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Finding success halfway around the world

EX-FLAME ARMOND WILLIAMS THRIVING IN ISRAEL

January 16, 2008

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Ex-Flames star Armond Williams talks with old friends in his return to the UIC Pavilion.

Former UIC forward Armond Williams visited the Pavilion during the Flames’ 78-68 double-overtime win over Loyola last Saturday and caught up with some old friends.

He was likely bragging about his great season in Israel in which he is averaging 24.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for Division II Maccabi Shoham Hevel Modiin. He is second in the division in scoring. He is shooting 62 percent from the field and 70 percent from the foul line.

“I’m doing pretty well for myself, so I can’t complain,” Williams said smiling, taking a break from talking with former teammate Joe Scott, who now works for Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company.

Williams had a league-high 40 points on 13-for-19 from the field (including two threes) to go with 12 rebounds against Hapoel Beer-Sheva on Nov. 27.

Williams often interacts with another former UIC teammate in Cedrick Banks, who is playing for Division I Maccabi Reshon LeZion.

“Ced is like 15 minutes away from me,” Williams said. “We love it over there. It’s like a home away from home.”

Williams notes that Israel is not as terrifying of different as people in the West believe it is.

“Actually, it’s very Americanized over there,” he said. “It’s not as bad as the news portrays it to be.”

Photo: Rob Freeman/Chicago Flame

Justin Bowen will be playing in the NBA’s D-League Showcase this week.

BOWEN ON NBA TV: Former UIC forward Justin Bowen and the Austin Toros will be making two appearances on NBA TV at this week’s D-League Showcase in Boise, Idaho. The Toros will play Sioux Falls at noon on Wednesday and Los Angeles at noon on Thursday.

Bowen is averaging 12.4 points on 51 percent shooting and is grabbing 6.0 rebounds per contest for the Toros, who are 13-5 with a four-game lead in the Southwest Division.

In addition, Bowen will be one of three Toros players that will be blogging from the Showcase, you can check it out here.

DAILEY UPDATE: UIC senior forward Jermaine Dailey had an MRI on his left knee on Sunday morning and it was negative, according to sports information director John Jaramillo.

Dailey was injured when Loyola guard J.R. Blount landed on his left leg when both players were diving on the floor for a loose ball during the first half of the Flames’ win last Saturday.

The injury was diagnosed as a strained hamstring and calf. Dailey, will be day-to-day, but did practice on Tuesday.

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Wright State forward Jordan Pleiman has always been tough on the Flames.

UP NEXT: The Flames (9-7, 3-2) continue their three-game Horizon League homestand against Wright State on Thursday night at the UIC Pavilion.

The Raiders are 9-6 overall and 2-4 in the Horizon League after falling at home to Cleveland State 65-63 last Saturday. WSU, the defending Horizon League tournament champions, will be desperate for a win since it has already lost two conference games at the Nutter Center.

Sophomore guard Todd Brown leads a balanced attack, averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Three other Raiders possess double-figure scoring averages in sophomore guard Vaughn Duggins (14.8) and senior forwards Jordan Pleiman (10.1) and Scottie Wilson (10.1), so it will be difficult for the Flames to key on one player.

The 6-foot-8 Pleiman, usually has his best games against UIC with a 20-point, 12-rebound game in Dayton last season and a 19-point, 11-rebound, four-block effort as a freshman in 2005.

Brown (at 6-5) and Duggins (at 6-4) will also be difficult to handle with the size advantage and ability to handle the ball.

Despite its subpar Horizon League mark, WSU is the only team that has defeated Butler this season, a 43-42 win at the Nutter Center on Dec. 8.

The game tips off at 7 p.m. on Thursday with a video streaming available on the Horizon League Network and audio streaming, with Flames’ play-by-play man Adam Levinson, will be available on WIND-AM 560.

In other recent news:
White, Mayo help Flames secure double-OT win (vs. Loyola) (1/13/08)
With Ramblers on horizon, Flames making tweaks (plus Stewart update) (1/11/08)
Flames extinguished in Cleveland (plus Bowen update) (1/6/08)
Flames sleepwalk in Youngstown (1/4/08)
COMMENTARY: Flames still under the radar (1/2/08)
Undermanned Flames come up just short (at Akron) (12/30/07)
Flames get White Christmas (vs. Howard) (12/23/07)
Banks returns to Pavilion (vs. Toledo) (12/23/07)
Flames turned up in 2nd half (vs. Toledo) (12/20/07)
Blockbuster trilogy gives UIC win over DePaul (12/16/07)
One more stiff test for Flames (DePaul preview) (12/14/07)