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Lorenzo Brown leads Spain to EuroBasket title. Now being called a ‘basketball god’ and ‘Spain’s Michael Jordan’

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Woah. Slow down for a second.

We haven’t heard from former NC State basketball star Lorenzo Brown in while. And now he’s being dubbed a ‘basketball god” ? He has people calling him Spain’s version of Michael Jordan? What did we miss?

Here’s a quick recap of how Lorenzo Brown became a citizen of Spain and led them to the Eurobasket Championship.

Eurobasket is the European Basketball Championship. It’s the main international basketball competition held by FIBA and it’s huge. Superstars from all over the world compete for their counties and there is a lot of national pride that comes along with this championship.

So where does Lorenzo Brown, a kid just outside Atlanta, Georgia, fit in?

Zo has never lived Spain. He doesn’t have family from Spain, and he’s never even played for a team in Spain. However, Sergio Scariolo, who was filling out Spain’s roster was dealt a blow when Ricky Rubio (NBA star PG) suffered a serious ACL injury earlier this year. He didn’t have anyone that could fill Rubio’s shoes and was stuck. Then he had an idea.

Scariolo was an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors in 2018, the same time Lorenzo Brown was with the Raptors. Scariolo loved Brown’s game so much that it was Brown he thought of for this opportunity.

For Brown to be able to compete, he’d have to become a citizen of Spain, but that wasn’t going to be an easy task seeing as he didn’t live there or have any ties to the country.

Scariolo had an idea. He went to the Spanish Basketball Association and explained how important Brown getting citizenship was. He requested for them to put in a request to the country for expedited citizenship under ‘exceptional circumstances.’ The exceptional circumstances being, it will help the country compete on a national stage.

The government OK’d the request and Zo was the new PG for Spain.

This normally wouldn’t be a huge deal, but Zo was a huge difference maker. In fact, for most of the tournament, he was Spain’s most valuable player. In fact, he was the first player to ever register a double-double (points/assists) in the EuroBasket gold medal game.

Overall, he put up 22.8pts and 8.3 assists and was pivotal in late-game situations, as he led Spain to the championship over France.

“Yes, that was my first objective right there. And we did it. I faced a lot of criticism for who knows what. But I feel like it’s a language barrier or country… I don’t know what was going on, but at the end of the day, we speak the same language out there on the court. It doesn’t matter what color you’re or where you’re from, we’re all brothers and humans. That speaks for itself right there, winning this gold medal.” Brown told Basketnews.com

Eurobasket was no cakewalk either. The tournament featured some of the NBA’s best talent, including Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Nikola Jokic (Serbia), Luka Doncic (Slovenia), and Rudy Gobert (France).

But Brown didn’t do it on his own. He was teamed up with Juancho Hernangomez (Finals MVP), who was the inspiration for the Netlfix move ‘Hustle’ with Adam Sandler. Hernangomez played Bo Cruz, a foreign player who was trying to make his way to the NBA. Sandler also chimed in after the win.

But Brown was right there with him, being named one of the All-Star 5 from the tournament.

His play has led some in Spain to call him ‘Spain’s version of Michael Jordan’, one of which was the countries biggest YouTube star.

So what’s next for Zo?

Well, it looks like he’s going to stick around in Spain and cash in on his recent success. What that looks like is still not set in stone, however, we’ll keep you updated with his next move and hopefully bring you an exclusive interview about his huge tournament.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
4 months ago

This is great, Zo deserves to cash in. It’s been about 10 years since he left, and with the exception of the G League MVP a few years ago, he has been underappreciated.
Hope he makes the most of this moment in the spotlight and banks a bunch of Euros.

Pack in the Pros

Former NC State Punter AJ Cole Added to AFC Pro Bowl Roster

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Former NC State Punter AJ Cole has been named to the Pro Bowl for the 2nd consecutive year. He was added to the roster because Chiefs PunterΒ Tommy Townsend is headed to the Super Bowl.

Cole is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and Bradley Chubb.

Cole ranked 4th in the NFL (and the AFC) in yards per punt in 2022, averaging 48.9 yards per punt.

