Former Hoosiers Archive

Hulls on second pro season: “It’s been good so far”

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Former Indiana guard Jordan Hulls is off to a solid start in his second season of professional basketball.

After spending his first pro season in Poland, Hulls opted for a change of scenery in year two and is playing point guard for Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo.

Sigal Prishtina plays in both the Balkan League and the Kosovo SuperLeague and is a combined 10-0 to start the season. Hulls is averaging 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, five assists and 2.7 steals in Balkan League games and 9.2 points, 5.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds in Kosovo SuperLeague contests.

“It’s been good so far,” Hulls told Inside the Hall. “The competition level is not as great as what it was in Poland, but I’m getting to play a lot more. I’m playing the one, getting to play a lot more free.”

Hulls, who is getting married next summer, says the toughest part of playing overseas is the amount of downtime when he’s not at a game or practice.

The opportunity to play basketball for a living is one that he’s tremendously grateful for, but the former Bloomington South Mr. Basketball and state champion said he’s taking things on a year-to-year basis.

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Former players react to news of suspensions

Several former players took to Twitter on Monday evening with reaction to the turmoil in recent days for the IU basketball program.

Here’s a sampling of some of the tweets published:

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Michael Jordan on Vonleh: “We never thought we’d have an opportunity to get him”

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After a one-year stop in Bloomington, Noah Vonleh is set to begin his NBA career as a Charlotte Hornet on Wednesday night against Milwaukee.

Like Cody Zeller, another former IU player drafted by Charlotte, Vonleh enters a unique situation as a rookie selected high in the NBA draft. Most lottery picks are thrown into the mix immediately out of necessity, but Vonleh will be brought along slowly on a team that once again has playoff aspirations.

“I felt very fortunate (to go to Charlotte),” Zeller told Inside the Hall over the summer. “I learned a lot. We have a good group of veteran guys and making it to the playoffs as a rookie was a big opportunity.”

The 6-foot-10 Vonleh will join Zeller in Charlotte’s frontcourt with hopes of helping the franchise get back to the playoffs. His pro career, however, got off to a slow start as he missed time in the preseason following surgery to repair a sports hernia that he suffered over the summer.

He did return recently to appear in one preseason game and scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in 19 minutes.

“He’s got a lot of talent. He’s eager and athletic,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told The Charlotte Observer after his preseason debut. “There was a lot of good, a lot of bad (in his first game). Noah was the one guy who could not afford to miss September and October.”

While Vonleh is not expected to be in Charlotte’s rotation to begin the season, Hornets owner and chairman Michael Jordan said earlier this week that drafting Vonleh at No. 9 in June’s draft was an opportunity he didn’t believe he would have.

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Victor Oladipo out indefinitely after suffering facial injury

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Orlando Magic guard and former Indiana star Victor Oladipo is out indefinitely after suffering a facial fracture in practice on Thursday, OrlandoMagic.com writer John Denton reported on Friday.

Oladipo has missed the entire NBA preseason after suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee and was hoping to play in tonight’s preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks before suffering the injury.

The injury is being described as a cut and bone break on right side of his face below the eye. He now faces facial surgery on Saturday, with no return timetable set.

Last season, Oladipo finished second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting after averaging 13.8 points, 4.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game for the Magic.

The former Indiana guard was selected No. 2 overall in the 2013 NBA draft after an explosive junior season in which he was named a first team All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after he set the IU single-season steals record with 78.

Roundup: Former Hoosiers start NBA training camp

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Opening night of the NBA season is less than a month away and training camps have opened across the league this week along with media day events taking place.

Here’s a look around the league at former Indiana players and their start to the 2014-2015 season, which includes some video interviews, quotes and links:

· Victor Oladipo is expected to take on larger role in his second season in Orlando and will look to help bring along rookie Elfrid Payton, who has a similar background in many ways.

· In Charlotte, rookie Noah Vonleh is still recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia, but is hoping to get medical clearance soon.

According to the Charlotte Observer:

Vonleh said he was playing pickup basketball on Indiana’s campus when he felt a “pop,” which he thought was just a groin pull. But the pain grew worse, and he had an MRI that revealed a tear. Vonleh is now able to work out on an elliptical machine and start some light shooting and jogging. He says he’s feeling much better in the last week.

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Jordan Hulls signs deal with Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo

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Former Indiana guard Jordan Hulls has a new professional home.

After spending last season with Energa Czarni in Poland, Hulls said Wednesday on his Twitter account that he’ll play this coming season with Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo.

Sigal Prishtina plays in the Kosovo Super League.

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Christian Watford signs non-guaranteed deal with Boston Celtics

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Former Indiana forward Christian Watford has signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Boston Celtics, he told Inside the Hall early Thursday morning.

Players on non-guaranteed contracts are typically invited to training camp with a chance to make the team’s roster, but can also be cut at any time.

Watford, a 2013 IU graduate, played last season with Hapoel Eilat in Israel and had multiple NBA Summer League stints last month, with the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors.

In 37 games for Eilat, the 6-foot-9 Watford averaged 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and posted an effective field goal percentage of 61.1.

With the Pistons in Orlando, Watford averaged 8.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and averaged 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game with the Warriors in Las Vegas.

Watford finished his IU career with 1,730 points — ranking ninth in school history — and a 42.4 career 3-point shooting percentage — also ninth in school history.

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