With the NBA Draft tonight, we've compiled some clips and news articles from when recent UMass standouts realized their dreams when they heard their name called. But first here's a list of the UMass draft history...
1968: Billy Tindall (Atlanta Hawks, 10th round)
1969: Pete Gayeska (Atlanta Hawks, 9th round)
1972: Julius Erving (Milwaukee Bucks, 1st Round - 12th overall)
1973: Tom Austin (Boston Celtics, 19th round)
1974: Al Skinner (Boston Celtics, 9th round)
1975: John Murphy (Chicago Bulls, 8th round)
1975: Bill Endicott (Boston Celtics, 10th round)
1977: Jim Town (Denver Nuggets, 6th round)
1978: Derick Claiborne (Kansas City Kings, 5th round)
1978: Mark Haymore (Philadelphia 76ers, 5th round)
After a very successful season where he was named the Euroleague Defensive Player of the Year for Panathinaikos in Greece, former Massachusetts basketball standout Stephane Lasme (@Slasme) will return to Russia where he has reportedly signed a two year, 2.5 million euro ($3.2 million US) deal with Russian champion CSKA Moscow. Prior to his time in Athens, he spent two seasons in St. Petersburg, Russia.
CSKA Moscow is scheduled to play a pair of games in the US as part of an American Tour. They will play at Minnesota on Oct. 7 and San Antonio on Oct. 9.
Here are a few links pertaining to his contract status...
Former UMass star Stephane Lasme has had a successful career overseas and is reaping the benefits as he was recently named the Best Defender in the Euroleague by the head coaches.
From the official press release:
The forward from Gabon did plenty to deserve the distinction. His 1.76 blocks per game were second in the league and he was tied for fourth in rebounding, averaging 6.14 per contest. Moreover, Lasme was the final line of defense for a rebuilt Panathinaikos squad, which finished the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season with the second-fewest points allowed, 69.8 per game.
Eurobasket has confirmed that former UMass big man Stephane Lasme will head back overseas to play for Panathinaikos in Athens, Greece. He played with the Celtics' NBA Summer League team in Orlando and Las Vegas this past July where he averaged 3.0 points in just over 11 minutes over eight games.
He spent last season in Spain while logging previous playing time in Israel, Russia and Serbia, in addition to a stint with the Maine Red Claws on the NBA D-League.
Former UMass star Stephane Lasme will be back in the US looking to make an impression on NBA teams. He has signed to play in the NBA Summer League with the Celtics. He spent last season in Spain, leading Obradoiro CAB with 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
His last action in America came during the 2010-11 season when he was the final roster cut of the Celtics before undergoing successful surgery for a stress fracture in his left foot. Following rehab, he played for Boston's D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 10 games off the bench in March and April of 2011.
Former UMass basketball bigman Stephane Lasme signed a pro contract last week to play for Obradoiro CAB in Spain. The native of Gabon played part of last season with the Maine Red Claws of the NBDL, averaging 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 10 games, after trying to make the Celtics roster. Lasme has also played professionally overseas in Israel, Russia, and Serbia.
Tony Gaffney and Stephane Lasme will take part in a free agent workout with the Charlotte Bobcats this week - capping what has been a busy month for the pair. The duo have reportedly travelled to several others free agent workouts including Utah and Denver looking to earn a spot with an NBA team with the Las Vegas Summer League being cancelled this year.
The three players left to talk about -- Gaffney, Kurz and Lasme -- have NBA talent, just not NBA contracts. Lasme and Gaffney have both made NBA rosters in the past (Gaffney with the Boston Celtics, Lasme with theGolden State Warriors and Miami Heat) with their stingy defense and lengthy wingspans while Kurz earned a spot on the Warriors his rookie season as a sweet-shooting stretch-four and then was called up to end the season with the Chicago Bulls in 2009-10 (for more on Kurz, who spent a season in the D-League and then Germany following the Warriors, click here.
The blog Welcome To Loud City currently has a photo of Lasme on its website with this story on the mini camp.
One of the invitees, Stephane Lasme, has seen time with two NBA teams and played on the pre-season roster of two others. He is known as an excellent defender and shot-blocker, although he is a bit undersized.
The NBA D-League Playoffs begin on Wednesday night and UMass alum Tony Gaffney will lead the Utah Flash into the postseason against the Iowa Energy. Gaffney and the Flash finished the 2010-11 season with a 28-22 record. Iowa had the best record in the D-League at 37-13.
