Gary Neal, the player who helped Aberdeen High School to its last boys basketball state title, and who rocketed to the national spotlight during the NBA finals when he scored a career-best 24 points for San Antonio, inked a two-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks this week.
The Bucks announced Tuesday that they had come to terms with Neal, signing the 28-year-old guard to a two-year, $6 million deal after his former team, the San Antonio Spurs, made him a free agent.
Neal had spent all three years of his NBA career with the Spurs, averaging 9.7 points per game in 204 appearances between 2011 and 2013.
As part of the Spurs squad that made a run at this year's NBA crown, Neal came through with a career-best performance in game three of the finals, scoring 24 points to help San Antonio dust the Miami Heat, 113-77. The former Harford County resident scored 13 points in game four, but the Spurs lost that matchup, 109-93, and eventually fell to the Heat in seven games.
In 2000, when he was a high school sophomore at Aberdeen, Neal was one of the key players in the Eagles state championship run. The 6-foot-3 guard hit the game-winning shot in Aberdeen's 50-48 win over Gwynn Park in the Class 2A title game. Neal was named to The Aegis All-Harford first-team that year, and the next season he moved on to finish out his high school career with Calvert Hall College High School in Towson.
After splitting his college career between LaSalle University and Towson University, Neal went unpicked in the 2007 NBA draft, and decided to play professionally in Europe rather than hang up his high tops. Following three years spent in Italian and Spanish leagues, he was offered a contract with the Spurs prior to the 2010-11 season, and has remained in the NBA ever since.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun