Friday, April 27, 2007

Drew Nicholas's Team Wins Turkish Cup

Congratulations to Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) and his team, Efes Pilsen of Istanbul, Turkey, who won the Turkish Cup on April 23!

(Hopefully, next week I will have time to do a season wrap-up for all the Terps playing in Europe this season.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Minor League Wrap-Up

Yesterday was the NBA season stats wrap-up; today I give you the 2006-07 season wrap-up for the American minor leagues. First up is the NBA Developmental League. Click the names for expanded stats from the NBDL website.
TeamGGSMinPPGRPGAPG
John Gilchrist-- 13015.14.01.51.5
LA 10015.23.61.51.2
IDA 3014.75.31.32.3
Chris McCrayDAK 23226.011.83.02.9
Jamar SmithAUS 503833.814.17.41.9


Chris McCray has been thriving off the bench for the Dakota Wizards, who are getting set to play Colorado for the NBDL Championship on Sunday, April 29. Chris scored 17 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with a minute left, in their win against Sioux Falls in the semi-finals. Colorado advanced to the finals by upsetting John Gilchrist and the Idaho Stampede, who had been the top seed in the Western Division. Jamar Smith had a strong season with good numbers, but the Austin Toros did not make the playoffs.

Only one Terp in the CBA this year: Travis Garrison, playing for the Great Falls Explorers in Montana.

TeamGGSMinPPGRPGAPG
Travis GarrisonGFALL 411024.411.96.10.6


And finally, there was only one Terp with significant ABA playing time this year: Byron Mouton with the Wilmington (NC) Sea Dawgs. The ABA doesn't have any season stats that I can find, but Byron and the Sea Dawgs made it deep into the ABA playoffs, getting past Orlando, Rochester, and Mississippi before losing to Vermont in the semi-finals.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

NBA Regular Season Wrap

Here's how Maryland's Alumni fared in the 2006-07 NBA regular season. Click on the names for expanded stats from NBA.com.

TeamGGSMinPPGRPGAPG
Steve Blake-- 824227.16.42.15.0
MIL 33217.73.61.42.5
DEN 494033.58.32.56.6
Juan Dixon-- 81623.89.62.01.5
POR 55122.68.91.51.5
TOR 26526.311.12.81.6
Steve FrancisNY 443028.111.33.63.9
Sarunas Jasikevicius-- 63315.46.11.12.7
IND 37117.97.41.33.0
GSW 26211.94.30.82.3
Chris McCrayMIL 502.40.00.00.0
Joe Smith-- 651123.18.56.20.8
DEN 11013.55.13.60.3
PHI 541125.19.26.70.9
Chris WilcoxSEA 828131.513.57.71.0


Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, and Joe Smith all got traded mid-season, and all had better numbers with their new teams (particularly Blake, who became a regular starter after being traded to Denver). Sarunas Jasikevicius's numbers went down after his trade, but he moved to a playoff team. Chris Wilcox had a great year in Seattle, starting all but 1 game. Steve Francis survived an injury-shortened season, but started 2/3 of the games he was able to play in.

The regular season is now over, but Steve Blake (Denver), Juan Dixon (Toronto), and Sarunas Jasikevicius (Golden State) are still playing in the NBA Playoffs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

LaRon Cephas and the Bates Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis

(If you found this article page through a web search, be sure to check out Part I of this two part story.)

Today's Baltimore Sun has a follow-up article about LaRon Cephas and his work with the Bates Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis, where he was a mentor and role model to many middle school students:


LaRon Cephas was the Pied Piper of the Bates Boys and Girls Club, using his charm, charisma and a dose of determination to recruit children from Bates Middle School in Annapolis to sign up for its new sports leagues and activities.

The 6-foot-7 former Maryland basketball player would show the kids his Final Four ring and would engage them in any subject to show them he cared. [...]

Cephas, who was hired in August as the club's athletic director, was to be promoted today to program director. Reginald Broddie, chief professional officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, said Cephas had wanted the announcement of his new job to include children. [...]

Cephas worked six days a week, hiding from Broddie that he occasionally opened the gym on Sundays to give the kids a place to go. [...]

"I just think that LaRon was a role model, and our job is to keep his memory alive because he can be a role model for a very long time for the kids," said Carole Alexander, the club's director of development. "It's not often we have a role model for our kids even after his life has ended."

Joshua Roach, an athletic supervisor for Recreation and Parks who worked with Cephas a lot in the past several months, was impressed that he didn't dwell on basketball and his career at Maryland, where he was a backup forward from 1997 to 2001. He said Cephas was happy to help the kids with homework and mentor them.

"He wouldn't talk at them; he'd talk to them and with them. He always had their attention," Roach said.



Added 4/19:
The Annapolis Capital has a similar story about how the Boys and Girls Club is remembering LaRon.



