Arizona Basketball

Salim Stoudamire’s hoops career reawakens: Drafted in BIG3 League

Former Arizona sharpshooting guard Salim Stoudamire, who has not played professionally since 2013, was drafted in the second round Thursday night by 3 Headed Monsters in the BIG3 League.

Stoudamire, the cousin of former Arizona star Damon Stoudamire, excelled with the Wildcats from 2001 to 2005. After he was drafted in the second round of the NBA draft in 2005, his career became derailed when he suffered a serious groin injury after he played with the Atlanta Hawks from 2005 to 2008.

He toiled in the D-League for a couple of years before he played briefly in Venezuela in 2013, his last experience in the pro ranks.

Salim Stoudamire, 35, was a second-team All-American in 2004-05, the season in which he led the NCAA by shooting 50.4 percent from 3-point range.

His shooting prowess prompted former Arizona coach Lute Olson, who was honored Thursday with a statue outside of McKale Center, to argue that he was a better shooter than Duke’s J.J. Redick.

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“What separates Salim is that he’s able to get the ball up into the shooting pocket so quickly,” Olson told reporters in 2005. “All he needs is one look at the basket, one second with the ball, and it really is too late.

“I think he’s the best shooter in the country. I know you get some discussion from the East Coast people, but all one needs to do is look at Redick’s percentages and Salim’s.”

Redick shot 40.6 percent from 3-point range in 2004-05, compared to Stoudamire’s 50.4.

Stoudamire was one of 19 players taken in the three-round BIG3 draft. He was the 11th player chosen, the only one picked by the 3 Headed Monsters. That team is coached by Gary Payton. Last year, it included Kwame Brown and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams were the captain and co-captain, respectively.

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