Kings' French Player Activated
Nov. 10, 1997
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Oliver Saint-Jean could become the first French citizen to play in a regular-season NBA game on Tuesday, but that's not the name that will appear on the Sacramento Kings' roster.
The Kings announced Monday that they had activated Saint-Jean from the injured list and that the rookie guard-forward had officially changed his name to Tariq Abdul-Wahad.
``I embraced the religion of Islam in November of 1996 and because I wish to be identified as a man of faith, I am officially changing my name,'' Abdul-Wahad said in a statement.
Tariq (pronounced TAR-ik) means ``morning star'' in Arabic. Abdul-Wahad (prounced ab-dool-WA-hid) means ``servant of the one God.''
Abdul-Wahad, born in Maisons Alfort, France, attended San Jose State and was selected by the Kings as the 11th overall pick in the 1997 draft. Abdul-Wahad missed much of the preseason and the first five regular-season games with a strained right calf muscle.
Sacramento also activated center Kevin Salvadori and placed guard Bobby Hurley and power forward Michael Smith on the injured list.
Smith broke a bone in his right hand in Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks.
Hurley strained his left leg in last Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Kings are scheduled to play the Miami Heat on Tuesday in Miami.