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Gordon Giricek, Croatia
Nba.com: He was drafted 40th by Dallas Mavericks in 1999. In the 2002-2003 season, Giricek was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. He played in 76 games (62 starts) for both Memphis and Orlando, averaging 12.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. In 28.3 minutes per game, he shot .341 (85-249) from three-point range and .820 (150-183) from the free throw line. Giricek played in 27 games (27 starts) with the Magic, averaging 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.11 steals per game, in 35.6 minutes per game. He tied for 37th in the NBA in free throw percentage, a very strong percentage for a rookie. He was also ranked among all NBA rookies in scoring (6th), rebounding (12th), assists (12th), field goal percentage (7th), three-point field goal percentage (4th), free throw percentage (3rd) and minutes played (5th). He scored in double figures 50 times (22 with Orlando), including a career-high 31 points on Jan. 3 vs. the L.A. Clippers. Giricek netted 20-plus points in eight games (three with Orlando). He had 20 points and a career-high nine boards in 51 minutes on Feb. 28 at New York. He led (or tied) the Magic in scoring once and in assists twice. He led (or tied) the Grizzlies in scoring eight times and in assists twice. He scored an incredible 29 points in his NBA debut on Oct. 30 vs. Dallas, the fifth-highest for a rookie in NBA history! He competed in the “got Milk?” Rookie Challenge during 2003 NBA All-Star Weekend and won the Rookie Hoopz Skills competition. Giricek started all seven playoff games for the Magic, averaging 9.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 1.0 apg, all in 31.9 minutes per game.
Name: Gordon Giricek (Gor-DAHN GEAR-ah-check)
Postion: Shooting Guard
Drafted: 1999, 2nd Round, 40th pick by the Dallas Maverick (rights traded to San Antonio, then to the Memphis Grizzles)
Languages: Croatian, English
Teams (jersey): Croatian National Team, Jedinstvo Zagreb, Cibona Zagreb, CSKA (10) Memphis Grizzlies (10), Orlando Magic (7), Utah Jazz (10)
Ibn Notes: Giricek played in the 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 Croatian League All-Star Games (he was named MVP of the 1998 and 2000 All-Star Games) and won three-point shooting contests all three seasons. During the 2001-2002 regular season, he averaged 22.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals per game for CSKA Moscow in Euroleague play. He shot 52.8% overall from the field (149-282), 37.3% from three point range (31-83), and 80.7% in free throws (84-104) the 1997-98 season with Cibona Zagreb when he helped his team to the Croation National Championship by averaging 13.2 points, shooting .722 from the field and 41,5% from three point range. Cibona Zagreb has won the Croation championship for five straight seasons (1997-2001). Giricek won the silver medal at the 1994 Junior European Championship and is a member of the Croation National Team. He played in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Croatian League All-Star Game, winning three-point shooting contests all three seasons.
Ibn Facts: In and out of Jerry Sloan's doghouse, Giricek worked himself back into the lineup with (surprisingly) great defense and timely shooting.
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