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Global players continue to strive toward the NBA
International Prospects at NBA Draft 2001

The 2001 NBA Draft will feature a strong contingent of international players striving for a spot in the National Basketball Association. The NBA brings together a record 45 international players from 28 different countries and territories on team rosters.

The NBA Draft is an international player's gateway into the league. At the 2000 NBA Draft in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 14 international players were chosen with seven selected in the first round of the draft including Boston Celtics' Jerome Moiso (France), Sacramento Kings' Hidayet Turkoglu (Turkey), Charlotte Hornets' Jamaal Magloire (Canada), Chicago Bulls' Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia), Phoenix Suns's Iakovos Tsakalidis (Greece), Toronto Raptors' Mamadou N'Diaye (Senegal) and Indiana Pacers' Primoz Brezec (Slovenia).

This influx helped to contribute to the increase in international players in the league this past season. The Dallas Mavericks are a prime example with the most international players on one team with five: Eduardo Najera (Mexico), Steve Nash (Canada), Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Obinna Ekezie (Nigeria) and Wang Zhou Zhou (China).

This year, the NBA Draft will feature a new crop of international players with aspirations of playing in the NBA. Here is a complete list of international prospects at the NBA Draft 2001:

Carlos Arroyo
(Puerto Rico)
Florida Int'l 6-2 202The second player in school history to score at least 1,600 points in his career and averaged 21.2 ppg as a senior. Played at the Nike Desert Classic in Tempe, Arizona. Was a two time All-Sun Belt Conference selection, where he was named Preseason SBC Player of the Year by The Basketball News.
Ognjen Askrabic
FMP Zeleznik
6-9 Averaging 17.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg and 2.2 bpg. He's a good athlete with quick feet and a good shooter. Shooting 62% from the field and 78% from the line.
Stanislav Balashov
6-9 221 Averaging 12.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Has shot blocking abilities. Won the Ukrainian League title with Odessa in 1998 and 1999. Now plays for BC Kiev.
Ruben B. Boumtje Boumtje
Georgetown 7-0 257 Ranks fourth all-time in school history in blocks with 255 (after Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo). As a junior was an All-Big East Third Team selection. Finished top 35 in nation in blocks final three seasons. Was named Big East /Aeropostale Men's Basketball Athlete of the Year.
Ousmane Cisse
St. Jude HS (Ala.) 6-9 250 Named First Team All-American by Parade Magazine. Named to McDonald's All-America Team. Averaged 29 points, 16 rebounds and 12 blocks in 2000-01.
Samuel Dalembert
Seton Hall 6-11 250 As a sophomore, became Seton Hall's career leader in blocked shots with 167. Averaged 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Scored double figures nine times. Lived in Haiti for 14 years before moving to Montreal.
Desagana Diop
Oak Hill Academy 7-0 315 Named to Parade Magazine High School Boys All-American First Team and named to McDonald's High School All-America Team. Named Virginia state Player of the Year by USA Today. Helped Oak Hill to an undefeated season (33-0) and a No. 1 national ranking by USA Today. Averaged 14.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and eight blocked shots. Shot better than 60% from the field.
Benjamin Eze
Southern Idaho 6-10 245 As a freshman was limited to 13 games by an ankle injury. In about 16 minutes pergame averaged 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds. Scored in double figures in six of the13 games. Blocked 16 shots and notched eight steals.
Antonis Fotsis
6-10 219 Receives sporadic playing time from Panathinaikos. Excellent three-point shooter and free throw shooter who plays primarily at small forward. Patterns his game after Toni Kukoc. Through 22 games in the Greek League this season, averaging 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 20.8 minutes. In Suproleague play, increased scoring to 10.5 ppg and shot 45.8% from three-point range.
Pau Gasol
F.C. Barcelona
7-0 227 Member of one of the top teams in the ACB, and was a member of teams that won the ACB Championship and Junior World Championship in 1999. Playing for Barcelona's junior team was integral part of team that won the 1998 Albert Schweitzer Tournament and the 1998 European Junior Championship. Named MVP of the Spanish National Cup (Copa del Rey). Excellent ballhandler and passer, despite his height he moves around the court like a small forward. Played in 29 of 33 games this season, averaging 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 23.8 minutes.
