Connecticut connection runs deep for summer Grizzlies

Thabeet7.jpgBesides first-round draft pick Hasheem Thabeet (pictured, center), the Memphis Grizzlies' summer-league squad features a couple of other former Connecticut Huskies -- point guard Marcus Williams (left) and forward Jeff Adrien, both of whom had strong performances in Sunday's season-opening win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Scanning a Los Angeles Times story, UConn beat blogger Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant picks up on a line about the "decided UConn vibe" on display among the Grizzlies in Las Vegas.

Speaking of that L.A. Times story, it gets to the bottom of what's up with the big Tanzanian's mohawk:

"I just asked for a trim. . . . I think somebody set me up," said Grizzlies rookie center Hasheem Thabeet.

Elsewhere, Connecticut Sports Examiner Matt Schovinsky has more about the Huskies-Grizzlies pipeline, and he looks at other former UConn players fighting for NBA roster spots in the Summer League.

Finally, the Las Vegas Sun catches up with the Grizzlies' Iranian big man Hamed Haddadi, who is back in the United States after a dramatic few months back home:

"I kind of had an inkling there would be an immense reaction by the people," Haddadi said Sunday at Cox Pavilion through translator Mayor Zokaei. "There was a significant reaction. I know it's changed their vision of me."

Though he doesn't speak English, Haddadi does seem to have learned at least one phrase of American athlete-speak:

While in Tehran on holiday, Haddadi witnessed the dramatic fallout, and widespread demonstrations that garnered global attention, from rigging claims in his country's presidential election.

He gave his shortest answer, through Zokaei, to any of Sunday's questions when asked about what he heard and saw, and felt, during that tense time at home.

"I'm just here to talk about basketball," Haddadi said.

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