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Pat Calathes tries to catch on at NBA summer league

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Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 12:00 am

ORLANDO - Nick isn't the only Calathes brother trying to fight his way onto a team this summer.

While his younger brother is battling it out for a spot on the Greek Olympic team, older brother Pat is trying to make a name for himself in the NBA's Orlando Pro Summer League.

The Casselberry native was glad to be back home for the first time in more than a month.

"It was great," Calathes said. "I was able to stop by and see my family for a little bit yesterday. It was good to see all of them and have their support."

Calathes signed to play with the Miami Heat this summer after going undrafted out of St. Joseph's University.

"My agent has a good relationship with the Heat, and he thought that it would be a good fit for me," Calathes said.

Despite spending the majority of the first two seasons of his career for the Hawks on the bench, Calathes was able to carve out an impressive career for himself in Philadelphia.

The 6-foot-10 swing man finished his senior season at St. Joseph's averaging 17.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.

"I'm going to look back on it with smiles and frowns," Calathes said. "I had two hard years, but overall it was a great experience"

Although many mock drafts had Calathes pinned for selection in June's draft, the former 5-foot-9 high school point guard was not chosen.

"I was disappointed" Calathes said. "But I knew that there was always a possibility that I would go undrafted."

Now he will have to try and play his way into an NBA opportunity.

After the Orlando Pro Summer League ends, Calathes will fly out to Las Vegas, where he will play for the Lakers in their week of summer league competition.

Calathes said he has already noticed the difference in competition between college and the NBA.

"It's tough, man," Calathes said. "Everyone is so much bigger and stronger. It really comes down to whether or not you can fit the role the coach has in mind for you.

It's been a lot harder than I thought."

Though Calathes has his hands full trying to turn his NBA dream into a reality, he hasn't forgotten about his little brother.

He said he has talked to his brother over the computer nearly every day since he has been gone, and he is confident that Nick will earn a spot on the Olympic roster.

"He's doing well," Calathes said of his little brother. "He says that it's a little different and stuff, but he likes it a lot. I'm really proud of him."

He said that while earning a spot on a NBA roster is his main priority at the moment, he wouldn't rule out playing internationally for Greece in the future.

"Both of us have duel citizenship, so it's definitely a blessing," Calathes said. "It would be a great experience."

Calathes said that if he is not able to find a place in the NBA this season, he will likely head to Greece to play professionally.

"If this doesn't work out, I'll probably end up signing with a Greek team and go play over there," Calathes said. "It's nice that I am able to have a back up plan."

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