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HOUSTON (AP) _ Alton Ford, the former University of Houston forward drafted 51st overall, has signed with the Phoenix Suns, Houston television station KRIV reported Friday.

``I'm glad to get this over with so I can do whatever Phoenix wants me to do,'' Ford said. ``This means I can concentrate now on trying to make the Suns team.''

The 6-foot-9, 275-pound forward averaged 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds as a freshman last season. He told KRIV that he signed a one-year deal with a club option for a second year.

The Suns also agreed to a free-agent deal with former Michigan State guard Charlie Bell, the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal reported. Bell averaged 13.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season after helping the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA title.