76ers give Olu a shot

JASON PAUL -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

Olu Famutimi hasn't garnered anywhere near the attention Jamaal Magloire did when he entered the NBA, but Famutimi is hoping to join him as the only Toronto players in the league.

The 6-foot-5 guard, who left the University of Arkansas last spring after two NCAA seasons, has been fighting for a spot with the Philadelphia 76ers this pre-season.

The rookie has seen spot duty in three games, including Philly's 114-99 over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night where he scored two points in 14 minutes.

"He's doing well ... he's still with the team," said Chris Grier, Famutimi's agent and former AAU coach. "He has performed as would be expected. He hasn't overachieved, but Olu is confident he can play at this level."

Famutimi, who has averaged 3.3 points, two rebounds and 13 minutes a game in exhibition play, was signed by the 76ers Oct. 3.

Famutimi, 21, has received little fanfare in Toronto and is more well known in the U.S. He left home five years ago to play high-school ball in Flint, Mich., and quickly developed into one of the top prospects in the U.S.

An extremely athletic yet raw basketball talent, Famutimi drew criticism for leaving college early to declare for the draft despite mediocre statistics. He wasn't selected, but latched on to spots during the summer leagues with the Raptors and Utah Jazz. He participated in mini-camps for the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs before eventually catching on with the 76ers. An outside shot at making the team, Famutimi could wind up with the 76ers' development team in Roanoke, Va.

"He's really excited to have this opportunity to learn from the veterans and be associated with Allen Iverson, one of the best players in the world," Grier said. "Olu had an opportunity in Toronto, but his best opportunity was with the 76ers."


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