The University of Maryland Athletics Department posted some comments from Gary Williams on its site:

"LaRon Cephas was an integral part of our 2001 Final Four Team," said head coach Gary Williams. "His attitude and dedication was something coaches wish every player had. You don't have good teams without people such us LaRon Cephas in your program. After graduating from the University of Maryland he did a tremendous job making a difference with young kids. He was one of my favorite players in 18 years as head coach at the University of Maryland."

A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Cephas played in 64 games for the Terrapins. He helped Maryland reach the 2001 Final Four and was a part of two Sweet 16 teams for the Terps. During his time at Maryland, the Terrapins posted a record of 99-38 (.723) and made four trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Cephas was awarded the 2001 Unsung Hero Award at the annual team banquet. During his junior year he was elected to the Maryland Student Government Association as a representative for the school of arts & humanities.


More tributes and commentary for today:
East Coast Bias Blog
MetaDC Blog
Terps Sports Report Forum

Monday, April 16, 2007

LaRon Cephas Dies

Sad news to report today: LaRon Cephas (1997-2001) died of a seizure this morning. He was 29 years old, and had been working as the program director and athletic director at the Bates Boys and Girls Club in Annapolis. LaRon played 3 1/2 years of pro basketball in Europe after leaving Maryland, including teams in Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.

From the Baltimore Sun (click for the full article):

Former Maryland basketball forward LaRon Cephas died today, according to a school spokesman and a news release from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, where Cephas worked.

Cephas, 29, collapsed while getting ready to go to work, according to his high school coach, Stan Waterman.

Ed Kelley, who worked with Cephas at the clubs, said employees who went to Anne Arundel Medical Center today morning were told Cephas died of a seizure. [...]

Cephas was a backup forward at Maryland from 1997- to 2001, and was on the Terps' first Final Four team as a senior. As a senior that year, Cephas played in just 14 games and averaged 4.4 minutes and 1.7 points, but he was a player coach Gary Williams always mentioned the team needed.

Mark Fratto, formerly the assistant director of athletic media relations who is now the associate athletic director for communications at St. John's University, said: , "LaRon was one of those guys who didn't play a lion's share of minutes, but everyone respected him because of his work ethic, his character and the things he brought to practice every day -- the intangible things you need to be a good teammate and to be a good leader on the team. He was definitely a good person."

After graduating with a degree in communications, Cephas played for 3 1/2 years in Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg. [...]

Cephas was the program director and athletic director of the Bates Boys & Girls Club since the end of last summer. He lived in Cape St. Claire.


More stories added on 4/17:
Washington Post
The Diamondback
Wilmington News Journal

(If you found this article page through a web search, be sure to check out Part II of this two part story.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Video of Two Terps in Italy

This is from 2005/06, but #19 dunking in this video is none other than Obinna Ekezie (1995-99). His team from last year, Lottomatica Roma, is in the white jerseys.



And as a special bonus, I'm pretty sure that #12 in the green jersey (for Benetton Treviso), who double-teams the passer, is none other than our very own Drew Nicholas (1999-2003).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

John Gilchrist Signs with Idaho (NBA-DL)

John Gilchrist (2002-05) has been acquired by the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League. The press release doesn't say much more than that:

The Idaho Stampede have acquired former University of Maryland point guard John Gilchrist. The 6-3, 201 pound guard went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft, as an early entrant after his junior season. His first action in a Stampede uniform will be Friday, April 6 as Idaho takes on Colorado in Broomfield.

Gilchrist has had summer league stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005) and Denver Nuggets (2006), but has played the past two seasons in Israel and France.


Gilchrist was brought in just in time for the playoffs, where the Stampede will be the top seed in the west.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Shay Doron #16 in WNBA Draft

So far on this blog, I've only covered former men's basketball players from Maryland. But that was mostly because I could never find any former Maryland women's basketball players on any pro rosters. The drought ended yesterday, with the New York Liberty drafting Shay Doron (2003-07) with the 3rd pick in the 2nd round (#16 overall) of the WNBA draft.

From the Baltimore Sun:
Doron, the second all-time leading scorer in Maryland women's basketball history, was drafted by the New York Liberty in the second round of the WNBA draft today, and stands a decent chance to land a spot on the roster of her hometown team. [...]

While many second-round picks have difficulty making rosters, Doron's path was made easier when the Liberty traded starting point guard Becky Hammon and a second-round pick in next year's draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars...


The Diamondback says:
As a kid, Shay Doron attended New York Liberty games and cheered for her favorite player, guard Becky Hammon. Less than an hour after Hammon was traded in a draft-day deal, the Liberty selected Shay Doron in the second round with the 16th overall pick in the WNBA draft to fill her place.

It is the perfect fit for Doron, who used to live in New York and can fill a vacancy at guard on her favorite team's depth chart.

"I've been growing up with the New York Liberty since the league came out," Doron said last week. "I wanted to be Becky Hammon ever since I was younger."

Doron became the first Terrapin women's basketball player to be drafted since Deedee Warley and March Strickland were picked back-to-back in the fourth round in 2002.