Where Are They Now, 2009; Part 50
March 7th, 2009

D.J. Strawberry is with Fortitudo Bologna, the same team as GMAC Bologna, but not the same team as La Fortezza Bologna. Can’t stress that enough. Strawberry averages 14.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in EuroCup play, alongside 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in the Italian league. Strawberry however is a combined 16 of 76 from the three-point line, confirming once again that his major weakness is still a weakness.


Brad Stricker has been on and off of the Dakota Wizards roster all year, averaging 11 minutes, 2.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 fouls per game. His playing time wasn’t exactly consistent; his last ten games with the Wizards saw him play 5, 4, 3, 5, 2, 2, 8, 30, and 8 minutes respectively. Stricker eventually asked the Wizards for an unconditional release, as he wanted to play for a team closer to his home due to some family issue. He was granted it, and now plays for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, where he averages 17.6 minutes, 3.6 points, 3.6 fouls, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.


Erick Strickland now works for the Mavericks in a capacity that I’m too confused to understand. Here’s Erick himself with an explanation. Did you know that Erick Strickland’s real first name is Demerick? Me neither. Fun fact.


Rod Strickland is the Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Memphis, while also taking classes there to finish his degree. Ever since his hire in 2006, Memphis have gone on to be slightly brilliant. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. But, since Strickland’s role entails things like organising travel plans, checking on student’s academic scores, and scheduling visits for recruits, it probably is.


Curtis Sumpter averages 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds for Chorale de Roanne Basket, the third-best team in France and the subject of a slightly seminal 1978 song by The Police.


Bruno Sundov this week left Cibona Zagreb (in Zagreb) to join Vive Menorca (in Menorca). He also started the season with ASK Riga in Latvia. Sundov has not yet played for Menorca (who also feature Frederic Weis, so that’s going to be a hell of a frontcourt), and he totalled only 16 points, 5 rebounds and 8 fouls in his 30 total minutes for Cibona in the Adriatic League (36 minutes, 13 points, 8 rebounds, 5 fouls in the EuroLeague). However, for Riga, Sundov’s numbers shot up to 18.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in the EuroCup, along with 14.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in the Baltic league. Somehow, though, the 7’3 Sundov has managed to block only eight shots all season, in a combined 33 games and 621 minutes.


– Allegedly, Bob Sura’s girlfriend stabbed him with some keys when she found him at a restaurant with another woman. These allegations and many more can be found in scurrilous parts of the internet. Read with caution.


Mike Sweetney is missing. Not just missing in that I can’t find out anything about him, and not “inform the police” kind of missing. Just sort of missing. After never losing and keeping off the necessary weight, even when the guaranteed money ran out, Sweetney’s contract expired with the Bulls and he became a free agent in the summer of 2007. He has not been heard from since, and has not played anywhere, not even in summer league. Sam Smith mentioned in a column at some point last season that not even the Player’s Association could find him any more. Not even Facebook can help us on this one. I hope he’s all right. If you know anything about Mike’s whereabouts and well-being, let me know.


Szymon Szewczyk – another one of those turn-of-the-century “let’s draft a Euro! You never know!” second rounders, this one by the Milwaukee Bucks – is still in Russia with Lokomotiv Rostok. He’s doing rather well at a decent standard of basketball, averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in the EuroChallenge, as well as 12.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in the Russian Superleague. However, he’s also now 26 years old, and was picked with the 35th pick, so it’s still been a reach. (Still, it could have been worse. Players picked after Zoochick that year included Nedzad Sinanovic, Paccelis Morlende, Slavko Vranes, Ramon Van Der Hare and Xue Yuyang. You know about the lack of achievements by some of them already, and as we get further through this list, you can see just how little some of the others have done too. Should be fun!)


Yuta Tabuse scratched around in the D-League for a few years, trying to find a route back to the NBA. He barely got off of the bench, though, and this season returned to his native Japan, where he speculated that a season of beastly numbers would get the job done. (His hefty paycheck this year won’t hurt, either.) However, he hasn’t exactly been as brilliant as he might have hoped for – for Link Tochigi Brex, Tabuse averages 34.1 minutes, 11.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game, shooting 23% from three-point range. Still, the assists and steals totals lead the JBL, so he’s still one of the better players amongst weak competition.


– Finally, Chris Taft’s career progression has been minimal. Taft played only 17 games in his underwhelming rookie season of 2005/06 with the Warriors, before suffering prolonged chronic back injuries, and was waived that offseason with a year still guaranteed on his contract. He then didn’t sign anywhere until early 2008, when he played eight games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, averaging 4.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. True to form, Taft is currently unsigned, but he has recently been approached by Philippines National Team Director Rajko Toroman about whether he would be interested in becoming a naturalized Filipino citizen, with any deal contingent on the health of his back. Clearly, it’s still not quite right.

Of this list, only D.J. Strawberry played in the NBA last season. We’re scraping the barrel for you here today.

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