Basketball News Services
Dreams can come true. The Bobcats signed free-agent Corey Benjamin after impressive summer league play. Benjamin, 26, played four positions in the five-game Minnesota summer league, averaging 7.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 17.2 minutes. The 6-6 Benjamin played with the son of GM/coach Bernie Bickerstaff at Oregon State before going on a four-year journey of the NBA, three in Chicago and one in Atlanta, then playing last year in France. One phrase said it best: "He has played for seven teams in five leagues in three countries over the past four seasons."
"Corey Benjamin is a player we believe can help our team with his athleticism and ability to play multiple positions on the court, both offensively and defensively," Bickerstaff said. "We think our situation is a great fit for Corey and he will contribute in many ways."
Benjamin is a former first round pick, having been selected 28th by the Bulls in the 1998 draft. After three years in Chicago averaging 5.5 points and 1.5 rebounds over 144 games, he spent time playing for the NBDL's Charleston Lowgators before being called back up to Atlanta for the 2002-2003 season, in which he averaged 4.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in just nine games.
Last year, he played for Chalon of the French ProA League where he averaged 11.2 points and 3.5 rebounds.
The signing of Benjamin appears to be continuing the Bobcats' vision of signing cheap, versatile, athletic, young players who are hungry for an opportunity and will do anything to win.
95 days left until the season starts.
Emeka Okafor writes in his logyesterday: This morning I went through the workout before our team scrimmage against Puerto Rico. It felt good to get out there and test it out and to familiarize myself with the other guys. We went through the offensive plays with no defense, but at full speed. And my ankle was fine. The offense has a lot of plays that you have to remember and it’s a little faster than I’m used to. Some of the plays are set for the big guys and others are for us to get the guards open for shots.
The Charlotte Observerwrites: The Charlotte Bobcats signed free agent guard Corey Benjamin on Thursday after a successful summer-league tryout... Benjamin played one season of college basketball with Bobcats assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff at Oregon State. He entered the NBA draft after his sophomore season and was selected with the 28th pick by the Bulls. He spent three seasons with the Bulls, averaging 5.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 144 career games. He has since played for Montegrenaro of the Italian A-2 League, the Southern California Surf of the ABA, the NBDL's Charleston Lowgators and a brief stint with the Atlanta Hawks in 2002-03. He spent last season with Chalon of the French ProA League, averaging 11.2 points and 3.5 rebounds.
The Associated Press writes inkgw.com: The Charlotte Bobcats signed free-agent guard Corey Benjamin on Thursday.Chicago Bulls Corey Benjamin. Benjamin, a first-round pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1998, played for the Bobcats in the Minnesota summer league. He played four positions in five games and averaged 7.4 points and 1.8 rebounds... Benjamin entered the NBA draft after his sophomore season at Oregon State and was selected 28th overall by the Bulls. He averaged 5.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 144 NBA games with the Bulls. Benjamin has since played for teams in Italy, France and in U.S. developmental leagues. He also had a brief stint with the Atlanta Hawks in 2002-03.
The Press-Enterprisewrites: Free-agent guard Corey Benjamin, a former star at Riverside North and Fontana high schools, signed a contract with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday... Benjamin, 26, was a first-round pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1998 after leaving Oregon State following his sophomore year. In four NBA seasons - three seasons in Chicago and a stint in Atlanta - he has averaged 5.5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. Corey Benjamin impressed the Bobcats with his summer-league play and versatility. He has played for seven teams in five leagues in three countries over the past four seasons. After playing last season in France, Benjamin, who played with the son of Bobcats coach-GM Bernie Bickerstaff at Oregon State, was invited to play with Charlotte's summer league squad. Benjamin, 6-foot-6, impressed Bickerstaff by averaging 7.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 17.2 minutes in the five-game Minnesota summer league, while playing four positions... Benjamin won a Division 2AA championship at North and a Division 1AA title at Fontana. He earned All-America and all-Pac-10 honors at Oregon State.
John Smallwood ofKnight-Ridder Newspaperswrites: And unlike Nick Collison, last summer's collegiate representative, Charlotte Bobcats draft pick Emeka Okafor, who led Connecticut to the 2004 NCAA championship, actually might contribute to the cause in Athens.Overall, the Olympic team offers more athleticism and versatility than the qualifying team. James, Anthony and Odom are such special talents that if they had a little more experience