* Former Tar Heel Jonathan Holmes played his first pro game on Saturday in England for the Leicester Riders of te British Basketball League. Here's how it was noted on the team's official website --
"Debutant Jonathan Holmes was thrown straight into the starting line up just 36 hours after flying into the country. After the sides traded scores for the first five minutes, his three-pointer started a 7-0 run by the Riders to open the first meaningful lead of the game at 19-13."
Holmes finished the game with four points and four assists as the Riders (2-10) defeated Milton Keynes (3-9) 84-80.
Leicester coach Karl Brown, a former player at Georgia Tech, was recently named as coach and is looking for Holmes to settle down the Riders. "He's a good guy who's come through a very good program. I saw him play in the summer and he's very steady. He can distribute the ball well, shoot the three and he's a good floor leader," Brown stated when Holmes was signed by the Riders.
"I think we need a point guard who can distribute the ball, play defense and run the show. I also think he can bring some leadership to the team as well," Brown added.
MELENDEZ IN PUERTO RICAN PRO LEAGUE
* Orlando Melendez is playing for Humacao (6-3) in Puerto Rico's Super League 25. Through nine games Melendez has logged 6.8 ppg along with 4.4 rpg and 2.1 apg.
JOHNSON STILL ACTIVE IN SPAIN
* Will Johnson tossed in 11 points (3-12 FG, 1-8 3-pt. FG, 4-6 FT) and grabbed 10 rebounds in 35 minutes, but could not keep Baloncesto Pozuelo (4-8) from being upended by Ceramica Leoni (3-9), 69-67, on Saturday in Spain's LEB2.
On the season, Johnson has connected on 15-of-29 (51%) 2-pt. field goal attempts, 16-of-43 (37%) 3-pointers and 30-for-41 (73%) from the free-throw line for 108 points (9.8 ppg) in 11 games played.
REESE WITH JERSEY FRANCHISE OF ABA
* The Asbury Park (NJ) Press reported last week that former University of North Carolina guard/forward Brian Reese was a member of the 2003-04 New Jersey Squires of the American Basketball Association.
The Squires were supposed to be located in Trenton, but were moved to Asbury Park after they were unable to make arrangements for an arena in Trenton. The Squires are the lone East Coast team in the seven-team ABA. The ABA has two teams in Mexico and franchises in Kansas City, Las Vegas, Fresno and Long Beach (Cal.).
Stats were not available for the Squires at the league's website.
TAR HEEL DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS
* Makhtar Ndiaye: 12/12 (30) ... Kris Lang: 12/12 (24) ... King Rice: 12/14 (35) ... Charlie Scott: 12/15 (57) ... Pat Sullivan: 12/15 (32) ... Carrie Davis: 12/15 (22) Bill Chamberlain: 12/16 (54) ... Joe Wolf: 12/17 (39) ... Jeff Denny: 12/17 (36) Bobby Jones: 12/18 (52) ... Neil Fingleton: 12/18 (23) ... Kevin Salvadori: 12/30 (33)