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Posted on Mon, Oct. 06, 2003


TIMBERWOLVES REPORT: Penney's shooting gives him a shot

Pioneer Press


COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. Former University of Wisconsin star Kirk Penney is no rookie to NBA-caliber competition.

Penney, who signed with the Timberwolves as an undrafted rookie free agent, played with New Zealand at the 2000 Olympic Games and the 2002 World Championships.

"It really helps having that international experience," he said. "You're playing against some of the best players in the world."

Penney averaged 16.9 points and 31 minutes a game for New Zealand at the World Championships last year. He scored 24 points in a semifinal loss to Yugoslavia, which won the tournament. Penney will play with New Zealand in next summer's Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

"I wouldn't miss it for anything," he said.

Now Penney is competing for one of the two remaining roster spots in training camp at St. John's University. He averaged 11 points with the Wolves' summer league team in Orlando. The Wolves' coaching staff likes Penney because of his shooting ability.

"This is good because there are some guys here competing for a spot," Penney said. "It's heated competition. All I can do is go out and try and impress the coaches."