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Hefferman: Salukis' Beane wins league title in Bulgaria

Hefferman: Salukis' Beane wins league title in Bulgaria

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Former Saluki basketball player Anthony Beane may have found his place in Europe, in between trying out for the NBA.

Beane scored 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting to help Lukoil Academic Sofia win the Bulgarian National Basketball League championship May 29 with an 83-76 win over Beroe. Sofia, a powerhouse in the Bulgarian NBL, won its 14th championship in the last 15 years.

Former Southern Indiana point guard Danny Gibson scored 30 points to lead Sofia (20-4) to the 3-1 series win.

Beane, SIU's third all-time leading scorer, averaged 9.4 points per game in 25 contests. In his first professional stint, the 6-foot-2, 178-pound guard averaged 19.9 minutes, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He shot extremely well, 61.7 overall, 32.3 percent from the longer 3-point line (20 of 62) and 90 percent at the free-throw line (27 of 30).

Beane finished his four-year career at SIU with 1,917 career points. His 885 at SIU Arena are tied with Mike Glenn for the most in school history.

Beane never played in the postseason past the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, but was a two-time all-league player. He reached 10 or more points 93 times, and put up 20 or more 36 times. Seven times he scored 30 or more.

Beane was originally drafted by the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Developmental League last October and then traded to the Austin Spurs. He was cut the day before the season began, partly because he re-tweaked his surgically-repaired left ankle during workouts.

Beane dislocated his left ankle while working out last summer and was medically cleared right before the NBADL draft.

Pharaohs move to 6-1: The Southern Illinois Pharaohs moved to 6-1 on the season with a 98-62 win at Music City over the weekend.

Vernon Lewis had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Chris Bryant had 25 points, nine rebounds and three assists. The Pharaohs also got 18 points from Devon Baulkman and 11 from Rakeem Dickerson.

The Pharaohs are now off until hosting the Birmingham (Alabama) Vulcans June 24 at the Dentmon Center. Tickets for the Pharaohs' last home game at 4 p.m. are now on sale. They finish their first season at at Music City July 1 and at the Dallas Hoyas July 2.

Salukis at NCAA outdoor championships: SIU's final athletic event of the season will be in Oregon.

Three Salukis qualified for the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon. Action starts Wednesday. Warren Hazel is first up in the men's 400-meter run semifinals Wednesday at 4 p.m. Freya Block will compete in the women's hammer throw Thursday, and Chester native Kyle Landon goes for that elusive NCAA championshp in the men's high jump Friday night.

TODD HEFFERMAN covers SIU athletics for The Southern Illinoisan. Contact him at todd.hefferman@thesouthern.com, 618-351-5087 or on Twitter at @THefferman.

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