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Monday December 26, 2011 9:31 AM

Center Of Attention

Rockets sign free agent center Samuel Dalembert

Jason Friedman
Rockets.com




HOUSTON - Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed unrestricted free agent center Samuel Dalembert to a multi-year deal. Per team policy, financial terms were not released.

“Samuel is someone we had great interest in signing as a free agent,” said Morey. “He is exactly the rim proctector we have been activily pursing and should fit great into Coach McHale’s system. We’re looking forward to him joining the Rockets this season.”

Dalembert (6-11, 250, Seton Hall) owns career averages of 8.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.88 blocks in 662 games (537 starts) through nine NBA seasons with Philadelphia (2001-10) and Sacramento (2010-11). Overall, Dalembert ranks 28th in NBA history in blocks per game and stands ninth among active players. He has finished seven of the last nine seasons ranked in the NBA’s top-10 in blocked shots. In eight seasons with the 76ers, Dalembert tallied 1,131 blocks, which currently ranks second in franchise history behind Hall-of-Famer Julius Erving (1,293). Dalembert appeared in all 82 regular season contests over four straight NBA seasons (2006-07 to 2009-10). His games played streak ended at 354 games after missing the 2010-11 season opener at Minnesota (10/27/10). He also started 17 postseason contests with Philadelphia.

Traded by Philadelphia to Sacramento for center Spencer Hawes and forward Andres Nocioni on June 19, 2010, Dalembert averaged 8.1 points, 8.2 boards and a team-high 1.45 blocks in 80 games (46 starts) during his lone season with the Kings. With 116 blocks in 2010-11, he became the first Kings player to reach the century mark in blocks in a season since Keon Clark (150) and Vlade Divac (105) each hit 100-plus in 2002-03. Dalembert actually posted his finest statistical campaign to date in 2007-08 with the 76ers, averaging 10.5 points, a career-best 10.4 rebounds, 2.34 blocks and a career-high 33.2 minutes per game in starting all 82 outings. He ranked fourth in the NBA in blocks in 2007-08, eighth in rebounds (third in offensive rebounds) and 20th in field goal percentage (.513, 339-661 FG). He was one of only nine players to average a points-rebounds double-double for the entire 2007-08 campaign. Dalembert also averaged a career-high 10.7 points (.541 FG%), 8.9 rebounds and 1.94 blocks in 82 contests in 2006-07 with Philadelphia, ranking eighth in the NBA in blocks per game that season.

Dalembert was originally selected by Philadelphia as an early entry player out of Seton Hall with the 26th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. His teammates with the Pirates included former Rockets Andre Barrett and the late Eddie Griffin.

Off the court, Dalembert was named the recipient of the 2009-10 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award by the Professional Basketball Writer’s Association in recognition of his outstanding charitable works and tireless relief efforts in his native Haiti. He was also bestowed the 2010 Naismith Hall of Fame Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award, presented to individuals who honor the game of basketball by virtue of their personal growth and life-long accomplishments.

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