Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jasikevicius in the Euroleague Final Four

The Euroleague, an annual continent-wide basketball tournament featuring the best pro teams from across Europe, is down to its Final Four, to be played May 11-13 in Istanbul, Turkey. And the last team to qualify for the Final Four was Panathinaikos, from Athens, Greece, and former Terp Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98). It took a one-point win in game five of their five-game series with Maccabi Electra to advance, and Jasikevicius scored 13 points in the decisive 86-85 victory. For the five-game series, he averaged 10 points and 3.6 assists per game. The series was a rematch of last year's Euroleague Championship game in Barcelona, which Panathinaikos also won.

Up next for the Panathinaikos Greens: CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague Semifinals on May 11. These two teams previously met in the 2009 championship game in Berlin, where Panathinaikos defeated CSKA. So, if you're keeping tally here, Panathinaikos has won two of the past three Championships. The intervening 2010 title was won by FC Barcelona (then featuring Ricky Rubio and Terrence Morris), who defeated CSKA for the crown in Paris. CSKA Moscow last won the Euroleague Title in 2008 in Madrid. FC Barcelona is back in the Final Four this year as well, along with Panathinaikos's arch-rival from the Greek league, Olympiacos Piraeus; the Reds last won a Euroleague title in 1997 and were supposed to be in rebuilding mode this season.

If you were thinking about heading over to Turkey for the games, they're sold out. But the Final Four is usually shown on ESPN3.com here in the United States, so watch for it there.

Barrett and Kizer Selected in WNBA Draft

Two Terps, Anjale Barrett (2007-12) and Lynetta Kizer (2008-12) were selected in the WNBA Draft yesterday: Barrett by Washington and Kizer by Tulsa, both in the third round of the draft:
Point guard Anjale Barrett and center Lynetta Kizer of the Maryland women's basketball team were both selected in the Top 30 of the WNBA Draft Monday afternoon.

Barrett was selected 26th overall and went to the Washington Mystics and will join former teammate Crystal Langhorne in Washington. Kizer went to the Tulsa Shock two picks later.

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Baltimore Sun's 10 Year Anniversary Series: Juan Dixon

As we finally end the college basketball season tonight with the 2012 National Championship game, the Baltimore Sun wraps up its "Where Are They Now?" coverage of the 2002 National Championship team with the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, Juan Dixon (1998-2002), who is currently rehabilitating a knee injury and hoping to get back into the NBA. An excerpt:
At age 33, a decade after leading the Terps to the NCAA men's championship, three years removed from his last NBA game and now rehabilitating an injured left knee, Juan Dixon is plotting his comeback.

"Don't count me out," Dixon said Thursday in his first extensive interview since being banned in February 2010 from playing in Europe after failing a drug test the previous season.

In short, Dixon is trying to rewrite the last chapter of his basketball legacy.

"My goal in the next year is to get back into the NBA," said Dixon, who played seven years in the league after being a first-round draft choice (17th overall) of the Washington Wizards in 2002. "I'm going to get back to the NBA. My kids and basketball are my passions, and I want them to see me play in the NBA. I want to go out on my own terms. … I know I'm still an NBA player."
In case you missed an installment of this series, the Baltimore Sun has all of their profiles together in a special Where Are They Now? section of their website.