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Originally published Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 8:03 PM

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Where are they now: Charles Garcia

Former Seattle University basketball star Charles Garcia thought he'd be chosen in the NBA draft in June. He wasn't, and after playing in Turkey for a month, signed with the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Ending up in Utah wouldn't have been too surprising for Charles Garcia when he decided last spring to give up his final year at Seattle University to turn pro.

That it's with the Flash of the NBA Developmental League and not the Jazz of the NBA, however, wasn't in the plans.

Still, Seattle University coach Cameron Dollar insists there are no regrets for anyone involved, even though Garcia went undrafted in June and is forging an uncertain path in professional basketball with the Utah Flash, which plays a few miles away from the Jazz in Provo.

"It's always easy to look back after the fact," said Dollar. "The bottom line is, the information he was given indicated he would be drafted. So it was disappointing that he wasn't. But he didn't make a bad choice off of bad information or by rushing. He did everything that you would normally do in those situations."

In fact, Dollar insists that in the run-up to the draft "28 of 30 teams" told him they would take Garcia if he was available.

"Obviously, they weren't obligated to draft him, and nobody gave him a guarantee," Dollar said. "But when you have 28 of the 30 saying that, you think you are in a pretty good spot."

Feeling assured Garcia would be taken, Seattle U. even helped organize a draft-day party for the 6-foot-9 forward, who averaged 18.7 points and 8.3 rebounds last season.

Dollar said announcer David Aldridge, helping with the telecast of the draft, called that week seeking background information on Garcia, which seemed further confirmation that he would be taken.

"As far as what Chuck did, he did his part," Dollar said. "He did what he was supposed to do — he sought out the decision-makers and they told him what they thought."

But Dollar says that Garcia, who also recently was married, is "doing fine."

After a summer-league stint with the Knicks that didn't result in a contract, he signed a six-figure deal to play in Turkey. But after a month or so, Dollar said Garcia "wanted to get back to the States. He thinks that the D-League is a better route to get to the NBA."

So he hooked up with the Flash, where he has averaged 5.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in nine games, playing about 10 minutes per game.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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