Unless they've successfully erased him from their memories, BYU basketball fans will be quite familiar with one player participating in the Utah Jazz's training camp this fall.
Though the Jazz have not yet released a full roster for their five-day session, Gerry McNamara has accepted an invitation to train with them at their upcoming Boise-based camp, his agent confirmed Wednesday.
The former Syracuse point guard, Cougar followers might recall, torched BYU for nine 3-pointers and 43 points in the Orangemen's 80-75 come-from-behind win in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2004.
The 6-foot-2 McNamara was a teammate of Denver's Carmelo Anthony on Syracuse's 2003 national championship squad and finished his college career as one of
Syracuse's all-time bests. He received Honorable Mention Associated Press All-American recognition as a senior in 2006.
McNamara went undrafted out of college and headed to Europe after playing for the Orlando Magic's summer-league team in '06. He most recently played professionally in Latvia after pit stops in Greece and the D-League.
Bill Neff, the guard's agent, said McNamara is excited to train with the Jazz, which he calls "one of the five best teams in the league." He knows, however, the Jazz's point-guard cupboard is already well stocked, with Deron Williams, Brevin Knight and Ronnie Price all under contract for 2008-09.
"He's looking at it as an opportunity to play in the NBA and you take it from there. There are no promises, but you never know," Neff said. "He knows the odds are long, but he's just looking at it as a step in the process of maybe making the NBA down the road."
McNamara, Neff said, can take encouragement from the situation of one of his clients, Troy Hudson. He wasn't given much of a chance to make the Jazz in camp, either, but then John Stockton got hurt and he got an unexpected chance. Hudson's experience with the Jazz, the agent believes, later helped him land a job with the Los Angeles Clippers.38 comments on this story
"It helped to be with the Jazz, so I think that's what I'm looking for," Neff said. "You never know what can happen out of these things. ... The Jazz have always liked Gerry."
McNamara will be on what the agent called a "make-good" contract and will be paid weekly for his time with the Jazz.
Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor was unavailable for comment.The Jazz training camp runs from Sept. 29-Oct. 3 at Taco Bell Arena on the campus of Boise State. Utah's first preseason game is Oct. 7 against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Honda Center in Anaheim.