Olimpia Milano has reached an agreement until the end of the season with Shabazz Napier, a 1.83 mt tall point guard, born on July 14, 1991, in Roxbury, Massachusetts, coming from the Capitanes de Ciudad de Mexico of the NBA-owned G-League. “As the crucial part of the season approaches, we decided to focus on a highly motivated player with the right skills to help us immediately and then throughout the season,” general manager Christos Stavropoulos said. “I am very excited to play for this organization and to be coached by a great group of coaches and play alongside other great players. I am looking forward to play in front of the Olimpia fans and for the opportunity to celebrate wins with all of them,” Shabazza Napier said.
HIS CAREER – Shabazz Napier, of Puerto Rican origins from his mother’s side, grew up in Boston. He attended the Charlestown High School and moved for last two years of high school to the Lawrence Academy in Groton where he won the 2010 New England championship after finishing the season undefeated, 29-0. Napier was named MVP of the competition. In 2010, he transferred to the University of Connecticut where in his freshman year he averaged 7.8 points per game, was included in the Big East’s All-Rookie team and helped capture both the conference title and the NCAA championship. During his sophomore year, he averaged 13.8 points and 5.8 assists per game. In his third year with the Huskies, he averaged 17.6 points per game with 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals. In his fourth year, he was named AAC Player of the Year, won the “Bob Cousy” award for being the college basketball’s best point guard, and led Connecticut to his second NCAA championship, this time as the Final Four MVP winner. At the end of the year, he had 18.0 points per game, 4.9 assists and 5.9 rebounds. In 2014, he was selected by Miami in the first round of the NBA draft, number 24. After a season with the Heat, he played one season in Orlando, two in Portland, one in Brooklyn and another one in Minnesota and Washington. In 2021, he signed for Zenit St. Petersburg, but an injury kept him from playing in the EuroLeague. Overall, he played 345 NBA games, with 56 starts, 2,433 points scored and 856 career assists. In 2019/20 he averaged 10.3 points per game with 4.7 assists.
NOTES – Shabazz Napier is first in Connecticut history for games played, 143, second for three-pointers made, 260, and steals, 251, and fourth for points scored, 1,959. He has an NBA career-high of 32 points, twice, once in Portland (against San Antonio) and once in Brooklyn (vs Milwaukee). He also had a triple-double game in Minnesota against Oklahoma City (10 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds).
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