Former Arizona forward Jamelle Horne, who attended Wednesday’s game between Arizona and Washington at McKale Center, was able to be in Tucson because his season with Mexicali in the Mexican National Professional Basketball League came to an end Feb. 16.
Horne’s team, Soles de Mexicali, lost in the semifinal round of the league’s playoffs to Xalapa in seven games. Horne completed a very successful first season in the league, averaging 20.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in 24 games. He also shot 57.9 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from three-point range.
Horne commented on his Facebook page that he had an enriching experience playing with his Mexicali teammates, which included former George Washington forward Carl Elliott and South Florida center Kentrell Gransberry.
“My 1st season in Mexicali is officially over,” Horne writes on his Facebook page. “Coming to the team in November, I had no idea what 2 expect, as im sure my teammates shared similar feelings. Instantly we all formed a bond, a brother-hood thru basketball and different personalities. This is only my 2nd yr as a professional Basketball Player, and im thankful to have met a group of amazing teammates.”
Horne could use his experience in Mexico, after playing in the NBA Development League in 2011-12, to get noticed more in the NBA Summer League in July. Scouts from the NBA and international teams attend the events in Las Vegas and Orlando.
Gilbert Arenas’ season in Shanghai, China, is also complete. His team finished 10-22 and out of the Chinese Professional League playoff picture.
He finished his season averaging 20.7 points per game. He also averaged 7.3 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
Arenas showed he still has a shooting touch, making 50 percent of his field-goal attempts, including 40.7 from three-point range.
Lithuanian power forward Robertas Javtokas, who played eight games for Arizona in 1998-99 season, resumed playing for Žalgiris Kaunas last week after rehabilitating a broken foot injury suffered last August. That increases the total to 27 of former Arizona players who have played in the NBA or professionally in foreign lands this season.
Javtokas scored six points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots in 55 minutes of play during the 1998-99 season for the Wildcats. He returned abruptly to his native Lithuania after the first semester break because he wanted to sign professionally and the language barrier was difficult for him with some of the UA classes.
Javtokas, 32, is the captain of the Lithuanian Olympic basketball team.
ARIZONA PLAYERS IN THE NBA
Updated Feb. 24
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a–Budinger is out until early March at the earliest with a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.
b–Hill is out the remainder of the season with a hip injury
c–Frye is out this season because of an enlarged heart treatable with rest.
ARIZONA PLAYERS INTERNATIONALLY & D-LEAGUE
Stats provided by EuroBasket.com. Updated Feb. 24
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a–Williams has been suspended six months by the Chinese Basketball League for failing a drug test
b–Wright goes by Ali Karadeniz, his Turkish name
Note–Mohamed Tangara (at UA from 2005-08) plays professionally in Angola but that league is out of season currently.
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner