So guys, here's how it's gonna be: every once in a while, I'll find some good men who used to play for NBA teams or maybe were drafted by your favorite team a few years back, disappeared suddenly from the radar and now you people are probably thinking, "Where the heck is ______ ___________ now?!", and most of you are too lazy to search the 'net and find out. Tonight's lucky winner: Loren Woods! Enjoy folks! <span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><div align="center">Loren Woods</div></span> First off, some background: Toronto and Minnesota fans may remember Loren Gerard Woods, who once blocked 14 shots in a D1 game and shares the all-time record, as their former backup center. Woods, who'll reach the big 3-0 this June, doesn't exactly have a reputation as a "great" player, though, so your memories may not be so fond. At a gigantic 7'2", Woods was drafted by the Wolves from Arizona, where he led the Wildcats to the national championship in 2001 while averaging 4 blocks per game in the NCAA Tourney, in the 2nd round 46th overall. <div align="center"> </div> He remained in Minny for two seasons, jumped over to Miami for a year, spent the next two seasons in Canada playing for the Raptors and finished his career as a Sacramento King, getting signed and eventually waived by them in summer '06. His NBA career ended right there and then. <div align="center"></div> After getting waived, Woods spent some of the 2006-2007 season with the Austin Toros of the NBDL. He played 15 games, and averaged impressive numbers: 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for the Toros, while shooting 55.6% from the field. Woods was also selected as a D-League All-Star. That was enough to garner interest from some big European clubs, and the lucky team that won the race to sign him was and is known as BC Zalgiris Kaunas. The name may seem familiar to some of you who follow the Euroleague, or those who remember Arvydas Sabonis, who dominated Europe with Zalgiris before moving on to the NBA and eventually buying the team. Woods kicked off his short-lived Lithuanian career well, scoring 23 points on 9/10 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds to boot in his debut. This would be one of the best games of Wood's career at Zalgiris, and he kept up his solid play. Woods helped Zalgiris finish the regular season at the #1 spot, while averaging 12.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in the remaining 4 games. In the playoffs, Woods played even better: he scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Zalgiris in Leg One of the Semi-Finals, and added 14 points in the 2nd leg. He stayed relatively silent in the Finals series, before moving his team within one win of the championship with a 10/12 double-double in Game 5. But Wood's proudest moment in the green Zalgiris jersey had to be Game 6, where he erupted with 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead his team to a tough 81-77 win over rivals Lietuvos Rytas. Woods finished the championship averaging 15 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2 blocks. <div align="center"></div> In June 2007, Woods was signed by Turkey's Efes Pilsen, a team that was just starting to build a roster with which Coach David Blatt wanted to win the Turkish League, with reaching the Euroleague Final Four being the main focus of the season. Woods had 2 points and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes in his official league debut, before scoring 9 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, while adding 3 steals and 3 assists in his 18 minute Euroleague debut for Pilsen (the Turks fell to Cibona at Zagreb). His first truly impressive game came in Pilsen's away win over Mutlu Aku Selcuk Uni, when he got himself his first double-double of the season (11/10). He then followed that performance with another solid one in the Euroleague, going for 9/9 and two blocks in 25 minutes as his team fell to Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Woods kept up the good work in the next two games (both wins), with 13/11/3 steals in the league vs Oyak Renault and 12/11 against Le Mans in the Euroleague. As Efes Pilsen continued to pile up wins in the TBL and the Euroleague, Woods played an important role for the team as a shot-blocker in the paint and a dependable rebounder. His thin frame, however, made him vulnerable to other teams' stronger big men, like Maccabi's Terence Morris (who exploded for 16 points and 19 rebounds against Pilsen in Istanbul in early January, leading Maccabi to a surprisingly easy 15 point win) and Unicaja's Daniel Santiago (who scored 25 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in a losing effort a month earlier). After a series of mediocre performances, Woods finally looked like his old, Zalgiris self with two monstrous games: 16 points and 18 rebounds (10 offensive) against Le Mans in the Euroleague, winning him MVP of Week 11 and helping secure Pilsen's spot in the Top 16, and a 17 point, 19 rebound and a season high 5 assist effort against Mutlu Aku Selcuk Uni. at home. Though Pilsen cemented its spot in the Top 16 and the top 3 of the TBL, things weren't looking so good. The team lost it's final two games in the Euroleague Regular Season, and entered the next round as a clear underdog, with both European champions Panathinaikos and Italian powerhouse Montepaschi Siena standing between them and the Quarter Finals, along with Partizan Igokea from Belgrade, who weren't about to give up on an advance of their own either. In Game 1 at home against Panathinaikos, Pilsen shocked everyone with a 74-64 win over the defending champs. Drew Nicholas, one of Woods's fellow Americans on the team, dominated the Greeks with 29 points and 4 assists in 32 minutes, while Woods added 7/6 off the bench. In Game Two against the Italians, things were looking good for Efes as they held a two point lead at the half. But weak performances by Woods (4/2/2 in 13 minutes), Nicholas and most of the rest of the team weren't enough to keep the lead in their possession, and Siena were able to full off a 79-76 win. Woods and Pilsen lost a lot of the confidence which they gained after their Game 1 win, and they were just barely able to beat bottom feeders Oyak Renault back in the TBL. Woods played just 4 minutes, scoring 2 points and grabbing a board. Little did he know, that that 60-58 away win would be his last for the Turks. On Feb. 28th, Efes Pilsen were set to fly over to Belgrade and meet Partizan Igokea for an important match, which would've given the winning team the #2 spot in the group for the time being. But, do to Kosovo's declaration of independence and the following riots in Serbia, the US government sent out warnings to Americans, telling them not to enter Serbian grounds. Loren Woods, along three of his American teammates Drew Nicholas, Rashad Wright and Andre Hutson, opted to head the warning and refused to fly with the team. The team played with 8 players on the roster, 2 of them youngsters with no Euroleague experience, and lost 78-65. Efes' General Manager Engin Ozerhun was outraged at his players, and let the media know that those four would never play for Efes Pilsen again. Despite coach Blatt's pleas to stick to fining the players instead of waiving them, Nicholas and Wright were immediately released. Hutson was kept on board and has continued to play an important role for the team, while Woods is still officially on the roster, but isn't playing and is expected to be released soon. He is reportedly in contract talks with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, but is awaiting his release from Pilsen: the team isn't willing to buyout his whole contract, but Woods wants all of the money. <div align="center"> </div> Loren Woods finished his career in the TBL with averages of 6.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in 18.7 mpg. Add that to his Euroleague averages of 8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 21 mpg, and his impressive play for Zalgiris in 06/07, and you definitely say that Woods's European career has been pretty successful so far. He's played the first half of one season in Turkey, and the 2nd half of another in Lithuania. Will he play yet another half season in a different country this year? If so, will it be in the yellow and blue of Maccabi Tel-Aviv? Or maybe he'll even make it back to the NBA in the summer? Stay tuned.