Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Ex-TMC star leads world in scoring




BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Quick quiz: Name the leading basketball scorer in the world. Would you believe ... Rick Hughes?

        The Walnut Hills High and Thomas More College product, now 25, is averaging 35.2 points for a team (Wardieh Rosaire) in Beirut, Lebanon. The Global Basketball Network (www.eurobasket.com), which pools statistics from every pro league in the world, has Hughes atop its scoring list.

        “Even though it's Lebanon and not the NBA, 32.5 points per game is a heck of an accomplishment,” said Sam Foggin, Hughes' Florida-based agent. “There are 2-3 Americans per team there, so he's not doing it against a bunch of jerks, either.”

        Hughes, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound for ward, was a Division III All-American at Thomas More. He has spent the last three years as a basketball nomad: three European tours, one International Basketball Association season, a U.S. tour with Marathon Oil, four NBA rookie camps.

        Hughes, who also averages 12.8 rebounds, had a promising showing at an Atlanta Hawks minicamp last June but couldn't wait out the lockout to see if he would be signed.

        “The dollars they threw at us in Lebanon were three times what he made last year in Cyprus,” Foggin said. “They like him so much, they've offered us another two-year deal with an NBA "out' clause (should he sign stateside).”

       



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