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Russ Schoene (last name pronounced SHAY-nee; born April 16, 1960 in Trenton, Illinois) is a retired American professional basketball player and former assistant men's basketball coach at the University of Washington.

Schoene starred at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where the 6-10 forward led the team to two straight Southern Conference Championships (1981 and 1982) and an NCAA tournament appearance in 1982. As a senior, he averaged 13.6 points and 7 rebounds a game, and earned league tournament MVP honors.

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Schoene in the second round of the 1982 NBA Draft (22nd pick; 45th overall). The 76ers traded him to the Indiana Pacers during his rookie campaign; he stayed in Indianapolis until the end of the 1983-84 season. Though invited to the Pacers' training camp the next year, he was told he was a long shot to make the club, and should consider honing his skills in Europe.

During the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons, Schoene played for Olimpia Simac Milano of the Italian League, where his teammates included current New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni and former NBA All-Star Joe Barry Carroll. The team won the Korać Cup in 1985, and Schoene was named the Italian League MVP in 1986. He earned legendary status during this two-year Italian stint (Sonic President Bob Whitsitt would later say Schoene "is like Michael Jordan over there") that would prove financially lucrative later in his career.

On October 2, 1986, the Seattle SuperSonics acquired the rights to Schoene, along with guard Terence Stansbury and "future considerations," in return for guard John Long. Schoene made the Sonics squad, and spent the next three seasons with the team. As a designated off-the-bench shooter in Seattle, he earned the nickname "Catch and Shoot," firing a career-high 38.2% from three-point range in 1988-89. He scored a career-high 20 points on three occasions. Arguably his best NBA game was on April 24, 1988, when he had 20 points, four rebounds, a steal, an assist, and no turnovers in 33 minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers. Schoene wore #40 as a Sonic.

Following the 1988-89 season, he accepted a three-year, $2.4 million contract offer to play for Glaxo Verona in the Italian League (Schoene believed this contract made him Europe's highest-paid professional basketball player). He played in Italy for five seasons. In 1993, the Sacramento Kings waived him prior to the start of the season. At the end of his professional career, he spent time with the Rapid City Thrillers of the Continental Basketball Association.

His career NBA statistics include 1,491 points (5.1 ppg), 735 rebounds (2.5 rpg), and 175 assists (0.6 apg).

In 1994, Schoene helped found the Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill restaurant chain, which has about 90 locations in the United States and Kuwait.

Schoene joined the Washington Huskies[1] men's basketball coaching staff in 2002, following five years as an assistant at Bellevue Community College. He left the team to focus on Samurai Sam's following the 2003-04 campaign.[2]

References

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