TOWSON, Md. - Gary Neal, who broke 14 Towson records during his two-year career with the Tigers, has signed a three-year contract with San Antonio following an eye-opening NBA Summer League performance last week when he led the Spurs to a 5-0 record in the Las Vegas session.
Neal becomes the second Tiger to play in the NBA. Kurk Lee, who led the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance 20 years ago, played one season with the New Jersey Nets before enjoying a successful career overseas.
"I can't express how happy I am and how proud all of us are here at Towson for Gary," said Tigers head coach Pat Kennedy. "I have had several players play in the NBA and I can say undoubtedly that Gary is one of the hardest workers and most determined young men I have ever worked with. I believe he will have a long career in the league."
"In one of the most brilliant Las Vegas shooting displays this side of the famed Gun Store," wrote Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, "Neal made six 3-pointers and scored 25 points - including 13 in the game's first 2:45 - to pace the Spurs to a 78-64 victory in their league finale."
Neal finished the championship game with 25 points. He led the Spurs in scoring for the five games with a 16.0 average. He made 17 of 30 from beyond the NBA arc.
Four days later the former Tiger penned the contract.
Unlike Lee, Neal played overseas before joining the NBA ranks. He made the most of his overseas experience. In three seasons he led two leagues in scoring.
Neal went undrafted after his collegiate career ended in 2006-07. He played 2007-08 with Pinar Karsiyaka, leading the Turkish Basketball League with a 26.5 average before his contract was bought by FC Barcelona in the Spanish League.
For the past two years he has played for Benetton Treviso of the Italian League, earning All-Italy and All-Euroleague honors. He averaged 19.4 in 2009-10 to lead the Italian League in scoring. He finished out the season playing in 10 games for Spain's Unicaja Malaga in the ACB League where he averaged 12.6 points
Neal scored 1,254 points in less than two full seasons at Towson. He was among the top five scorers in the nation each year. He transferred to Towson from La Salle where he scored 1,041 points. He was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 2003.
In his senior year he led the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring with a 25.6 average and was a first team All-CAA selection. He holds the league record for career scoring average.
Neal scored 810 points in 2006-07 to break Kurk Lee's single season scoring record of 805 points. He became one of only three players in college basketball history to score 1,000 points at two different Division I schools. He was the 427th player in NCAA history to score over 2,000 total career points, ending his collegiate career with 2,295 points.