Big man Samhan headed to Lithuania

July, 17, 2010
7/17/10
4:47
PM CT
LAS VEGAS -- Jovial center Omar Samhan will be taking his developing game and keen sense of humor overseas.

Samhan, who made a name for himself with a tremendous NCAA tournament with little-known Saint Mary's, and a light-hearted, self-promotional media blitz, signed, a two-year deal with a club in Lithuania.

"I've been Googling [Lithuania] for the last two days. It's actually not that much different," Samhan said. "They have a lot of similar foods and stuff like that, but definitely language is going to be a barrier and communication with coaches and teammates will be hard, but our point guard is American, so that will help."

Mavs owner Mark Cuban reached out to Samhan via Facebook to invite him on the team's summer squad and he's had a nice run in Las Vegas, averaging 10.5 points on 52.8 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots in 25.8 minutes a game through four summer-league games.

Samhan will play for the Mavs in Sunday's summer finale despite his new club asking him to sit it out. Samhan said he owed it to the Mavs to see through his commitment. Samhan said he's traveled to Australia once with Saint Mary's teammates who hail from there, but he's never voyaged to Europe. Mavs president Donnie Nelson, who has long-time relationships in Lithuania, assured Samhan it is the best move for his career.

"It's a little overwhelming," the 6-foot-11, 265-pounder said. "But, I'm excited."

Samhan leaves for his new home on Aug. 15. His contract has a buy out after the first year in case an NBA team comes calling. He said he's calling next season his red-shirt year.

"I didn't have any offers for guaranteed money [in the NBA]. A lot of people wanted me to come to training camp, but they couldn’t guarantee anything. And, if I did make a team, I wouldn't get playing time, I wouldn't get a chance to develop a ton," Samhan said. "So, it's going to give me a chance to go over there for a year or two and really develop as a player. I plan on coming back and being an NBA player for the next 10 years."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9