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Gary Neal right

Gary Neal

Gary Neal (born October 3, 1984) is an American professional basketball player who has most recently played with the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Neal attended Aberdeen High School and Calvert Hall College High School in Maryland then played college basketball at La Salle University before transferring to Towson University. He began his professional career abroad with teams in Turkey, Spain, and Italy before signing with the Spurs in 2010. At 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) tall and weighing 95 kg (210 lb), Neal is considered a combo guard.

High school career

Born in Baltimore, Neal played at Aberdeen High School and one year at Calvert Hall College High School. As a junior, he led Aberdeen to a 21–4 record and won their state championship, while averaging a triple double per game. One of his Aberdeen teammates was former George Mason forward-center Jai Lewis. During his senior season, his Calvert Hall team went 22–9. One of his teammates on that squad was former Miami shooting guard Jack McClinton.

College career

See also: 2004 La Salle University men's basketball scandal. As a freshman, Neal was the Atlantic Ten Rookie Of The Year. He led the La Salle Explorers in scoring with an 18.6 average during his two seasons for the Explorers.Before the 2004–05 season, Neal was dismissed from the team due to a rape allegation by a University of New Haven women's basketball player who was working at La Salle camp. Neal was later acquitted after prosecutors failed to convince a jury that the woman was too drunk to consent to sex.

Neal sat out the 2004–05 season to transfer to Towson University. He initially joined Towson with no athletic aspirations, but was given a walk-on spot on their basketball team in 2005–06 conditional on the result of his rape case. Neal was activated as soon as he was acquitted, and received a scholarship for his senior year in 2006–07. That year, he returned to high scoring numbers averaging 25.3 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, and he led the Tigers to the 2nd round of the 2007 NCAA conference tournament, before losing to Old Dominion University. He became the fourth basketball player in NCAA history to score at least 1,000 points with two different schools.

Pro career

Neal was eligible in the 2007 NBA Draft in June and was projected to be on the bubble to get drafted. Neal went undrafted. When playing for Pınar Karşıyaka, Neal led the Turkish Basketball League in scoring, averaging 23.6 points per game.

Eventually, FC Barcelona bought out Neal's Pınar Karşıyaka contract. Neal was signed by FC Barcelona in January 2008. In Barcelona he averaged 2.3 points per game in the Euroleague and 3.3 points per game in the ACB with Barcelona during the 2007–08 season.

In June 2008, he was signed by the Italian Lega A outfit Benetton Treviso. With Benetton, he was named to the ULEB Eurocup (the league below the Euroleague level) All-Eurocup Second Team during the 2008–09 season.

Neal then joined the Spanish club Unicaja Málaga, where he finished the 2009–10 season, averaging 12.6 points per game in Spanish League play.

On July 22, 2010, the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA signed Neal to a three-year deal. In the 2010–11 NBA season, Neal played 80 games and started one and scored 45.1% of his field goal attempts, 41.9% of three-pointers, and 80.8% of free throws; he also averaged 9.8 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game. On April 27, 2011, during game 5 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs and the Spurs trailing the Memphis Grizzlies 97–94 and the series 3 games to one, Neal scored a buzzer-beating three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Spurs beat the Grizzlies 110–103 in overtime and forced a sixth game in the series. However, the Spurs lost Game 6 to the Grizzlies 99–91 and were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. In 22 minutes that game, Neal scored 8 points and made 5 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

On January 2, 2012, the Spurs assigned Neal to the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League as he recovered from an appendectomy. However, he was recalled on the next day without playing any games for the Toros.

On December 10, 2012, Neal scored an NBA career-high 29 points to go along with his career-high 7 3-pointers made in a win against the Houston Rockets in overtime.

On June 11, 2013, in Game 3 of the 2013 NBA finals, Neal scored a career playoff high of 24 points on 9 of 17 from the field and 6 of 10 from 3-pointers to help lead the Spurs to a blowout 113-77 victory over the Miami Heat.  However, the Spurs lost the series in seven games.

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2010–11 San Antonio 80 1 21.1 .451 .419 .808 2.5 1.2 .3 .1 9.8
2011–12 San Antonio 56 7 21.5 .436 .419 .781 2.1 2.1 .5 .0 9.9
2012–13 San Antonio 68 17 21.8 .412 .355 .865 2.1 1.9 .4 .0 9.5
Career 204 25 21.4 .433 .398 .818 2.2 1.7 .4 .0 9.7

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2011 San Antonio 6 0 18.5 .370 .263 1.000 3.0 .8 .2 .2 7.7
2012 San Antonio 14 0 15.5 .476 .444 .846 1.3 1.4 .1 .0 7.5
2013 San Antonio 21 0 18.6 .385 .348 1.000 2.1 .7 .1 .0 6.8
Career 41 0 17.5 .411 .364 .944 2.0 1.0 .1 .0 7.2

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