Gaffney averaged 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds along with 2.3 blocks per game in 35 contests with the Flash. He shot 54.2 from the floor.
UMass' other player in the D-League Stephane Lasme saw his season end with the Maine Red Claws (18-32). Lasme played in the final 10 games with Maine and averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds after returning from a broken foot.
UMass alum Stephane Lasme continues to play well in his return action in the NBA D-League with the Maine Red Claws. He scored in double-figures for the second game in a row last night vs. Fort Wayne in the Maine's home finale. He had 10 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes to help lead Maine to a 105-100 win. He tied the game at 100 on the way to the five-point win.
Lasme and the Red Claws finish the season at Erie on Saturday. Then Lasme will hope for an NBA call-up in the final month of the league's season.
Here are various stories with mentions of Lasme over the last two days.
The Utah Flash and UMass alum Tony Gaffney topped the Maine Red Claws and fellow alum Stephane Lasme for the second time in a week with a 105-99 overtime win in Orem, Utah last night. Gaffney continues to play at a high level as he posted 14 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks for the Flash. Lasme had two points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.
The highlights have a nice Gaffney dunk Watch here.
UMass' two alums in the NBA D-League have been playing well.
Tony Gaffney has scored in double-figures in each of the last five games with the Utah Flash. He had 11 points and 8 rebounds in a Saturday loss to Reno. For the year, Gaffney is averaging 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28 games.
With the Maine Red Claws, Stephane Lasme has played in three games and is averaging 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds. In his last game, a had a season-best nine points and seven rebounds vs. Texas. Lasme rehabbed from a broken foot suffered in the preseason prior to the start of the season in November.
The Maine Red Claws announced Thursday that Stephane Lasme, a final camp cut of the Boston Celtics and an affiliated player, and made his 2010-11 regular-season debut Thursday night after recovering from a fractured foot in the team's only preseason game. Expected to be an integral part of the Red Claws' plans this season and an NBA call-up candidate, Lasme, who joined the Red Claws in training camp out of the Boston Celtics camp as one of three Affiliated Players, fractured his foot just 2 minutes into the team's lone preseason game and was not expected to return this season.
In his debut on Thursday, Lasme played 16 minutes and had three points and three rebounds in a 118-105 loss to Erie.
It would have been a big game under any circumstance for Freddie Riley. The University of Massachusetts sophomore guard has had a difficult time finding an offensive rhythm all year so 18 points in any game would certainly have been welcomed.
But it meant more Wednesday. Late Tuesday night, Riley's brother told him that their friend Antonio "T.J." Gordon had been shot and killed in an incident outside of a bowling alley in Riley's hometown of Ocala, Fla. Before Wednesday's game with Charlotte, Riley quietly dedicated his performance to the memory of his friend.
"I decided to dedicate the game to him after one of my younger friends called me (Wednesday afternoon) and was crying," he said. "It hurt him really bad because they were really close."
ESPNBoston.com has a story on Stephane Lasme, the UMass product and a final camp cut of the Boston Celtics this preseason, underwent successful surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair a stress fracture in his left foot, according to the Maine Red Claws.
Lasme, who signed with Maine, the Celtics' NBA Development League affiliate, and hoped to work his way back to the parent club, will be sidelined "indefinitely." His surgery was performed by Dr. Gregory Pomeroy at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine.
"We were very excited to have Stephane Lasme on our team, and it is disappointing that Red Claws fans will have to wait to see what an incredible athlete and person he is," Red Claws president and general manager Jon Jennings said in a release. "First and foremost, however, our concern is with Stephane, and his health and career. We wish him the best in his recovery and look forward to seeing him playing at the Expo as soon as possible."
Here are stories on the UMass basketball team as the Minutemen prepare to face Sacred Heart tonight at the Mullins Center. The Daily Collegian ran its 2010-11 season preview with tons of coverage on the Maroon & White.
The Sun Journal of Maine has a season preview of the D-League's Maine Red Claws which feature former UMass star Stephane Lasme, who was the final cut of the Boston Celtics this season. He is hopeful of returning to the NBA team with a strong showing in the developmental league.
"It just gave me more confidence," Lasme said of his training camp experience with Boston. "I know I can play in the NBA. I'm just waiting for the chance to get in. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, just keep working hard, keep working on my game, keep getting better and try to get my team better and win some games."
Check out this interesting story from Russ Held in the Springfield Republican about the Pro-Am Springfield Slamm, a team which Gary Forbes played for this summer before heading to Denver Nuggets training camp.
The system is working.
