Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on former Tar Heel hoopsters. [Pictured: Ed Cota]


* Steve Bucknall, playing for Iraklis Thessaloniki (3-3) in Greece, has informed Inside Carolina that he has been sidelined by a leg injury. "I have been out of circulation since last Saturday (10/25) because I tore my calf muscle, and will be back in about 2-3 weeks, I hope," Bucknall said last week. "At the moment I am laid up in bed all day and I have to stop being depressed and deal with it because that's part of the job."

On the tradition of the Blue/White game, Bucknall noted that the games were "always fun and a good way to make introductions for the players and the fans alike."

As for the Tar Heels being ranked 10th to start the season -- "Pressure is what you expect at UNC, it comes with the territory," Bucknall said.

Through the first five games of the season Bucknall has averaged 29 minutes, 9.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.


* Ed Cota is off to a 10-0 start in Lithuania with Zalgiris Kaunas. But the real test for Cota and Zalgiris will begin Thursday against Panathinaikos of Greece in the 2003-04 Euroleague regular season opener.

With the return of Cota to Zalgiris, along with Tanoka Beard, and the addition of Lithuanian legend Arvydas Sabonis, Euroleague (a collection of 24 of Europe's best teams) expectations for 2003-04 are very high in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Cota led the Euroleague regular season in assists last year, but Zalgiris, at 5-9, failed to advance to the next round (the Top 16). In 10 Lithuanian league games this season Cota is the league leader in assists with 5.6 per game and has 9.7 ppg and 3.6 rpg in 30 minutes per contest.


* Former Tar Heel Jason Capel is headed to Serbia for a tryout with Red Star Belgrade of the Adriatic Basketball Association, according to the league's official website. Red Star (aka Crvena Zvezda) recently released import player Reggie Freeman (Texas) and is in need of a replacement.

The website also noted that Capel had been considered recently by Union Olimpija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, also of the ABA. Capel played last season for Fayetteville of the NBDL and led the league in free throw percentage.


* Former Tar Heel star Marion Jones is one of 12 African-American female athletes featured in a calendar to promote successful black women in pro sports and to benefit youth charities. Dawn Staley, a player for the WNBA's Charlotte Sting and head coach of Temple's women's team, helped produce the 'Dawn Staley and Friends' calendar.

Also featured in the calendar are WNBA stars Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, Teresa Edwards, Chamique Holdsclaw and Tamika Catchings; Olympic gold medalist sprinter Jackie Joyner-Kersee, golfer Renee Powell, fitness expert Donna Richardson and gymnast Dominique Dawes.

The calendar sells for $10 and is available through Knoxville's Promise at www.knoxvillespromise.org or at www.wbhof.com -- the official website of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, according to Associated Press.


Octavius Barnes ... 11/1 (29), Tracy Reid ... 11/1 (27), Matt Wenstrom ... 11/4 (33), Jerry Stackhouse ... 11/5 (29), Frank McGuire ... 11/8/1916 (died 10/11/1994), Dante Calabria ... 11/8 (30), Jimmy Black ... 11/20 (43), C.B. (Colin Bryan) McGrath ... 11/21 (28) (asst. coach), Terrence Newby ... 11/21 (26) and Brendan Haywood ... 11/27 (24).

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