Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on former Tar Heels, including the latest on Antawn Jamison, Larry Brown [<i>pictured</i>] and Co. at Olympic qualifying, Vince Carter, Derrick Phelps, Henrik Rodl, Ademola Okulaja, Joseph Forte and more.


* The reported trade of Antawn Jamison from Golden State to the Dallas Mavericks still needs NBA approval but, Jamison said, "It's a done deal," on Friday night, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to the article, Jamison was made aware of being sent to Dallas in exchange for Nick Van Exel on Friday by his agent, Arn Tellem. "The success I'm about to have, I wish I could have it here, because the Warriors' fans deserve it. They made my five years here enjoyable," Jamison said.

Jamison started all 82 games last season for Golden State, was their top scorer at 22.2 points per game and has five years at $69 million left on his contract.


* After being delayed for two days by Thursday's power outage in New York City, Team USA finally got things rolling with a 26-8 fourth quarter run to win Sunday's exhibition game over Puerto Rico 101-74 at Madison Square Garden.

Puerto Rico closed to 64-61 in the third quarter before the USA pushed the lead to nine following baskets by Duncan, Iverson and Brand. "It's a good example of what we are going to be faced with -- playing teams that have been together for a long time, and we have to respect them," USA coach Larry Brown said following the practice game victory.

Vince Carter came off the bench for just 14 minutes and tallied six points (2-5 FG, 2-4 FT), three rebounds and one steal. "There are some teams [in the tournament] better than Puerto Rico. It's good that we're out there getting used to this style of play because it's totally different than the NBA game," Carter said about the upcoming qualifying games.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams was on the Team USA bench as an assistant coach.

The Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament begins in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday against Brazil. The USA must be among the top three teams in order to qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.


* Vince Carter has joined forces with Electronic Arts as a spokesman to promote EA SPORTS NBA LIVE 2004 videogame, which is due for release this fall. "As a longtime gamer it's a thrill to be asked to represent the 'Freestyle Revolution' that EA SPORTS has brought to NBA LIVE 2004," said Carter in a company press release issued last week.


* Derrick Phelps has agreed on a contract with Idea Slask Wroclaw and will play next season in Poland. In addition to domestic play in the Polish League, Wroclaw also will compete among the best teams of Europe in the Euroleague during 2003-04. It will be Phelps' 10th pro season in a career that began in 1994 with the Sacramento Kings (NBA) and the Chicago Rockers (CBA).

Last year Phelps had a frustrating 12-18, 14th-place season with CSP Limoges in France, along with former Tar Heel Donald Williams, with averages of 13.6 points, 4.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.


* Henrik Rodl is busy rehabbing a severe knee injury that required surgery and put an early end to his season with ALBA Berlin. He is unable to play for the German National Team that will be competing soon at the 2003 European Championship in Sweden (Sept. 5 - 14). But Rodl has been hired by the National Team to scout future opponents. Over the weekend, Rodl observed the teams of Estonia, Lithuania, France and Italy at a tournament in Strasbourg, France, according to the ALBA Berlin official website.

It is uncertain whether Rodl will be able to return to pro basketball due to his knee injury. ALBA Berlin has offered Rodl a minor league coaching position, but Rodl says he still intends to play and is working toward a full recovery, which will take another two to three months of rehabilitation.

"Scouting is a completely new experience for me. At the same time I can work on my injury with the physical therapists of the national team," Rodl stated in regard to his current status, the website reported. "I thanked them for the coaching offer, but I absolutely still want to play. If I am healthy I will sit down and talk with ALBA about that."


* Meanwhile, Ademola Okulaja continues working with Germany's National Team as it prepares for Eurobasket 2003 competition.

Okulaja recently led Germany in practice wins over Finland and Russia with 25 and 21 points. Then during the weekend, Dallas Mavs' star Dirk Nowitzki returned to play for Germany. Nowitzki took over scoring honors in two 'friendly' wins in Germany over Turkey (24 and 17), with Okulaja contributing 13 and 12 points.

Germany begins Eurobasket 2003 play in Sweden on Sept. 5 in Group B with Lithuania, Israel and Latvia.


* The Seattle Times reported last week that former Tar Heel star Joseph Forte has been mentioned in trade talks by the Seattle SuperSoncis, but his playing status is even more hazy due to pending legal issues that threaten his NBA career.

Forte has a court appearance scheduled for today in Hillsborough, N.C. on a charge of misdemeanor assault. A conviction of that crime could net five months in jail, but first-time offenders would be likely to get probation.

Forte also has an October 23 court date in Belair, Maryland for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, and possession of a handgun.


* UNC coaching legend Dean Smith was an honored speaker last week at Steve Bucknall's basketball camp -- The Carolina Experience -- in London, England. In addition, recent Tar Heel graduate Jon Holmes joined Dean Smith to work at the basketball camp and try out for some of England's pro teams, according to The Chapel Hill News.

"That's one thing special about the Carolina family," Holmes told the paper. "We're an extended family that reaches all over the world. You have guys looking out for each other."

Holmes is hoping to play pro ball overseas and eventually be involved in coaching. "My dad being a coach, being able to learn from Coach Guthridge and Coach Smith and be around some of the great basketball minds ever, that is something I would love to look at down the road," Holmes told the CH News in regard to a career in baskteball.


* Former Tar Heel star Donald Williams recently shared some information on his future plans with the University web site, TarHeelBlue.

"My goal is to play five more seasons," Williams said. "After that I would really like to get into coaching." Williams said he has told his Garner High School coach, Eddie Gray, "to keep holding on until I retire" and can take over.

Williams' pro career includes stops in six countries and some time with the Harlem Globetrotters. Last season he played in France for CSP Limoges, along with former UNC teammate Derrick Phelps. His agent is currently working on his next overseas assignment, according to the article.


* Former Tar Heel PG/QB Ronald Cury continued his bid to win a roster spot as a wide receiver with the Raiders on Friday night getting significant playing time with two receptions for 12 yards against the 49ers in a nationally televised game.

Following the previous week's 2-for-29 effort versus the Rams, Curry, the former pass-thrower turned pass-catcher, now has four receptions for 41 yards in two preseason games. The Raiders next meet the Vikings on August 22 (Friday) and end the exhibition season on August 28 (Thursday) at Dallas. NFL rosters must be cutdown to 65 players on August 26 and to 53 on August 31.

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