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Former MBB standout Brian Cannon to play for Washington Generals

(Posted October 15, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Former Juniata College forward Brian Cannon '08 (Fallston, Md./Fallston) returns to the basketball court this week, but his chances of winning aren't great. He's playing for a team whose own website touts the fact it has won just one game, while losing... maybe thousands.

Cannon will be playing for the Washington Generals, touring opponent of the Harlem Globetrotters, when the Globetrotters open an international tour on this week in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The tour will take Cannon to Israel, Turkey, Bosnia, and Romania over the next month, before he returns home in early November.

"I know he's excited about it," said Generals general manager John Ferrari, who signed Cannon.

"Brian is exactly the type of player I'm looking for - he's fundamentally sound and he was well coached in college," said Ferrari. "I love D-III guys; they're doing something they've been doing since they have been five or six years old, and they want to keep doing it. This is a great fit for the young man."

Cannon completed his Juniata career with 1,391 points and 579 career rebounds, becoming just the fifth player in program history to finish with both 1,000 points and 500 boards. He tallied 521 points during his senior campaign, good enough to place third among Juniata's single season scoring leaders.

"It's nice to see someone rewarded for the efforts they put into our program," said Juniata head coach Greg Curley, who recruited and coached Cannon for all four years at Juniata.

"For all of us that do this, all of us who are basketball guys, you probably dream of the opportunity to play professionally at some level, and the opportunity to do this is unique in itself - the experience he's going to have touring throughout the country and around the world. He had other opportunities to pursue on a professional level, but I think this one, for him coming out of college and the experience it would give him, is without question the best," said Curley.

Cannon earned First team All-Landmark Conference honors, and was a Second team All-Region selection by d3hoops.com. He led the Eagles to back-to-back appearances in conference championship games - first in the Commonwealth Conference in 2006, then in the Landmark Conference in 2007 - and a pair of ECAC Division III South Region Championship appearances.

While Cannon was used almost exclusively a post player during his Juniata career due to his size, Ferrari sees him in a different role with the Generals.

"He's a big body, but I've got a lot of bigger bodies on the roster so I'm going to use him in a variety of positions," said Ferrari. "I told him I wanted him to shoot more, and his eyes lit up. So I'm going to use him as a swing man, probably a '3' (small forward) or a '4' (power forward)."

The Washington Generals, owned by Philadelphia native Louis "Red" Klotz, have been the tour opponent of the Globetrotters since 1953, although they have played under a variety of names at times in their history. During the 1971-72 season, the Generals played as the Boston Shamrocks, the New Jersey Reds, the Baltimore Rockets, and the Atlantic City Seagulls, before adopting the moniker "New York Nationals" from 1995 to 2007.

It was as the New Jersey Reds that the team had its last win over the Globetrotters, a 100-99 win in 1971 in Martin, Tenn., which ended the Globetrotters' 2,495-game winning streak.

The Generals and the Globetrotters touring teams will begin a U.S. tour in mid-December, which includes stops in Pittsburgh at Mellon Arena on December 26, 2008, and Lewisburg, Pa., on February 8, 2009.

"I'm just really excited and happy for Brian," said Curley. "He's a guy who had a terrific career and gave our program a lot, and the fact that maybe his experience here helps him get somewhere he wants to go, or adds to the rest of his life is fantastic."

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.