And working well.
Springfield Slamm men's basketball coach Steve Sobel has had plenty of reasons to smile the last few weeks, most notable being the news Monday night that former player Gary Forbes had landed an NBA job.
Forbes survived the Denver Nuggets' final cuts and will be in uniform Wednesday night, when the team hosts Utah at 8:30 in its 2010-11 opener.
"We were absolutely ecstatic," Sobel said. "It has all gone beyond expectations. We knew all along that Gary had the physical talent and he has proven that he is willing and able to make any adjustment to help any team in the NBA."
With UMass alum Stephane Lasme being waived by the Boston Celtics, it is likely that he could end up with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League, the Celts' minor league affiliate. Here are various stories mentioning Lasme's future.
In the Celtics' 97-84 win over the Knicks in Hartford on Saturday night, UMass alum Stephane Lasme played 19 minutes and scored seven points, making all three of his field goals while grabbing four rebounds.
Against the defending NBA Champion Lakers, the Denver Nuggets with Gary Forbes lost 102-95 on Saturday at Staples Center. Forbes was the first sub into the game for Denver and played 25 minutes. He tallied 10 points, had three rebounds and two assists.
"I didn't know Stephane," Rivers said. "I really didn't. I think a week before camp, (general manager) Danny (Ainge) said, `Hey, we're going to bring this guy in. We like him a little bit.' And he's been terrific. We weren't sure what he was. I didn't know whether he was a 3 or a 4. Halfway through camp we weren't sure, and we realized he could play either position. Defensively he's an NBA player right now. There's no doubt about it. he has an NBA IQ, as well. He has to improve his offense."
Lasme is in the mix to make the roster.
"I think he has an excellent chance," Rivers said. "We've got some tough decisions coming up."
Marlboro or St. Petersburg, Russia? Where would you rather live?
Stephane Lasme chose Marlboro, and he took a big pay cut to do so.
The former UMass star had planned to play professional basketball for a third season overseas, this time for big money in St. Petersburg, but because of immigration issues, the 27-year-old citizen of Gabon, West Africa, returned to the U.S. last month to be with his wife and young daughter in Marlboro.
In the Celtics' 104-101 win at Madison Square Garden over the Knicks, UMass alum Stephane Lasme was the team's first sub off the bench in the first quarter and he started the second half for the C's -- in place of an ejected Kevin Garnett. In his 15 minutes, he had two points and four rebounds as he continues to make a push for a roster spot.
UMass' back-to-back Atlantic 10 Players of Year Gary Forbes and Stephane Lasme are making big pushes to make their respective NBA teams. Last night, but played big minutes as they came off the bench early.
With the Celtics, Lasme was the second sub off the bench and played 28 minutes. He had six points, making all three of his field goal attempts, while grabbing three rebounds. The Celtics lost 103-92 at Philadelphia.
WATCH these NBA.com highlights, which include Lasme (1:00 into the package).
One of the stories from Boston Celtics' preseason camp has been the play of UMass alum and 2007 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Stephane Lasme. CSNNE.com has a nice story on Lasme and his chances of making the Celtics.
"He's been a guy that's been surprisingly playing well in camp," Celtics forward Paul Pierce told CSNNE.com. "He came out of nowhere."
"I like him a lot," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Lasme. "He just does everything. He's energy. He has a high basketball I.Q. He's probably our most athletic player, him or Rondo. He has a great shot at making our team."
Stephane Lasme played against last night for the Celtics as they beat the Nets, 96-92, in an NBA exhibition game. He had two rebounds in 6:28. Check out this photo from the AP Wire.
Celtics Hub mentions Lasme: "Lots of people are high on Stephane Lasme right now and rightly so. Lasme is incredibly athletic and is known to be a force on the defensive end. Unfortunately, there is no track record I can point to that would suggest he would be successful guarding small forwards. Lasme was an undersized center at UMASS, snagging rebounds and blocking shots next to another skilled big man, Rashaun Freeman, who played power forward. I cannot wait to see if he gets any time defending small forwards before Doc Rivers makes a decision on the last guy standing."
How about Stephane Lasme making the most of his chance to make the Boston Celtics? In the preseason opener for the C's, Lasme had 12 points and four rebounds in just 7:07 of action. The Celtics whipped the 76ers 93-65 in Manchester, N.H.
Lasme had a dunk off an assist from Delonte West, leading Kevin Garnett to run 10 feet on the court screaming in appreciation.
