Okulaja, Rodl and Teasley in action last night

A couple of former Tar Heels helped Germany defeat China last night in Indianapolis at the RCA Dome as the 2002 World Basketball Championship got underway.

Ademola Okulaja, born in Nigeria, raised in Germany and educated at the University of North Carolina, played 26 minutes, scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds to go along with an assist and a steal in the 88-76 victory over China.

Henrik Rodl helped the German effort with two rebounds, a steal, a blocked shot and scoring one point hitting 1-of-2 free throws during 14 minutes.

Tonight the George Karl-coached USA team meets 1-0 Germany at the RCA Dome (8 p.m. EDT, ESPN2). Team USA is also 1-0 after opening with a 110-60 rout of Algeria.

*****

In last night's Los Angeles Sparks 71-63 win over the New York Liberty in the opening game of the best-of-three WNBA Finals, Nikki Teasley played 38 minutes, handed out 11 assists and tallied eight points.

The former UNC star is now just one Sparks' victory away from ending her WNBA rookie season with a championship.

The Sparks host the Liberty in Game Two on Saturday (3:30 p.m. EDT, NBC).


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