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Former Towson, Calvert Hall guard Gary Neal an unlikely hero for Spurs

San Antonio SpursSexual AssaultBasketballNBA FinalsLeBron JamesNCAA

If you were going to guess the two San Antonio Spurs that outscored LeBron James in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, it would be easy, right?

Tim Duncan? Manu Ginobli? Tony Parker? Try Danny Green and Aberdeen native Gary Neal.

Green led all scorers with 27 points, and Neal was right behind him with 24 points, a playoff career high. Neal, a Calvert Hall graduate, went 6-of-10 from 3-point range, helping the Spurs to a superb 16-for-32 night from beyond the arc and a 113-77 win over the Heat. Quite a night for Neal, who wasn’t even drafted coming out of college.

Neal jumped around schools, starring at Aberdeen for three years and winning a state championship before playing at Calvert Hall his senior season. College was just the same — Neal played at La Salle for two years before transferring to Towson for his final two seasons.

At La Salle, the guard was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, averaging 18.6 points in his first two seasons. After facing sexual assault allegations, Neal left the program and joined Towson’s squad once he was acquitted of the charges. Neal starred at Towson, as he averaged 25.3 points and became the fourth player in NCAA history to score 1,000 points with two schools.

Neal was on the bubble entering the 2007 NBA Draft, and after going undrafted, played in Turkey, Italy and Spain for three years. In 2010, Neal was offered a tryout with the Spurs and signed a three-year deal with the team, and has been a big contributor off the Spurs’ bench.

In the three games against Miami in the Finals, he’s averaging 14 points, and along with Green — who’s averaging 19 points — they became the Big Two that shut down Miami’s Big Three in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

cnthomas@baltsun.com
twitter.com/colleenthomas_

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