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Toko Impresses at Summer Camp

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adidas EuroCamp by Robert Serra
adidas EuroCamp by Robert Serra

A week ago, Toko Shengelia had just arrived in the United States for the first time, escorted around New York by his Georgian teammate, Zaza Pachulia. Although he played well at adidas EuroCamp (video) in June, he was projected in the mid to late second round. The Nets took him at #54, acquiring the pick from the 76ers.

After his agent pressed them, the Nets decided to give the 6'10" forward a shot in summer league. He's on the roster and has been impressive practice. As Avery Johnson said of Shengelia Friday, he's playing like "he doesn't want to go back over" to Europe.

"Shengelia," said Johnson, shaking his head. "Boy, he's playing pretty good. He's moving the ball, he's shooting it well. he's passing it. he's running the court harder than anyone in camp and I can go on and on."

Beat writers tweeted how the big Georgian quick tapped an errant alley oop, stayed on Marshon Brooks from baseline to midcourt in a press and overall proved himself a good defender and smart player. Asked what he does well, the 20-year-old said, "I like to go hard both sides of the court." He has one year left on his contract with Charleroi of the Belgian League but a $300,000 buyout which the Nets could pay.