SUMMER GAMES END
* The Rocky Mountain Revue closed for the season last Friday with a game between Charlotte (4-2) and Atlanta (3-3) that featured three of the four Tar Heel first-round draft picks. Atlanta won the game 105-99 and that made Marvin Williams happy. "It was really fun for me, because we won," Williams joked, according to The Charlotte Observer, getting in a shot at his ex-Tar Heel teammates Sean May and Raymond Felton of the losing Bobcats.
Other than the loss in the last game in Utah, and Arizona's Salim Stoudamire stealing the spotlight with 39 points for the Hawks, Sean May had plenty to be happy about in his first NBA summer-league run. May was named the Revue's MVP and averaged 19 points, 11 boards in the five games he played more than two minutes. (In game 3, May left the game after two minutes of play with an ankle injury). He also had three double-doubles (18-10, 19-18 and 25-13).
Raymond Felton was placed on the All-RMR team with 13.2 ppg and 5.2 apg. Felton missed a game due to a groin injury and twice shot poorly (1-8, 4-17), but overall was 6-for-13 (.462) from way downtown.
Marvin Williams, with 10 points and eight boards against Charlotte, lifted his final numbers to 8.2 ppg and 4.6 rpg. Williams struggled from the field making 13-of-43 FG attempts (.302). But was excellent at the free-throw line hitting on 15-of-19 (.789) in five games.
Melvin Scott was there with the Utah Jazz (3-3), but in just 6.3 mpg (with a high-game of 12 minutes) had trouble getting his shot to fall and made only 3-of-19 from the field and went 0-for-6 on threes. Scott totaled 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists and tossed in 4-of-5 (.800) from the stripe in six games and 38 minutes.
* The Minnesota Summer League also concluded last week. The Minnesota Timberwolves hosted and played in the event, but Rashad McCants, their first-round choice, was sidelined through all five games with a strained right hamstring. The rare news items about McCants' summer stay with the T'wolves included an AP photo of him signing an autograph for a young fan during a game and another was being on the bench and getting called for a technical foul.
It happened during the third quarter on Tuesday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The summer leagues serve as a training ground for aspiring referees and McCants suggested to one of them that maybe a career change should be considered. McCants then looked on in disbelief when the ref turned around and called the 'T' on him, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
EUROBASKET '05 TAR HEELS
* The Italian national basketball team has named UNC graduate Dante Calabria to a roster of 16 players that will prepare during August for the Eurobasket 2005 tournament (aka the European Championship) that will be played from September 16-25 in Serbia & Montenegro.
Calabria, 31, a naturalized citizen and an Italian League veteran, played shooting guard last season for Armani Jeans Milano. Eight of the 12 Italian players that won silver medals last year at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, will also be on the training camp squad.
* Ademola Okulaja, a staple of Germany's national basketball team for many years, is among 18 players invited for training in Spain on August 9th for Eurobasket 2005. Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks is also on the German roster along with Patrick Femerling (Washington), Jan Jagla (Penn State) and Gerrit Terdenge (Fresno State).
Italy and Germany, both in Group A along with Russia and Ukraine, will meet on September 16, the first day of competition.
RODL RELOADING IN BERLIN
* After falling short of the German League title, ALBA Berlin and second-year coach Henrik Rodl have made several personnel and coaching staff changes recently. Among the coaching moves, Rodl has added Calvin Oldham, the associate head coach of Maine in the American East Conference, to his staff.
"Calvin Oldham was my first choice," Rodl stated, according to the official team website. "With his career over many years as a successful player and coach, he will make a first-class and very valuable contribution here."
Oldham, 45, played college ball at Virginia Tech, where he graduated in 1982. Prior to coaching for seven years in the German League, Oldham was a player in the league from 1983 to 1990. He then returned to Germany in 1992 after playing in the CBA for Wichita Falls. Oldham worked the 2002-03 NBA season as a scout for Toronto and has been at Maine since 2003.
"ALBA Berlin is one of the top organizations in European basketball. Henrik Rodl is a winner and a hard worker that has competed at the highest levels in basketball and his strong ambition to be a successful coach was apparent in our first face-to-face conversation," Oldham told Inside Carolina about his decision to leave the University of Maine to become the associate head coach with ALBA Berlin in Germany.
"Knowing that [Rodl] was taught by some of the greatest minds in basketball is extremely intriguing," he added. "The name Dean Smith alone still sends chill bumps through every coach's body. Last but not least, [Rodl's] character and personality are first-class, that of someone who I will enjoy working with and helping to be as successful as possible. We will be a very successful team and I hope that all Henrik's friends and fans will follow the ALBA Berlin basketball team this season," Oldham added.
PEPPERS, CURRY READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL
* Former Tar Heel basketball and football stars Julius Peppers (Carolina Panthers) and Ronald Curry (Oakland Raiders) will be among the NFL players reporting to training camp by the end of the week. Peppers will be with the Panthers when camp opens on Friday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. The first preseason game will be on August 13 against Washington.
A recent Q&A with defensive end Peppers, posted at Panthers.com last week, ranges from answers of Deion Sanders (his favorite player as a kid) to chicken fingers with barbeque sauce (his pregame meal). Check out http://www.panthers.com/news/newsroomNewsDetail.jsp?id=19245 for more responses by Peppers to questions from his fans.
In a training camp preview article, the Winston-Salem Journal noted, "Any defense that includes Julius Peppers on it has the potential to be special. Strong safety Mike Minter thinks that it's only a matter of time until Peppers, a defensive end, breaks the NFL single-season sacks record."
* The Oakland Raiders begin camp on Thursday at Napa Valley (Calif.) Marriott with Curry still trying to get back to 100 percent from the torn left Achilles tendon injury that put him out of action last season after week 13. Curry was at his football camp in the Hampton, Va., area over the weekend and told The Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) that he is 90-95 percent recovered from that injury. The first preseason game for Oakland is August 13 at San Francisco.
The article also stated that Curry, 26 and in his fourth year with Oakland, has no problem with the Raiders' acquisition of All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss. He thinks of Moss as another component of what should be a successful season. Curry had his best pro season last year with 50 catches for 679 yards and six touchdowns.
"Put [Randy] Moss and [Jerry] Porter on one side of the field, perhaps speedy third-year receiver Ronald Curry -- still on the mend from a torn Achilles -- on the other, and there stands a wideout trio among the best in the NFL," reported the San Francisco Chronicle recently.