Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

Ademola Okulaja [pictured in his SLAM mag shoe ad] headlines IC's update this week on former Tar Heels, as he concluded his week with the San Antonio Spurs summer league team in impressive fashion.


* Ademola Okulaja finished a five-game run with the San Antonio Spurs (1-4) summer team in the NBA's Rocky Mountain Revue on Saturday with an outstanding performance that included 25 points and 10 rebounds. In addition, Okulaja had four steals and two assists, while shooting 10-for-12 from the floor and hitting 5-of-6 free throws.

Okulaja was also impressive on Friday night with a 22-point effort on 9-12 FG and 4-6 FT shooting. During the week in Salt Lake City, Utah, the former Tar Heel made 55% of his field goal attempts (28-51), 75% from the free throw line (12-16), and came away with 34 rebounds (6.8), 13 assists (2.6), 13 steals (2.6) and averaged 13.6 points per game (10 - 10 - 1 - 22 - 25).

Whether it was enough to get an NBA contract or an invitation to an NBA training camp in October remains to be seen. Next on Okulaja's schedule is an appearance in September at the 2003 European Championship in Sweden with the German National Team that includes Dirk Nowitzki.


* The Toronto Star and several other media outlets reported last week that UNC grad Vince Carter would be named to replace Kobe Bryant on the USA basketball team that will play next month in Puerto Rico at the FIBA Americas 2004 Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Bryant is facing sexual assault charges, but is unavailable due to recent shoulder and knee surgeries. The U.S. Senior National Team will practice in New York City from August 10-18, which includes an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden against Puerto Rico on August 15.

The qualification games will take place from August 20-31. That would make Carter unavailable for the "World's Greatest Alumni Game" at the Smith Center on August 23.

VC has his own charity game ready to go on Friday (August 1) at the Air Canada Center in Toronto. Former Tar Heels Antawn Jamison, Jeff McInnis and Shammond Williams were listed among the many NBA players scheduled to appear. This will be the third charity game hosted by Carter with proceeds going to Vince Carter's Embassy of Hope Foundation for the benefit of children at risk in Toronto.


* Vasco Evtimov has signed to play the 2003-04 season with Caja San Fernando Sevilla of Spain's ACB league. Evtimov played last season in Villeurbanne, France where he averaged 8.5 points and 7.0 rebounds on the French Pro A circuit.

Evtimov's Caja San Fernando teammates include Georgia Tech's Alvin Jones, Boston College's Danya Abrams and Matt Santangelo of Gonzaga.


* The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel estimated last week that George Karl's pay for his five years as the coach of the Milwaukee Bucks would be in the neighborhood of $38,000,000.

Karl had one year left on his contract at a salary of $7 million when it was terminated last week. He also will be compensated for 1 percent ownership share of the Bucks over two years. The franchise is considered to be worth at least $170 million.

"We will uphold the contract," Bucks general manager Larry Harris told the Journal Sentinel, including the ownership share payment.


* The Rocky Mountain News reported last week that unrestricted free-agent guard Shammond Williams is not likely to return to the Nuggets, but Toronto and Miami have shown interest.


* Orlando Melendez recently closed out another campaign in the Puerto Rican League. Melendez played 24 games for the San German Atleticos (16-14) and compiled the following per game stats: 15.4 minutes, 5.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.7 assists.


Derrick Phelps: 7-31 (31) ... Roy Williams: 8-1 (53) ... Ranzino Smith: 8-1 (37) ... Rick Duckett: 8-3 (46) ... We'll have the rest of August's birthdays next week.

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