 33 minutes, hit on 8 of 9 shots (1-1 3pt) and 8 of 13 free throws for 25 points, with 4 boards, 3 steals and 2 assists, as Germany defeated Croatia 98-88.

Vasco Evtimov did not play in either of the first two games for France (1-1).

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