Owens goes for seven in seven in USBL debut

Wearing a white headband, his game face and handling a red-white-and blue basketball instead of a football, Terrell Owens made his professional hoops debut by scoring seven points in seven minutes of play Friday night in the Adirondack Wildcats' 123-106 victory over Brooklyn in a United States Basketball League game in Glen Falls, N.Y.

The 49ers' star receiver was not much of a factor as Adirondack scored its fifth win in six games this season in the expansion team's home opener. In his first competitive basketball game since he played in college at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Owens played the final five minutes of the first half then sat out the second half before entering with two minutes remaining and playing the rest of the game.

Owens, who plans to play on a "flexible" basis with the Wildcats throughout May and June, said he was "rusty" in his first game with the expansion team, which had opened the USBL season by playing five road games without him.

"Very average. I'll do better once I get in (basketball) shape," said Owens, who also had two steals and an assist.

Adirondack coach Mike Sanders told the Associated Press that he was impressed with Owens' performance in a limited role.

"I think he can play at this level," Sanders said. "He didn't hurt the team. He held his own. He played tough defense and, you know, that's what you have to do. It's just a matter of giving him more time. He showed for an out-of-shape guy that he's pretty good."

Owens looked to be in excellent shape at the 49ers' minicamp last weekend, and said then that he had been playing pickup basketball regularly in the offseason. But being in football shape must not completely translate into being in basketball shape. Sanders did not say how he planned to use Owens for the remainder of the season, or how often the San Francisco star planned to be with the team during its six-game homestand or the Wildcats' remaining 24 games.

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