Tuesday, December 20, 2005


The english basketball players who get to play in north America's National Basketball Association (NBA) are a atypical variety whose NBA memories can reasonably linger long. For instance John Amaechi, who grew up in Manchester, spent eight years in the NBA, enjoying 294 starts in two separate spells. He started his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and ended in 2004 with the New York Knicks, including the Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets along the way. His most memorable moment was when he played for Orlando in Miami in 2000 he went on to make the first basket of the millennium, earning entry into the NBA's Hall of Fame in an annotation to the sport's history. At that time he played at a high enough level that he was no longer in the situation where he was just in the NBA. By this he wanted to emphasize that he became a part of that veteran core of the NBA.

In a separate case, England's all-time top scorer Steve Bucknall went to the University of North Carolina before a season in 1989-90 with the LA Lakers, Magic Johnson and all. He is now a guard with Leicester Riders in the British league. His lingering memory is that he played against and with Michael Jordan and other good basketball players whose competitiveness was at a level he had never really seen before. Andrea Congreaves, a key member of England's women's team for March's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, played in the women's NBA for the Charlotte Sting and Orlando Magic. The 35-year-old Congreaves is now with Rhondda Rebels in Wales, and still remembers the day in 1997 when she got the call to say she had made it to the WNBA. Five years earlier only Congreaves was told her career was over after she ruptured her right knee. Bucknall's bad news came when the Lakers released him after one season.


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