Tulsa Led the D-League in GATORADE Call-Ups in 2010-11

The dream of every player in the NBA D-League is to earn a GATORADE Call-Up to the NBA, and no team in the League produced more Call-Ups during the 2010-11 season than the Tulsa 66ers, who tallied four on the year.

“Our goal in Tulsa is to help our guys improve every day with the goal of playing at the next level,” Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts said. “We had a great group of guys this past season that bought into playing for each other. They understood that if they came to work every day, whether in practice or in a game, good things happen.”

Tulsa’s Zabian Dowdell and Larry Owens became the first and second GATORADE Call-Ups of the 2010-11 season. Dowdell signed the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts by the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 19 before being signed for the remainder of the season.

Owens earned his first Call-Up of his career on Jan. 16 by the San Antonio Spurs. He earned his second GATORADE Call-Up on March 6 when he was signed by the Washington Wizards.

Finally, Tulsa’s Robert Vaden was signed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the proud affiliate of the 66ers, on March 9.

“Zabian, Larry and Rob all exemplify what it means to be a professional,” Tibbetts said. “They were all great leaders on our team in Tulsa and certainly earned their Call-Ups this season. We were a young team this past year, and those guys helped prove to our younger guys that if you work hard you will be noticed and rewarded.”

Several teams in the D-League produced three GATORADE Call-Ups this season, including Dakota, Rio Grande Valley, Austin and Iowa.