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The D-League (Pre)Season Starts Today!

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The defending NBA Development League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers will host the Halcones Universidad Veracruzana en Xalapa, the four-time defending champions of Mexico's LNBP league, at the University of Texas-Pan American tonight.

I know. I'm excited too.

Not only will it be the first time Jordan Eglseder plays a D-League game (I seriously can't wait until I get to see him against the Texas Legends on November 18 live in HD on Versus!), but I'm also intrigued to see what Jerel McNeal and Richard Roby have to offer in their D-League premieres (along with Patrick Sullivan, who I know nothing about aside from the fact that he was a training camp invite for the Rockets).

As far as Halcones Universidad Veracruzana en Xalapa, which seem to be better known as Halcones UV Xalapa, they actually have some players you might remember from their college careers.

  • Orlando Mendez-Valdez, a 6-foot-1 guard out of Western Kentucky, went absolutely nova during the 2009 March Madness tournament. OM-V dropped 25 points in his last outing while adding eight rebounds and four steals.  I expect big things out of him tonight.
  • Lorenzo Mata-Real was never really good at UCLA, but you more than likely remember him if you watch college basketball - and if you don't, I have found a sweet highlight video commemorating said career.  If you're a fan of watching international basketball fights, and I know you are, you may also remember him as the guy that dunked before Romel Beck did what he did in this video. Mata-Real hasn't played since October 21 so I'm not sure if he'll play tonight.
  • Adam Parada is not somebody I remember for doing anything, but he still seems to be on the NBA radar since he's a 7-footer and played at the esteemed Cal-Irvine. Since graduating in 2004, Parada has played for the Sacramento Kings in training camp (2005), the Chicago Bulls during a mini-camp (2005), the Los Angeles Lakers during training camp (2005), the Minnesota Timberwolves during Vegas Summer League (2006), the San Antonio Spurs during Rocky Mountain Revue (2006), the Sacramento Kings during training camp (2007), and finally the Timberwolves again in Vegas (2009). He either has a good agent or is right on the verge of being an NBA player.