- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 14, 2002

The Washington Wizards whittled their summer league basketball roster down to 13 yesterday after releasing four players, including former Maryland forward Byron Mouton.
The Wizards also released 6-foot-10 forward Lee Benson, Nevada-Las Vegas guard Lou Kelly, and former Clemson standout Will Solomon.
The remaining 13 players will have a final practice today at George Washington University's Smith Center and then fly to Boston for the start of Shaw's Pro Summer League, which begins play tomorrow and runs until July 21. All games will be played at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium at University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Mouton averaged 11.1 points and five rebounds in helping the Terrapins to their first national championship in the spring.
The Wizards' coaching staff had to select seven players to accompany the six who were a lock to make the team. Veterans Kwame Brown, Etan Thomas, Brendan Haywood and Bobby Simmons will be joined by first-round draft picks Jared Jeffries and Juan Dixon.
That number would have been seven had second-round pick Rod Grizzard been healthy. However, Grizzard, a 6-foot-8 guard whom the Wizards took with the 39th pick in this year's draft, is still recovering from a broken bone in his right leg and won't be ready to play for at least another three weeks.
"They've told me, 'Don't even worry about the summer, just make sure you're ready in October,'" Grizzard said.
Shooting guard Devin Brown, the 2002 USBL co-rookie of the year, didn't get his invitation to participate in the Wizards' minicamp until Tuesday. But the 6-5 Brown, who starred at Texas-San Antonio and eventually became that school's all-time leading scorer, played well enough to earn the trip to Boston.
"It feels good," Brown said. "Nothing has ever been given to me. When I first got here and saw some of the guys that I would normally be watching with my teammates back home, it was an interesting experience. But I knew I had to go out and fight for a position. I just went out there and played hard."
After the USBL season ended, Brown went back to his hometown of San Antonio and figured that his basketball career was in limbo. He thought about the NBA's new developmental league but thought that idea was somewhat far-fetched.
Then he got the phone call from Wizards scouting director Chuck Douglas and decided to give it a shot.
"I came up, and this is what happens," Brown said. "It's a real good feeling right now."
Solomon was perhaps the most surprising cut of all.
Last season Solomon was drafted 33rd by Memphis and was good enough to appear in 62 games. Solomon, who led the ACC in scoring during his sophomore season (20.9), scored a career-high 23 points against Orlando and showed some pro potential.
But the former All-ACC selection struggled throughout camp, had trouble getting his team into the offense and is now looking for work again.
Ironically, Solomon turned down an invitation to attend the Grizzlies' minicamp, believing that there was more of an opportunity to make the Wizards.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity," Solomon said. "I wanted to catch on here. Hopefully I'll be able to somewhere else."


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