This marks the 2nd time that Cole has made the Pro Bowl. Cole is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, β€˜13, β€˜14, β€˜15, β€˜17, β€˜18, β€˜19, β€˜20, β€˜21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11, β€˜13, β€˜16, β€˜17, β€˜18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, β€˜01 β€˜03, β€˜04, β€˜05, β€˜07, β€˜08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, β€˜08, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, β€˜85, β€˜86, β€˜87, β€˜88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, β€˜09, β€˜13, β€˜14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, β€˜91, β€˜92, β€˜93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, β€˜68, β€˜69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, β€˜93, β€˜94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, β€˜63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb Added to Pro Bowl

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Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster to replace an injured Khalil Mack. Chubb is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and AJ Cole.

Chubb finished the season with 39 tackles, 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 tackles for loss and 20 QB Hits, playing 8 games with the Broncos and 8 games with the Dolphins in 2022.

This marks the 2nd time that Chubb has made the Pro Bowl. Chubb is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, β€˜13, β€˜14, β€˜15, β€˜17, β€˜18, β€˜19, β€˜20, β€˜21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11, β€˜13, β€˜16, β€˜17, β€˜18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, β€˜01 β€˜03, β€˜04, β€˜05, β€˜07, β€˜08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, β€˜08, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, β€˜85, β€˜86, β€˜87, β€˜88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, β€˜09, β€˜13, β€˜14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, β€˜91, β€˜92, β€˜93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, β€˜68, β€˜69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, β€˜93, β€˜94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, β€˜63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State WR Jakobi Meyers is Positioned for a Big Pay Day this Offseason

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers has set himself up well to get a big pay day this offseason.

Meyers led the Patriots in receiving yards (804) and touchdown receptions (6) in 2022, and ranked 2nd on the team in receptions (67) behind Running Back Rhamondre Stevenson (69). In 2021, he led New England in receptions (83) and receiving yards (866). In 2020, Meyers did the same thing with 59 receptions for 729 yards.

This year, Meyers was given the Ed Block Courage Award by the Pats as the player on the roster that most exemplified courage, sportsmanship, professionalism and dedication.

Pats head coach Bill Belichick had this to say about Meyers:

β€œWell he’s a tough kid, mentally, physically,” Bill Belichick said of Meyers on January 6. β€œHe’s shown a lot of leadership and competitiveness like he always does. So, yeah, I’m glad we have him. Glad he’s out there. I know he’s had to fight through some things, so have a lot of other guys. But he’s done a good job of that.” (link)

If it were up to Meyers, he’d like to resign with New England.

Meyers has been one of the best homegrown receivers in Patriots history. His 2,758 receiving yards is the 2nd most by a player in their first 4 years in the league in New England, trailing only the legendary Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

Consider the fact that Meyers signed with the Pats as an undrafted free agent in 2019, and that stat becomes much more impressive.

Through 4 seasons, already ranks in the Top-10 in NC State history in both receptions (9th) and receiving yards (8th).

Meyers was paid $3.986 million this season on a 1-year deal, but he could be looking to make something more in line with $18 million annually, which is the deal that Christian Kirk signed with the Jags this past offseason.

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Pack in the Pros

PackPros: Recapping NFL Wild Card Weekend

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The Wild Card round of the 2023 NFL Playoffs was last weekend, and — former NC State football players were represented.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 8 tackles and 1 pass breakup in the Bengals 24-17 victory over the Ravens. His teammate, Defensive Tackle B.J. Hill had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB Hit.

Pratt was a big part of causing Baltimore Quarterback Tyler Huntley to fumble it on the goal line, that led to a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Cincy’s Sam Hubbard.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb had 1 sack in the Dolphins 31-34 loss to the Bills.

Running Back Nyheim Hines returned 2 kickoffs for an average of 28 yards, and returned 3 punts for an average of 5.7 yards in the Bills’ 34-31 victory over the Dolphins. He also had 1 reception for 7 yards.

Cornerback Nick McCloud had 2 tackles in the Giants 31-23 win over the Giants.

 

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill didn’t record any stats in the 49ers 41-23 win over the Seahawks, but he did play in 19 snaps.

Center Garrett Bradbury returned from injury, and played 100% of the snaps in Minnesota’s 24-31 loss to New York.

 

 

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