Here are various stories with mentions of Lasme this morning:
Stephane Lasme has broken camp with the Boston Celtics and is fighting for the final roster spot with the C's. Here is a mention of Lasme in Celtics' coverage on ESPN Boston.com.
The obvious question after the Celtics released rookie forward Tony Gaffney Saturday is whether the camp competition for the 15th roster spot is over. After all, it seemed like a two-horse race between Von Wafer and Gaffney at the start of the preseason, so that leaves only one man standing.
But the Celtics did carry an intriguing pair of young players out of camp in Mario West and Stephane Lasme. Both have reputations as being more defensive minded, and West in particular seems to be making a push to stick around thanks a scrappy work ethic that compensates for his lack of offensive skills.
Could either player truly push Wafer, whose contract is not fully guaranteed, for the final spot on the Boston roster?
Lasme has an uphill battle. Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted Saturday his skill set is almost identical to Gaffney's, his UMass brethren. But the Celtics like his ability to play both the 3 and the 4, so he's making the voyage back from Newport.
"Numbers, just a lot of numbers [in front] of him," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said when asked about Gaffney's departure. "He plays extremely hard. He's one of those guys that you would love to figure out a way to keep him on the team. At the end of the day, the numbers got him.
Here is the comment from Gaffney's Facebook page.
good things must come to an end. It was a great time being w the
celtics, it ended today. I appreciate all the love n support. You guys
are the best. My agent is back to the drawing board and stirring up
something. So when the next move is finalized you all will know. Thanks
On ESPNBoston.com read about Tony Gaffney and his thoughts heading into preseason camp.
Gaffney knows he's going to have to fight just to earn a spot on the 15-man roster, but after being a part of Boston's run to the cusp of an NBA title last season, he's aware of what's brewing this season.
"The environment in the locker room right now, it's something special," said Gaffney. "I know there's a lot of talk about the Miami Heat right now, but we're a team that's determined and looks ready to get this thing going."
Gaffney raved about the shape that players are arriving in Boston in, stressing how excited everyone is to get this season started. Rivers said he wanted his players to take it easy this offseason given the extended 2009-10 campaign, but admitted that guys were arriving in better shape that he could have imagined.
Gaffney also noted he's excited about the potential for having fellow UMass product Lasme in camp.
"It's nice to see a familiar face, even if I know all the guys [on the Celtics roster] really well now," said Gaffney. "[Lasme] looks really good, really fit. He'll bring a lot to camp."
Former UMass teammates will be reunited in Boston Celtics camp this fall. Tony Gaffney is pumped that Stephane Lasme has been invited to camp saying, "Steph worked out with today and was great. Gotta love him!"
Check out various stories on former UMass basketball All-American Stephane Lasme and his invitation to Boston Celtics preseason camp.
Former UMass All-American Stephane Lasme was released by St. Petersburg Spartak on Monday. Read about the move on The Hoop.
Stephane Lasme signed contract with Spartak SP this summer, but it seems he will not play any game for them. Lasme spent last season with the Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv. He appeared in 20 Euroleague games for them averaging 6.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 bpg. Maccabi reached the Quarterfinals. In Israeli league, Lasme had 8.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 1.7 bpg in 24 games. There, Maccabi failed to defend the title, so they just won the Israeli National Cup last season.
Spartak St. Petersburg of Russia strengthened
its frontcourt for the upcoming Eurocup Qualifying Round by inking
center Stephane Lasme to a two-year deal, the club announced Saturday.
Lasme (203, 27) arrives from Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, where he averaged
6.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20 Euroleague games last
season. He helped Maccabi to reach the Quarterfinal Playoffs, losing
against Partizan, the team where Lasme made his Euroleague debut in the
2008-09 season. Read stories on the 2008 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year and his signing on Eurocup Basketball, Sportando and The Examiner.
In signing with Spartak St. Petersburg, Lasme joins former UCLA Bruins guard-forward, Dijon Thompson, a former second round pick of the Knicks in 2005, and Levance Fields, a former point guard at the University of Pittsburgh.
UMass star Stephane Lasme was the featured guest at the Lycoming
College Basketball Camp in Pennsylvania. Before Lasme wrapped the
beginning parts of his shooting routine after 10 minutes, coach Bob
MacKinnon explained that Lasme, who played with the Miami Heat in
2007-08, was going through three 90-minute shooting workouts a day to
get back in shape for pro basketball. After the talk, Lasme, who is
currently weighing several professional contract offers, signed
autographs for each camper before heading downstairs to the Recreation
Center for a weightlifting workout.