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Blair debuts in Russia; Pitt hoopers ready for Europe

As the NBA lockout drags on, three Pitt seniors from last season — and an old pro — are ready to work in Europe. 

DeJuan Blair of the NBA’s Spurs had 23 points and 11 rebounds — both game-highs — in his Russian debut earlier today, Sept. 27, with Krasnye Krylya Samara. Blair led the Samara “Red Wings” to a 98-78 victory over Siauliai.

Brad Wanamaker and Gilbert Brown will make their pro debuts in Europe in the next 10 days, and Gary McGhee, after being cut by a Croatian team, may get a second chance in Turkey.

Wanamaker has signed a short-term deal with Italian pro team Bancatercas Teramo. He replaces Trey Johnson, a free agent from the Lakers who was injured.

Wanamaker, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, had gone to Italy earlier this month to tryout with another Italian pro team, Cimberio Varese. He has signed with Teramo through October.

According to the team’s website, Teramo, which competes in Serie A, the highest level of Italian pro basketball, opens its season on Oct. 9. Wanamaker’s teammates include former Illinois point guard Dee Brown.

Teramo plays in the same league as Virtus Bologna, the Italian club that is trying to lure Kobe Bryant to play for $6.7 million (Bryant reportedly wants about $15 million).  

Some other notable players in Serie A league are former Georgetown star Da Juan Summers (Pistons); former Connecticut star Jeff Adrien (Warriors); former Purdue guard E’Twaun Moore, an ’11 draft pick by the Celtics; and former Oakland center Keith Benson, an ’11 draft pick by the Hawks. 

Brown, who plays for S. Oliver Baskets of Wuerzberg in the Germany’s top league, Bundesliga, will make his European debut on Monday.

McGhee is being considered by Bandirma Kirmizi of the Turkish Basketball League. The 6-foot-11 center was cut by KK Zagreb of Croatia during the preseason.

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