PART I: WHERE IN THE WORLD IS ... ?
* ... This is Part I of a rundown on the locations of former Tar Heel players that are currently playing pro basketball overseas:
La'Tangela Atkinson: In Israel with Raanana-Hertzliya (near Tel Aviv) after her rookie season in the WNBA with Indiana.
Adam Boone: He's in Oberwart, Austria, where he plays for the Macibido Gunners.
Steve Bucknall: Buck is back in England for another season as a player and assistant coach with the Leicester Riders of the British Basketball League.
Dante Calabria: In the Italian League with Armani Jeans Milano for the third consecutive season.
Jason Capel: With Air Basket Avellino of Serie A in Avellino, Italy.
Ed Cota: You can find him in Israel with Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem.
Vasco Evtimov: Under the boards in
Bologna, Italy, where he plays for Climamio.
Neil Fingleton: His latest stop on the pro tour is with C.B. Illescas (EBA) in Spain (near Madrid).
Joseph Forte: He's in Italy's top league -- Serie A -- playing for Montepaschi in the city of Siena.
Look for more locations and links of former Tar Heels playing abroad next week in Part II.
ULEB CUP TAR HEELS
* ... Some of the top club teams in Europe begin play this week in ULEB Cup competition. The pan-European league has 24 teams split into four groups. Games are played during the week and are in addition to the club's domestic league weekend schedule.
Randy Wiel is the head coach of EiffelTowers Den Bosch (Holland) and is in Group D. "The Dutch League champions make their ULEB Cup return. Most of the players who led the team to the Dutch League title are back with the addition of center Sharone Wright (Clemson)," says the team preview at ulebcup.com.
Group C can be considered the "Tar Heel Division" with four of six teams having a North Carolina connection. Head coach Henrik Rodl of German power ALBA Berlin returns his team to the ULEB Cup for the third consecutive season. ALBA's roster includes Will Avery (Duke), Julius Jenkins (Ga. Southern), Johannes Herber (West Virginia), Koko Archibong Penn), Chris Owens (Texas), Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (Georgetown) and Sharrod Ford (Clemson).
Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem (Israel) has added Ed Cota and Timmy Bowers (Mississippi State) to the backcourt. "Cota's unselfishness and court vision have made him an elite floor general. He has a chance to bounce back from an underachieving season and show that his skills are still intact," says the ulebcup.com team focus. Jerusalem also feaures Mario Austin (Mississippi State) and Tamar Slay (Marshall).
Joseph Forte of Montepaschi Siena (Italy) "can play at either guard spot with his passing skills, soft touch and athleticism," notes the official Web site. Forte is joined in Siena by PG Terrell McIntyre (Clemson), Lonny Baxter (Maryland) and Romain Sato (Xavier).
The team preview on Russian club BC Khimki states: "Ademola Okulaja is still a physical forward with a soft touch, deep range and leadership. His driving skills and determination make Okulaja an offensive threat."
The 2006-07 league schedule begins today in Italy with ALBA Berlin (Rodl) visiting Montepaschi Siena (Forte). Later this week, BC Khimki (Okulaja) travels to Jerusalem (Cota) and EiffelTowers Den Bosch (Wiel) hosts Real Madrid of Spain.
NBA 2006-07 OPENERS
* ... Here's a look at the NBA 2006-07 regular season openers for teams with former Tar Heels playing ...
- Phoenix @ L.A. Lakers (Shammond Williams), TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET
- Indiana @ Charlotte (Raymond Felton and Sean May)
- Toronto @ New Jersey (Vince Carter)
- Milwaukee (David Noel) @ Detroit (Rasheed Wallace)
- Washington (Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood) @ Cleveland, ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET
- San Antonio @ Dallas (Jerry Stackhouse), TNT, 8:00 p.m. ET
News & Notes Extras:
... NBA preseason roster moves last week included the release of Jawad Williams by the Los Angeles Clippers and the Orlando Magic placing Jackie Manuel on waivers. ... The Washington Wizards promoted assistant Mike O'Koren to associate head coach. O'Koren and Washington head coach Eddie Jordan were assistant coaches for New Jersey from 1999 to 2002. ... Minnesota has picked up the third-year option on Rashad McCants for 2007-08, locking him up at $1.77 million. The fourth-year option on his contract is worth $2.62 million for 2008-09 and comes up at this time next year, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. McCants is expected to miss at least the first two months of the season as he recovers from microfracture surgery to his right knee. ... The Atlanta Hawks will be without Marvin Williams for about six weeks at the start of the season. During practice last week, Williams broke a bone in his left hand. Williams was expected to be in the starting lineup on Wednesday for the season-opener at Philadelphia prior to the injury. ... Wrestling fan David Noel of the Milwaukee Bucks was in attendance when the WWE's "SmackDown" tour stopped in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over the weekend. Noel enjoyed mingling with wrestling stars Kristal, Jillian and the massive and intense Batista, according to the WWE Web site.
THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS ...
- October 31: Bobby Frasor (20)
- November 1: Octavus Barnes (32), Tracy Reid (30) and David Thornton (28)
- November 2: Surry Wood (22)
- November 3: Tyler Hansbrough (21) and Ty Lawson (19)
- November 4: Matt Wenstrom (36)
- November 5: Jerry Stackhouse (32)