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Hornets Sign Rio Grande Valley's Jerel McNeal To GATORADE Call-Up

NEW YORK, Mar. 9, 2011 – The New Orleans Hornets signed guard Jerel McNeal of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for the 13th GATORADE Call-Up of the 2010-11 NBA Development League season. McNeal’s call-up increases the number of current NBA players with NBA D-League experience, including players currently on assignment to their NBA D-League affiliates, to 86.

In 40 games (all starts) this season with Rio Grande Valley, McNeal averaged 19.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals, leading the Vipers to a 28-12 record. An NBA D-League All-Star, McNeal ranks fifth in the league in scoring, and is averaging 23.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists in his last 10 games. McNeal has scored in double figures in all but four of his games this season, and his 40-point effort at Reno on Dec. 11 ranks among the league’s top individual scoring games this year.

In a decorated four-year collegiate career at Marquette, McNeal (6-3, 200) became the school’s all-time leader in points (1,985), steals (287) and games played (130). As a senior in 2008-09, McNeal averaged 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals and was named to the AP All-America Second Team and All-Big East First Team. Also the Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, McNeal spent the 2010 NBA preseason with the Houston Rockets.

McNeal is expected to join the Hornets today, and should be available when New Orleans hosts the Dallas Mavericks tonight at 8 p.m. ET.