Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on former Tar Heel hoopsters ... Pictured -- Dante Calabria


* Former Tar Heel Dante Calabria is still among the best when launching shots from long-range. Calabria, now with Italian team Armani Jeans Milano, was the winner of the Italian League's three-point shooting contest that was held prior the Lega Basket Serie "A" All-Star Game, yesterday in Bologna, Italy.

Calabria knocked off 19-year-old Italian NBA prospect Marco Belinelli (Climamio Bologna) in the final shootout to win the event. Former college stars Lynn Greer (Temple) and Drew Nicholas (Maryland) also participated in the shooting contest.

Calabria, currently shooting threes in the Italian League at a 50 percent clip (30-60, 5th), also started in the all-star game, but played just 13 minutes and scored three points on one-of-three shooting from behind the arc along with pulling down four rebounds. Drew Nicholas was the game's high-scorer with 20. Travis Watson of Virginia also played in the game and tallied 10 points in 10 minutes.

* The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an interview with Calabria, 32, earlier this month that noted the former star at Blackhawk High School in Beaver County, Pennsylvania hopes to get a chance to play for Italy in the FIBA World Championship in Japan next summer, but is not looking beyond that to the 2008 Olympics.

"I'll be 35 for the next Olympics. I don't know if I'll even be playing anymore by then. The Olympics are not really on my mind, to be honest. I'm just hoping to do this year and next year with the [Italian] national team," Calabria told the Post-Gazette.

Beyond that, the international basketball veteran sees himself "sitting on a porch at the beach in North Carolina." Although he's not sure about life after basketball, he might give broadcasting a try or he might look into some business ventures in North Carolina, according to the article in the Pittsburgh newspaper.

* Calabria and Milano hosted a Euroleague game on Thursday against Shammond Williams and F.C. Barcelona (Spain). Calabria scored 15 with eight rebounds and four steals to help Milano (2-4) take a 70-58 win over Barcelona (3-3). Williams had 10 points, two boards and four assists.

Williams and F.C. Barcelona bounced back yesterday in Spanish League action with a 73-72 win over rival Real Madrid. The win puts Barcelona alone in first-place in Spain's ACB with a record of 9-2.


* The addition of Nikki Teasley has lifted MKB Euroleasing of Sopron, Hungary, to the top of the standings of the women's Hungarian basketball league. Sopron won another game over the weekend to go to 10-1 and remain in third-place, just a half-game out of first below two teams tied at 11-1.

In 11 domestic games played Teasley is averaging 27 minutes, 10.5 points, 4.1 assists and 2.2 rebounds. The former Tar Heel has connected on 23 of 55 three-pointers (.418) and on 15 of 16 from the free throw line (.938).

Teasley also has played in seven games for Sopron in the qualifying round of the women's EuroLeague. The Hungarian team is 3-4 (4th-place) in Group B. Facing better competition in EuroLeague games, Teasley is counted on for more scoring and has responded with 15.7 points per game in 31.4 minutes per game.

The first women's EuroLeague All-Star Game will be held in "the basketball-mad city" of Pecs, Hungary, according to fibaeurope.com, with top European players (the Europeans) taking on non-Europeans (the Rest of the World) on March 8, 2006.

With the selection process being conducted via online voting you can support Teasley by voting for her as a guard for the "Rest of the World" team daily at fibaeurope.com through January 27, 2006.


* You can support Derrick Phelps (PG, GHP Bamberg), Ademola Okulaja (PF, RheinEnergie Koln) and Henrik Rodl (coach, ALBA Berlin) in voting being conducted online for the 2006 German League All-Star Game.

Vote Okulaja and Rodl to the North (Nord) squad and Phelps to the South (Sud) team at basketball-bundesliga.de for the game scheduled for Koln Arena (Cologne, Germany) on January 28, 2006.

You can also vote for Michael Jordan there, but it will be for Michael Jordan (PG, RheinEnergie Koln) from the University of Pennsylvania.

* Okulaja has not played yet this season for RheinEnergie Koln, but he recently informed Inside Carolina that his surgically repaired knee is feeling much better and he is optimistic about his return.

"My knee is getting stronger and stronger. It is a great feeling to run, jump and shoot without pain. I must admit that I have dunked a couple of times. It wasn't the prettiest or most spectacular, but it was a dunk without any help," Okulaja told IC via e-mail. "After 13 months without really ballin' it finally is looking good again. I can't give an exact time or date, but that day is getting closer and closer."


* This month's Tar Heel birthday celebrants include ...

  • Dec. 12: Makhtar Ndiaye (32) and Kris Lang (26)

  • Dec. 14: King Rice (37)

  • Dec. 15: Charlie Scott (59), Pat Sullivan (34) and Carrie Davis (24)

  • Dec. 16: Bill Chamberlain (56)

  • Dec. 17: Joe Wolf (41) and Jeff Denny (38)

  • Dec. 18: Bobby Jones (54) and Neil Fingleton (25)

  • Dec. 30: Kevin Salvadori (35)

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