Rockets Assign Thabeet to Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Thabeet, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, is the 34th NBA player to be assigned to the NBA D-League this season, which is an all-time high. The Memphis Grizzlies, who drafted Thabeet, assigned him to the Dakota Wizards last season, where he averaged 13.8 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks in six games.
Thabeet (7-3, 263) has appeared in 115 career NBA games, averaging 2.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10.9 minutes. As a rookie with Memphis last season, Thabeet led the NBA in blocks per 48 minutes with 4.84 (min. 60 games). He also averaged 11.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in five games with Memphis’ 2010 NBA Summer League team. Thabeet has appeared in two games with Houston since joining the Rockets via trade on Feb. 24.
The first Tanzanian-born NBA player, Thabeet played three collegiate seasons at Connecticut, averaging 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.17 blocks in 100 games. Thabeet led the Big East in blocks all three seasons, and his 4.17 average ranks 11th in NCAA history. Thabeet was an AP All-America Second Team selection and the Big East Co-Player of the Year in 2008-09. He was also named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and National Defensive Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Thabeet joins the Vipers for the team’s home game tonight against the Idaho Stampede. Rockets fans can keep track of Thabeet and the Vipers by logging onto NBA.com/dleague to watch every game live, online, for free.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.
Source: NBA D-League