TAR HEELS ON THE TUBE THIS WEEK
* Ademola Okulaja will be among the players on the German national team when the USA men's Olympic team meets Germany in an exhibition game on Wednesday in Cologne, Germany. ESPN will televise the game at 2 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will have a replay of the game on Thursday at 2 a.m.
"Hopefully it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone," Okulaja previously informed Inside Carolina about going against Larry Brown (his former Sixers coach), Roy Williams, Dave Hanners (Team USA's video coordinator) and the stars from the NBA. Germany is not qualified to participate in the 2004 Olympics.
Yesterday in Cologne, Germany, NBA star Dirk Nowitzki took scoring honors with 26 points and added nine rebounds as Germany downed Italy's Olympic squad, 85-77. Okulaja was a key contributor in 34 minutes with 10 boards and 12 points (4-6 FG, 1-1 3-pt. FG, 3-4 FT).
On Friday, Okulaja led Germany with 16 points in an 89-48 thumping of Estonia's national team.
The USA will meet Italy on Tuesday (ESPN, 2 p.m. ET) in Germany in the second game of a six-game schedule of exhibition games prior to the opening ceremonies in Athens, Greece on August 13.
The next stop on the training tour for the U.S. team is Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro. The USA vs. Serbia & Montenegro is on Friday and will be carried by ESPN on tape delay at 7 p.m. ET. The pre-Olympic friendlies wrap-up against Turkey in Istanbul on August 8 (ABC, 2 p.m.) and August 10 (ESPN, 1 p.m.).
* Former Tar Heel Nikki Teasley is not part of the 2004 women's Olympic squad, but the Los Angeles Sparks star point guard is a starter on the WNBA All-Star team that will meet the U.S. women Olympians on Thursday.
The game will be played in New York City at Radio City Music Hall and will be on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.
COTA TO PLAY IN RUSSIA
* After two years in Kaunas, Lithuania with Zalgiris, Ed Cota is moving on to Russia to play for Spartak St. Petersburg, according to Eurobasket.com last week.
The 2004-05 season in Russia's Superleague will be Cota's fifth pro season after a rookie season in the CBA/IBL with the Gary Steelheads, a championship season in Oostende, Belgium and two Lithuanian League titles with Zalgiris Kaunas.
REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA ADDS SHAMMOND
* Shammond Williams is still an NBA free agent after playing for the New Orleans Hornets. But Williams is now a member of the national basketball team of the Republic of Georgia after being granted citizenship by that country recently.
While with Orlando last season, Williams was a teammate of Zaza Pachulia (now with Milwaukee), a member of the Georgian national team. Pachulia led the effort to have the former Tar Heel represent Georgia in international basketball competition.
Williams made his debut for the Republic of Georgia last week at an international tournament in Italy. In an 87-71 rout of top rival Russia, Williams notched 26 points and six assists. Williams ended the tourney averaging 21.3 ppg after scoring 17 in a loss to Italy and 21 in a win over Sweden.
Last Friday, in a more familiar setting -- the fourth annual Vince Carter charity game in Toronto -- Williams continued his world tour as he played 45 minutes for Carter's victorious Ol' School Players and packed the stat sheet with 31 points (12-24 FG, 7-13 3-pt. FG), 15 assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Carter led his team in scoring with 34 points in the 171-166 crowd-pleasing affair that had three personal fouls and zero blocked shots. Antawn Jamison was also on the winning side. Former Heels Jerry Stackhouse and Brendan Haywood played for the opposition team, the Throwback Ballers.
THIS MONTH'S BIRTHDAYS
* August 1: Roy Williams (54) and Ranzino Smith (38) ... 3: Rick Duckett (47) ... 6: David Daly (44) ... 8: Woody Durham (63) ... 12: David Cason (32) and Ed Geth (30) ... 15: Darrell Elston (52) ... 16: Adam Boone (23) ... 23: Charlotte Smith-Taylor (31) ... 26: Bill Bunting (57) ... 30: Fred Quartlebaum (37).