Todor Gecevski
MZT Skopje
6-11 Top big man playing in Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia's National Team. Was traded during the 2000-01 season from Nikol Fert to MZT Skopje 2000, also in FYROM. Finished the season averaging 18.6 points, and 9.2 rebounds. Blocked 1.05 shots and made 37% of shots from the three-point line.
Walter Hermann
Atenas Cordoba
6-8 One of Argentina's top scorers and best young players. Part of the National Team and has played in the league's All-Star Game twice. Won the Slam Dunk contest at All-Star in 1999-2000 season. In his first season for Atenas Cordoba he averaged 16.2 points and 5.6 rebounds. Made more than 62% of his two-point field goal attempts and 33% of his three-point field goal attempts.
Michael Hicks
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-5 196 Named Independent Player of the Year for two consecutive years and became the first player in school history to crack the 1,000-career point mark. Had 40 games of 20 or more points, 13 games of 30 or more points and three games of 40 or more points in his career. Finished career as the all-time leader at Texas A&M CC in virtually every statistical category. Member of the Panamanian National Team for several years. As a senior averaged 26.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals.
Robertas Javtokas
Lietuvos Rytas
6-10 205 Played one semester of Division I basketball at Arizona in 1999, before returning to Lithuania. Earned significant playing time for Lietuvos Rytas. In team's first 22 games was averaging 23.7 minutes, 11.2 points and 8.4 rebounds. Excellent offensive rebounder, grabbing nearly three per game in his limited minutes. Played in the Lithuanian League All-Star Game and won the Slam Dunk contest.
Kaspars Kambala
UNLV 6-9 250 Named to All-Mountain West Conference First Team as a senior and a junior after Leading UNLV in scoring both seasons. Finished career at UNLV as the school's all- time leader in free throws made, ranking fourth in rebounding and eighth in scoring. Recorded 37 double-doubles in four seasons. Named MWC Top Returning Player. As a senior averaged 16.9 points, 9.1 rebounds to lead team in both categories.
Innocent Kere
Tampa Bay 6-9 235 Played this season for the Tampa Bay Thunder Dawgs of ABA 2000. Now playing for the Lakeland Blue Ducks of the United States Basketball League. When playing for Tampa Bay averaged 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 19.1 minutes. Started 12 of 39 games. Also recorded 14 blocked shots and 20 steals. Was seventh on the team in minutes played.
Raul Lopez
Real Madrid
6-0 Began career with Joventut Badalona for two seasons (1998-2000), signed with Real Madrid for 2000-01 season. Played in ACB League All-Star Game. Through 30 regular season games, averaged 6.6 points and 2.3 assists in 20 minutes. Notched 34 steals in his 30 games. In Euroleague play, increased his averages to 8.4 points and 3.2 assists in 22.7 minutes. Hit 48.7% of his three-point field goal attempts in Euroleague games. Clever passer who is a "true" point guard.
Pavel Milos
(Czech Republic)
Sparta Praha
(Czech Republic)
6-7 Member of the Czech Republic National Team. Played in the Czech All-Star Game, scoring 15 points including three-point field goals. Through 17 games averaged 16.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 33.5 minutes. Attempted 113 three-point field goals and only 70 two-point field goals. Shot 42.5% from beyond the arc this season. His game is hitting the three-point shot.
Istvan Nemeth
Marc Kormend
6-3 175 Lefthander who can play the point guard position if needs to, but plays primarily at shooting guard. Named 1999 Hungarian Junior Player of the Year and member of the Hungarian National Team. One of the top scorers in Hungary this season, averaging 21.3 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.5 rebounds, with 50 steals in 21 games. Shot 39% from three-point range.
Mehmet Okur
Efes Pilsen
6-11 249 Has been a member of several national teams since 1997 which took him to 22-and-Under European and Wold Championships in 1997 and 1998. Began Playing for Efes Pilsen in the 1999-2000 season. In his first season with Efes Pilsen he played 18.3 minutes a game through the first 26 games. Averaging 8.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. Has three-point range and hit 51.9% of three-pointers. In Suproleague games has averaged 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16.2 minutes of play.
Tony Parker
