Andrew Gaze, the Australian whose long-range shooting propelled Seton Hall University within a basket of the NCAA championship in 1989, has been invited to preseason camp by three NBA teams, he said today.
Gaze, who led the Australian national team in scoring in both the Goodwill Games in Seattle last month and the recently concluded world championships in Argentina, says he has been contacted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers, who lost in the NBA Finals in June.
“Both (Philadelphia and Portland) said pretty much the same thing,” Gaze said today. “They asked me my thoughts on an NBA career and invited me to attend training camp in October. The Timberwolves are offering a similar deal.”
Gaze, 25, was not selected in the 1989 NBA draft but was invited to the Seattle SuperSonics’ camp. He was the last player cut.
“I would like to have another try for the NBA, but will need to give the matter a lot of thought before deciding one way or another.”
Should the 6-foot-5 Gaze accept any of the invitations, his best chances would seem to be with the expansion Timberwolves or with the 76ers. Both teams lack depth at shooting guard. Gaze would be the first Australian to play in the NBA.
Gaze scored an Australian-record 50 points in the team’s Goodwill Games victory over Italy. The Australians finished fifth at the Goodwill Games and seventh at the world championships.
Gaze also said he was considering a lucrative offer to join an Italian League team that he did not name.
The Italian League, which boasts former NBA stars Bob McAdoo and Michael Cooper, among others, is regarded as the strongest in Europe.
Gaze currently plays for the Melbourne Tigers in the Australian National Basketball League, a semipro circuit.
Two of Gaze’s teammates on the Australian national team attend American colleges. Forward Andrew Vlahov plays at Stanford and center Luc Longley plays for New Mexico.