Archive for June 28th, 2009

Hasheem Thabeet worked as a bouncer

Hasheem Thabeet worked as a bouncer

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Hasheem Thabeet did what he could to help his family. His father, an architect, had died of complications from diabetes, so Thabeet, at age 17 and all of 7 feet, found work as a bouncer outside a nightclub in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He was an intimidating presence at the door, blocking ill-advised attempts to get inside — a skill set that, as it turned out, would prove invaluable in the not-so-distant future. But he also harbored a secret. “When a fight started,” Thabeet said, “you wouldn’t see me.” … Thabeet spoke five languages, but academic transcript issues landed him at three prep schools in three states before he settled for good at Cypress Community Christian School outside of Houston. He was a project — he was used to kicking the ball with his feet instead of shooting it with his hands — but UConn coach Jim Calhoun was willing to take the risk. Thabeet’s potential was immense.

The Houston Chronicle (Jonathan Feigen) reports: A group headed by former Rockets president and chief executive officer George Postolos has entered into negotiations to purchase the Charlotte Bobcats, a person with knowledge of the talks said Saturday. Postolos, who shepherded the Rockets through the arena referendum and move to the Toyota Center and helped the value of the franchise grow from $166 million to $422 million during his tenure, left the team in May 2006 after 7½ years to form The Postolos Group, a company that helps with the acquisition of sports franchises.

Jrue Holiday feels he should have been drafted higher

Philly Burbs/The Intelligencer (Tom Moore) reports: Jrue Holiday considers playing for the 76ers to be an ideal situation for him. The Sixers are looking for a young point guard to push the ball upcourt and defend, which Holiday believes are among his strengths. But Holiday is still bothered that he dropped to No. 17 in Thursday’s NBA Draft after he had been regarded as a top-12 prospect during nearly the entire pre-draft process of workouts and interviews. “Honestly, it’s motivation to do better,” said Holiday during Friday’s introductory news conference at PCOM. “I wasn’t expecting it. I wish I could’ve gone higher. I really don’t think there are 16 players in the draft better than me. All the teams I worked out for know what I can do.”

Omri Casspi is first Israeli player to make the NBA

The Sacramento Bee (Ailene Voisin) reports on Omri Casspi, the first Israeli player who will play in the NBA: He can run. We know that. He plays both forward positions. He is long and wiry, 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, and he must be as tough as his reputation suggests, because the second of the Kings’ two first-round draft choices (No. 23) is carrying an entire nation along for the ride. Forget the champagne and night-long celebration. Israeli President Shimon Peres called to offer congratulations. “I wouldn’t say I feel pressure, though,” said Casspi, 21, shortly after arriving with his mother, Ilana, from Tel Aviv. “Everybody is just trying to encourage me.” … Former Israeli stars such as Doron Sheffer, Oded Katash, Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin either failed to make rosters or signed deals overseas.

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