Basket Racing
6-2 177 Playing at the top level in France, and was a member of France's Junior National Team in 1998. Played the last two seasons for Basket Racing in France, seeing backup minutes as point guard for one of France's top teams last season before a strong showing as a starting point guard this season. Averaged 14.7 points and 5.6 assists in 33 minutes. Had 168 assists and only 66 turnovers, a better than 2.5-to-1 ration.
Fred Perry
St. Francis Xavier
6-5 210 Led St. Francis Xavier University back-to-back CIAU (Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union) Championships. Named First Team All-Canada and Atlantic Conference MVP each of past two seasons. Named a National Tournament All-Star each of past two seasons. Has 2,837 career points. Averaged 18 points and shot 42.3% from three-point range.
Vladimir Radmanovic
FMP Zeleznik
6-10 227 Was a member of the Yugoslav Under-22 National Team that won the gold medal at the 1998 European Championship. In play with his new team, averaged 13.1 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Martin Rancik
Iowa State 6-9 240 Played well in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, finishing as the third leading scorer with 19.5 ppg and fifth leading rebounder with 10.0 ppg. Won the Iowa State Most Improved Player following his senior season. Finished his career ranked 22nd on the Cyclones' all-time scoring list with 980 points. Averaged 13.2 points and 5.5 rebounds, earning Third Team All-Big 12 honors as voted by media, and Honorable Mention All-Big 12 as voted by coaches.
Matjaz Smodis
Kinder Bologna
6-9 265 Developed his game in Slovenia for many years before moving to Kinder Bologna. Participated in the 2000 Nike Desert Classic in Temple, Ariz. A member of the Slovenian National Team. In Italy, averaged 8.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 18.1 minutes. Helped Kinder Bologna to championships of the Italian National Cup and the Euroleague Championships.
Ismaila Sy
6-2 Speedy guard had breakthrough season, set career highs in virtually every statistical category, including scoring average (14.8 ppg), assists (3.2 apg) and three-point field goals (49 in 24 games). Averaged a career-high in 29 minutes. He's an athletic guard with speed and quickness who can play both guard spots.
Kostas Tsartsaris
6-10 227 Through 24 games in Greek League this season, averaging 10.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 30.4 minutes. In Euroleague competition, increased his scoring to 11.1 points while averaging 6.2 rebounds. In first season with Peristeri averaged 12.1 pts and 6.7 rebounds in 34.3 minutes. A good perimeter shooter, he made 33% of his treys, over 58% of his two-pointers and 77% of free-throw attempts. Regarded as an excellent passer and shooter for a player his size.
Kerem Tunceri
Efes Pilsen
6-3 188 Member of the Turkish National Team. Through 14 games in his first season for Efes Pilsen averaged 7.3 points and 2.9 assists and playing 21.1 minutes per game. Feisty point guard with leadership skills.
Peter Van Paassen
St Bonaventure 6-11 265 Ranks 35th all-time in school history with 978 points, 21st in rebounds with 612, and recorded nine double-doubles during college career. Was a three-time 10 Atlantic All- Conference Team selection. Averaged 14.2 points and 6.1 rebounds. Led team in field goal percentage at 50.2% and blocked shots at 15.
Ratko Varda
Partizan Belgrade
7-0 265 Has been a member of the Partizan Belgrade basketball club since he was 15 years old. Was a member of the Yugoslavian Junior National Team in 1996 and 1997, and a member of the Under-22 Yugolsavian National Team at the 1998 European championship. Helped his team to the 2000 Yugoslavian National Cup. Has never played more than 20 minutes per game. Physically strong center prospect.
Souleymane Wane
Connecticut 6-11 240 Has career averages of 3.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg over four-year career, three as reserve. Named Connecticut's Scholar-Athlete of the Year after the 1997-98 season. As a senior in 2000-01, started 28 of 29 games and averaged career-bests of 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Mekeli Wesley
BYU 6-9 240 Named Honorable Mention All-America by AP as a senior. Named Mountain West Player of the Year and the MWC Tournament MVP. Finished his career ranked third all-time in free throw attempts (651), fourth in free-throws made (509), and seventh in field goals (570). Holds BYU's single-game free-throw record (16). As a senior was BYU's leading scorer 17.2 ppg and rebounder 5.2 rpg.
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