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Including players, coaches, officials, athletic trainers and front office staff, there have been 105 total D-League-to-NBA Gatorade Call-Ups in four seasons.
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NBDL 2002-01 MVP Becomes Seventh Call-Up of Inaugural Season
Seattle Signs Sesay to 10-Day Contract
Ansu Sesay takes the ball to the hoop.
(Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, N.Y., March 29, 2002 – Greenville Groove forward Ansu Sesay, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound small forward and the National Basketball Development League’s 2001-02 Most Valuable Player, has signed a 10-Day contract with the Seattle SuperSonics.

Sesay finished the 2001-02 NBDL season ranked among league leaders in scoring (10th), assists (15th), field goals made (7th), free throws made (6th), blocks (15th) and minutes played (7th). Selected by Greenville in the second round (14th overall) of the NBDL’s Supplemental Draft, Sesay averaged 13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 2.5 apg over 30.1 mpg in 45 games (41 starts) with the Groove. He also shot .441 (230-522 FGA) from the field and .741 (163-220 FTA) from the foul line.

Sesay tallied double-figure scoring totals in 36 of 45 games including 18 straight games to close out the NBDL regular season. He averaged a team-high 16.5 ppg on .469 (90-192 FGA) shooting with 3.7 rpg and 3.5 apg during the club’s league-high 15-game winning streak that helped propel the Groove to a share of the best record in the NBDL (36-20). Sesay also had season-highs of 23 points (three times), nine rebounds (Nov. 27) and nine assists (March 17) over the course of the NBDL’s inaugural season.

Sesay, who was also named to the All-NBDL First Team last week and was the league’s Co-Player of the Month in February (with teammate Billy Thomas), played collegiately at the University of Mississippi. He was named Second Team All-American by the Associated Press and was the AP Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as a senior before being selected in the second round (30th overall) by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1998 NBA Draft.

His 1,428 points ranks eighth on the Ole Miss all-time scoring chart and he is only the second player in school history (along with former NBA player Elston Turner) to surpass 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 200 assists. He averaged 13.0 ppg and 6.4 rpg in 110 career games and helped lead the Rebels to back-to-back SEC Western Division titles and consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 1998.

Sesay is the seventh player to be called up to the NBA during the NBDL’s inaugural season. Chris Andersen, a 6-foot-10, 230 pound power forward from the Fayetteville 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, 181 pound point guard from the Asheville Altitude was the league’s second player called up to the NBA when he was signed by the San Antonio Spurs on December 19, 2001. Anthony Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 190 pound guard from the Mobile Revelers was the league’s first player to be signed to an NBA 10-Day Contract when he signed with the New Jersey Nets. Johnson signed the first of two consecutive 10-Day Contracts on January 7, 2002, and then signed for the remainder of the 2001-02 season on January 28, 2002. Rusty LaRue, a 6-foot-3, 190 pound guard from the Asheville Altitude and NBA veteran was signed by the Utah Jazz to a 10-Day Contract on January 28, 2002. LaRue signed a second 10-Day Contract with the Utah Jazz on February 12, 2002 and was signed for the remainder of the 2001-02 season on February 21, 2002. Tremaine Fowlkes, a 6-foot-8, 220 pound forward from the Columbus Riverdragons was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers to the first of two consecutive 10-Day contracts on February 23, 2002. The Clippers signed Fowlkes for the remainder of the NBA season on March 16, 2002. Isaac Fontaine, a 6-foot-4, 210 pound forward from the Mobile Revelers signed to a 10-Day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies on March 3, 2002.

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. xThe 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.