Tar Heel Pros update

Cota confers with his coach

An <i>Inside Carolina</i> update on several former Tar Heels now playing overseas.

* After years as teammates at North Carolina, Ed Cota and Ademola Okulaja met as rivals in Euroleague action last week when Okulaja's Unicaja Malaga (Spain-ACB) hosted Cota's team from Lithuania -- Zalgiris Kaunas.

The game featured a dramatic ending. According to the Euroleague game report, Unicaja led 77-76 with 23 seconds to play. As time ran down, former Duke star Chris Carrawell, now with Zalgiris Kaunas, missed a shot for the lead, but Ed Cota grabbed the mis and tossed the ball in the basket with just two seconds remaining to put Zalgiris ahead 78-77. Unicaja then missed a shot from halfcourt by inches and Zalgiris left Spain with a Euroleague Group B victory.

Ed Cota finished with 13 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds over 36 minutes. Ademola Okulaja had a fever at game time, but played 18 minutes and posted 2 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.

Okulaja and Cota will meet again on January 8 when Unicaja Malaga travels to Kaunas, Lithuania.

* Former Tar Heel and now ALBA Berlin 10-year veteran, Henrik Rodl, has reached the 5,000 point milestone.

With a field goal last week in a Euroleague game versus Benetton Treviso (Italy), Rodl brought his ALBA Berlin career points total to 5,001 and got a standing ovation from an appreciative Max Schmeling Hall home crowd. Rodl is just the second player in ALBA Berlin history to reach 5,000 points.

* After a short stay in England with Birmingham, Steve Bucknall has relocated to Thessaloniki, Greece. This time Bucknall will play for Iraklis Thessaloniki of the Greek A1 League.

* Kris Lang continues his strong showing in Poland with Anwil Wloclawek (6-1). After seven games in the Polish League, Lang is shooting 35-for-56 (63%) from the field, and is averaging 13.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

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