Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on former Tar Heel hoopsters ...<br><br><center><i>Pictured -- Derrick Phelps</i></center>

PHELPS WITH DAVIS AND WIEL IN HOLLAND

* Derrick Phelps has signed to play in Holland for EiffelTowers Nijmegen, the team that is coached by former Tar Heels Randy Wiel (head coach) and Walter Davis (assistant coach).

According to an article posted at ULEBCup.com last week, Wiel, a player and an assistant coach at Carolina, called Dean Smith during the summer and told him he was looking for an assistant in Nijmegen, Holland. "Coach Smith called me and here I am," Davis said to ULEBCup.com recently about making his coaching debut overseas.

EiffelTowers Nijmegen, currently 0-4 in ULEB Cup European club team competition and 5-5 in domestic league play, has had a slow start but is looking to the future. "EiffelTowers has a good reputation as a top team in the Netherlands. (Dutch league champs in 2001 and 2003) The organization's goal is being a top team in Europe, too," Davis said.

Phelps, now in his 11th pro season, took over the point guard duties for Nijmegen on Saturday scoring 12 points and handing out four assists in an 81-71 defeat to the Demon Astronauts. His teammates include center Mike Mardesich (Maryland) and shooting guard Tommy Gunn (Middle Tennessee State).

OKULAJA OUT SIX WEEKS

* Former UNC star Ademola Okulaja, now with Pamesa Valencia in Spain, had arthroscopic knee surgery last Friday to repair a torn meniscus. Okulaja is expected to return to action in six weeks.

In 10 games played this season for Valencia (6-6) in Spain's ACB league Okulaja has averages of 30 minutes, 13.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

JAMISON OFF TO A GREAT START

* The streak of consecutive games played that leads all active NBA players is now at 343. But that's just part of what keeps Antawn Jamison busy these days with the Washington Wizards. Last year's NBA Sixth Man of the Year with Dallas is now back as a starter and leads the 10-5 Wizards in scoring (21.9) and in rebounding (9.2).

There's a lot more than that going on in Washington. Following a two-hour practice last week, Jamison talked with the local media prior to attending a mandatory team meeting. Then he gave the okay for a one-on-one interview with a reporter -- the kind of thing "most pro athletes scoff at," The Washington Times reported recently. Then there was a film segment for the team's weekly TV show "Wizards Magazine" that was followed by his weekly get-together with Tim Russert of "Meet the Press" to record predictions to air on WTOP-AM.

Part of his effort to become a better teammate and team leader recently included telling former Tar Heel Brendan Haywood to stop sulking and start playing. "I know the season is still young, but I think we've got the right ingredients here," Jamison told the Times.

"I don't know where we'd be without him. He does everything," said Washington assistant and former Tar Heel Mike O'Koren, who was recently pressed into service as head coach when Eddie Jordan was hospitalized due to a blood clot in his leg.

Now that Jamison is in the Eastern Conference this could be the year he appears in his first NBA All-Star Game in his seven years in the league, even though he believes he should have been in two All-Star Games by now. Voting is underway at http://www.nba.com/allstar2005/asb/eng/ballot.html for the 54th NBA All-Star Game on February 20 in Denver.

TEASLEY TO SOUTH KOREA

* Like many other WNBA stars, former Tar Heel Nikki Teasley of the Los Angeles Sparks has taken her game on the overseas circuit. Teasley is in the city of Cheonan in South Korea to play for the Kookmin Bank Savers (9-1).

"Thank you for embracing me into your family here. This is my first time in Korea and I love it. My teammates and I will play very hard and try to bring home the championship to Cheonan," Teasley commented to fans on the KB Savers' website during a recent chat session.

LANG LOGS SEASON HIGH

* Kris Lang, also playing in South Korea this season, had an outstanding game on Sunday to help his team in Seoul climb into a fourth-place tie in the Korean Basketball League.

"Kris Lang erupted for a high of 41 points with 14 rebounds to lift the SK Knights (8-9) to an 88-81 win over the LG Sakers (8-9). Desmond Penigar (Utah State) of the Sakers responded with 38 points and 20 rebounds, but [LG] still came up short," noted the game report at eurobasket.com.

Those numbers have lifted Lang's averages to 21.7 ppg and 10.7 rpg through 17 games. Lang also has drifted from the paint and hit two shots from beyond the arc.

DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS

12: Makhtar Ndiaye (31)
12: Kris Lang (25)
14: King Rice (36)
15: Charlie Scott (58)
15: Pat Sullivan (33)
15: Carrie Davis (23)
16: Bill Chamberlain (55)
17: Joe Wolf (40)
17: Jeff Denny (37)
18: Bobby Jones (53)
18: Neil Fingleton (24)
30: Kevin Salvadori (34)


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