NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2002
-- Rusty LaRue, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard for the Asheville Altitude, has been signed to a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz.
LaRue, who was signed by the Altitude on November 30, 2001, averaged 12.1 ppg on .442 shooting with 2.8 apg and 2.6 rpg over 28.0 mpg in 26 games (17 starts). He ranked 16th in the NBDL in scoring and was eighth in the league in assists. LaRue scored in double-figures 16 times, including a season-high 19 points against the Fayetteville Patriots on December 9, 2001. He ranked second in the NBDL in free-throw percentage (.902) and fourth in three-point percentage (.431).
LaRue signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls on October 1, 1997 after playing one season with the Connecticut Pride of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). LaRue was a member of the 1998 NBA Championship Bulls team that defeated the Utah Jazz, averaging 3.5 ppg on .408 shooting over 10.0 mpg in 14 games. In his three years with the Bulls, LaRue averaged 4.7 ppg on .366 shooting with 1.3 apg and 1.2 rpg over 16.4 mpg in 61 games (seven starts).
LaRue is the fourth player "called up" to the NBA from the National Basketball Development League since the league launched on November 16, 2001, and the second player to be "called up" from the Asheville Altitude. 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.
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.