NEW YORK, March 3 –
Isaac Fontaine, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard for the Mobile (Ala.) Revelers of the National Basketball Development League, has signed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Fontaine was a second round selection by the Revelers in the NBDL's Supplemental Draft (10th overall). He averaged a league leading 17.4 points per game on .457 shooting with 3.2 rebounds per game and 2.1 assists per game over 29.8 minutes per game in 47 games (46 starts). He ranked second in the league in free throw percentage (.901) and sixth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.413). Fontaine scored a season-high 35 points in a victory over the Columbus Riverdragons on Feb. 18, 2002.
Fontaine attended Washington State University and finished his career as the Cougars' all-time leading scorer with 2,003 points in 120 games. He is ranked 12th on the Pacific-10 Conference's all-time scoring list and his .457 three-point field goal percentage also ranked fourth on the all-time Pac-10 list. Fontaine tops Washington State's career lists in points, minutes (3,737) and three-point percentage. He became the first Cougar to lead the team in scoring for three consecutive years since Jim McKean (1966-68). He started the last 90 games of his career and was named to Pac-10 All-Conference First Team his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he led the Cougars in scoring (21.9 ppg, 16th in nation) and steals (38) and was second with 76 assists. His 657 points broke WSU's single-season scoring record of 647 points set by former NBA player Don Collins in 1979-80. His 26 points in an 89-87 win over California broke the school's all-time scoring record of 1,894, set by Steve Puidokas from 1974-77.
As a junior, despite suffering from a stress fracture in his left foot, Fontaine led WSU in field goals (174), three-pointers (66), free throw percentage (.822), points (525), scoring (18.1 ppg) and minutes played (995). His .485 three-point FG percentage (66-of-136) led the Pac-10 and ranked fifth overall in the NCAA. He became the first player in school history to surpass 500 points in consecutive seasons.
Fontaine is the sixth player called up to the NBA from the NBDL since the league launched on November 16, 2001. Chris Andersen, a 6-foot-10, power forward for the Fayetteville (N.C.) Patriots and the NBDL's number one overall draft selection, was the league's first player called-up to the NBA when he signed a contract with the Denver Nuggets on November 21, 2001. Jason Hart, a 6-foot-3 point guard for the Asheville (N.C.) Altitude was the league's second player called-up to the NBA when he signed a contract with the San Antonio Spurs on December 19, 2001. Anthony Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard for the Mobile (Ala.) Revelers signed a 10-day contract with the New Jersey Nets on January 7, 2002, then signed a second 10-day contract on January 17, 2002, and was signed for the remainder of the season on January 28, 2002. Rusty LaRue, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard for the Asheville Altitude signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz on January 28, 2002, then signed a second 10-day contract on February 12, 2002 and was signed for the remainder of the season on February 21, 2002. Tremaine Fowlkes, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward for the Columbus (Ga.) Riverdragons signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on February 23, 2002.
The National Basketball Development League tipped off its inaugural season on November 16, 2001. 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.) will compete in a 56-game regular season schedule that runs from mid-November through March, followed by playoffs. A total of 24 games will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN, and 19 games will be broadcast regionally on FOX Sports Net South.
Designed to help grow the sport of basketball both domestically and internationally, the NBDL offers players the opportunity to develop their talent in a highly competitive atmosphere under the NBA's umbrella. In addition to being a source of on-court talent for the NBA's 29 teams, the NBDL will also serve 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.