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Greg Ostertag to play in the NBA D-League (also, catching up with overseas Jayhawks)

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Greg Ostertag signs autographs before the tip-off of the Legends of the Phog game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Greg Ostertag signs autographs before the tip-off of the Legends of the Phog game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

Remember Greg Ostertag? Big, 7-foot-2 guy. Kansas’ all-time leading shot blocker. 11-year NBA player who went to the 1997 and 1998 Finals with the Utah Jazz. That guy.

Well, Ostertag (38 years old, hasn’t played professionally since retiring in 2006) will join the NBA D-League next week. Not as a coach, but as a player. The oldest player in the D-League by three years.

Scott Schroeder of RidiculousUpside.com first reported the news, which was then confirmed by Jazz play-by-play announcer David Locke on Twitter, and THEN retweeted by the man himself, @gregostertag00.

It seems out of the blue, but it’s not. Ostertag (who averaged four points, five rebounds and almost two blocks a game in the NBA) was interested in playing in the D-League last year. He abandoned those plans a couple of months later for family reasons, according to ESPN. In September of this year, Ostertag played in the Legends of the Phog exhibition game at Allen Fieldhouse and had two points and five rebounds in 12 minutes (PDF of those stats here).

And as for Ostertag’s age, remember that photo of Markieff Morris from earlier this week? The two guys Markieff was standing with, Steve Nash and Grant Hill, are 37 and 39 years old, respectively. And they’re still doing all right.

According to Schroeder, Ostertag will be put through the D-League’s waiver system on Tuesday. The teams with the best chance of landing the 7-2 center? In order: Canton Charge, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Reno Bighorns, Dakota Wizards and Tulsa 66ers.

As my fellow KUSports.com blogger Matt Tait would say... stay tuned.


Friday night’s action


Other KU pros

  • Keith Langford (Euroleague - Maccabi Electra - Israel) scored 20 points with three three-pointers, five rebounds, three assists and a steal on Thursday (full stats; season stats). Langford’s team will now move on to the Euroleague’s “Top 16," a round-robin playoff system that starts Jan. 18, leads to quarterfinals in March and ends in a Final Four in May.

Here’s video from Thursday’s game (back-to-back Langford highlights starting at :40, other sightings at 1:33, 1:54)

Video from Wednesday (Sasha dunk at :10)

  • Aaron Miles (BEKO PBL - Krasnye Krylya - Russia) scored 11 points with six assists and three rebounds in his last game on Dec. 18. Miles had his best game of the season on Dec. 10, when he scored 24 points with 11 assists, three rebounds and two steals. Miles was 7-for-9 overall, 3-3 from three and 7-9 from the free-throw line in that performance (full season stats). His next game will be on Jan. 14.

Highlights of Miles from his 24-point game (watch for No. 32 starting at :50)


A few more notes

  • Darrell Arthur (Memphis Grizzlies) underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon on Thursday, according to the Commercial Appeal.

  • Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) is recovering from a heel injury and is doubtful to play in the Celtics’ opener on Sunday, according to the Boston Globe.

  • Finally, enjoy the holiday weekend and NBA Opening Day. I won’t be writing a blog tomorrow, but with the big Ostertag news front and center and the rest of today’s giant post, I hope your lives will be full of enough ‘Hawks in the NBA (and mercifully free of Ostertag puns) until I return.


Jayhawks in upcoming NBA games

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Opening Day)

  • 11 a.m., TNT, Paul Pierce (if healthy) and the Boston Celtics vs. the New York Knicks

  • 1:30 p.m., ABC, Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Dallas Mavericks

  • 7 p.m., ESPN, Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Orlando Magic

  • 9:30 p.m., ESPN, Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Los Angeles Clippers

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