Chris McNaughton on German National Team for FIBA World Championship
Aug. 27, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The 2010 FIBA World Championship gets underway on Saturday in Turkey, and most American basketball fans are anxious to see how Team USA will fare in its follow-up to winning the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Bucknell basketball fans will also have a keen eye on the German squad, as former Bison star Chris McNaughton has made his national team and will be suiting up for his first major international tournament.
Germany is coming off an outstanding warmup to the FIBA World Championship, having posted a pair of double-digit victories over a strong Puerto Rico team. The Germans are in a tough group (Group A) and will open pool play Saturday against Argentina, the No. 1 team in the FIBA world rankings. Following the Argentina game, Germany will face Serbia, Australia, Angola and Jordan.
One of McNaughton's frontcourt mates on the German team is former Penn State star Jan Jagla. The two faced off in State College during McNaughton's freshman season in 2003-04. McNaughton had 10 points and nine rebounds in that game, while Jagla had 17 points in a 58-46 Penn State victory.
Another recognizable name on the German roster is forward Elias Harris, who started and averaged 14.9 points and 7.1 rebounds as a freshman for nationally ranked Gonzaga last season.
The most famous of all German cagers, Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, will not be playing at the World Championship.
A member of the Class of 2007, McNaughton was a three-time All-Patriot League selection, a three-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a three-time team MVP at Bucknell. He was a major part of Bucknell's 2005 and 2006 Patriot League championship teams, and he hit the game-winning shot against Kansas in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, probably the most famous shot in Bucknell basketball history.
After graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, McNaughton has carved out a nice career playing professional basketball in Spain and Germany. Last season he played in the Bungesliga -- the top division of German basketball -- for Goettingen, and this season he will move to EWE Baskets Oldenburg, the defending regular-season champions in the Bundesliga. He recently helped Goettingen win the Eurochallenge tournament and had 22 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes of action in the championship game, an 83-75 win over Russian club Krasnye Krylia.
Another Bucknell alum who has enjoyed tremendous success internationally is CSKA Moscow and Team Russia star J.R. Holden, however an injury will keep Holden from being part of the Russian team at the FIBA World Championship. A 1998 Bucknell graduate, Holden averaged 18 points per game as the point guard for Russia in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he famously drained a buzzer-beater against Pau Gasol-led Spain to win the 2007 European Championship.
The FIBA World Championship runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12 in Turkey. Most of the games can be seen on the ESPN family of networks, including broadband coverage on ESPN3.com. Check the FIBA World Championship web site for complete schedule information.