Celtics Call Up Cook

NEW YORK, N.Y., (April 17, 2002) -- Omar Cook, a 6-foot-1 point guard for the Fayetteville Patriots of the National Basketball Development League, has been called up and signed by the Boston Celtics.

Cook, 20, a former standout at St. John’s University, averaged a league-high 7.8 assists per game along with 12.2 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game and 1.51 steals per game over 31.6 minutes per game in 35 NBDL games (23 starts) en route to earning All-NBDL Second Team honors.

Cook was originally a second round selection (32nd overall) by the Orlando Magic in the 2001 NBA Draft, and was then traded to the Denver Nuggets. Cook was waived by the Nuggets on Oct. 25, 2001 and then signed by the Dallas Mavericks on November 25. Dallas then waived him on Dec. 28, and the Patriots signed him on Jan. 7, 2002.

As a freshman at St. John’s, Cook averaged 15.3 ppg, 8.7 apg and 3.0 rpg for the Red Storm. He was named Third All-Big East, joining Seton Hall’s Eddie Griffin as the only freshman in the conference to be selected to an All-Conference team. Cook finished second in the nation in assists (8.7 apg) behind Markus Carr of Cal State-Northridge (8.9 apg). His 252 assists set a freshman school record, previously held by Erick Barkley (Portland Trail Blazers) and ranks second on the all-time single-season chart. He also averaged 19.0 ppg, 7.0 apg and 4.3 spg as a senior at Christ the King High School in New York and named a McDonald's All-American.

The NBDL, the NBA’s minor league, includes the Fayetteville Patriots (N.C.), North Charleston Lowgators (S.C.), Huntsville Flight (Ala.), Mobile Revelers (Ala.), Roanoke Dazzle (Va.), Columbus Riverdragons (Ga.), Greenville Groove (S.C.), and Asheville Altitude (N.C.). The league offers players the opportunity to develop their talent in a highly competitive atmosphere under the NBA’s umbrella. The NBDL serves as a source of on-court talent for the NBA’s 29 teams and as a diverse human resources pool for the NBA and its teams by training employees in management, operations, public relations, sales and marketing positions in each NBDL city.

NBDL players must be 20 years of age or older to play in the league. NBDL teams do not have a direct affiliation with specific NBA teams. Development league players are eligible to play for any NBA team.