Our president (on the left) and the one and only LESTER BO McCALEBB !!!
ISTANBUL, Turkey – Despite interest from several NBA franchises including the San Antonio Spurs, University of New Orleans’ all-time leading scorer Bo McCalebb will continue his playing career with Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey.
A significant buyout requested by McCalebb’s former club Montepaschi Siena turned away many top teams in Europe and proved to be a hurdle for interested NBA squads. In the last week, negotiations have centered around the Turkish club.
“Our program could not be happier and more proud of Bo and this next step in his career,” said UNO head men’s basketball coach Mark Slessinger. “He is truly one of the great sport stories of determination and will.”
The move to the Turkish squad represents a return to the country that McCalebb started his professional career. The former O. Perry Walker standout was an All-Star during the 2008-09 season with Mersin Belediyesi, leading the Turkish League in steals.
McCalebb then played a season for Serbia-based Partizan Belgrade before taking his talents to Italy for two seasons with Montepaschi under the direction of Simone Pianigiani. Pianigiani and McCalebb will be reunited in Turkey as Fenerbahce hired the six-time Italian League Championship coach on June 23.
Since heading overseas following his five years at UNO, McCalebb has blossomed and has caught the eyes of numerous NBA teams, particularly during the course of the last two years.
The 2012 Italian League MVP, McCalebb led Montepaschi to league championships in each of his two seasons with the club. The guard’s run of success extended outside of league play as McCalebb was named the Alphonso Ford trophy winner after leading all scorers in the EuroLeague.
During his tenure with Montepaschi, McCalebb has spent his break from the professional season with the Macedonian national squad. Though a New Orleans native, the guard received dual citizenship in 2010.
McCalebb became a national hero for the small European country of three million residents after leading Macedonia on a ‘Cinderella’ run to the 2011 FIBA European Championship bronze medal game.
For his efforts in the tournament, McCalebb was the lone non-NBA player selected to the all-tournament squad. The guard would also be the top vote getter amongst fans for the 2011 FIBA Europe Player of the Year, topping the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Andrei Kirlenko.
“UNO is proud to have Bo continue its great history of producing players that are able to go on and compete at some of the highest levels in the world,” said Slessinger. “Bo getting his opportunity is a great compliment to not only his incredible skill and determination, but also to all of the great teammates, coaches, staff and faculty here at UNO that helped prepare him for success away from the Lakefront.
McCalebb scored 2,679 points during his collegiate career at UNO to top the school and Sun Belt Conference record books for scoring while ranking No. 21 all-time in NCAA Division I history.
The Turkish League season begins in October, but not before Fenerbahce faces the 17-time NBA champion Boston Celtics on Oct. 5 in the 2012 NBA EUROPE LIVE. McCalebb and Fenerbahce will also compete in the 2012-13 EuroLeague and have been placed in Group ‘A’ with Panathinaikos (Greece), Real Madrid (Spain), BC Khimki (Russia) and Union Olimpija (Slovenia).
Peep the dunk!
Lester Bo McCalebb - A True Warrior (by IP14)