Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/17/14

Dionte Christmas is from Philadelphia, PA and was born on December 25,1986 (that’s a complete lie he was born on September 15, but I like my story better).  Christmas played high school basketball at Samuel Fels HS and led all of Philly in scoring his senior year with 26.5 ppg. Instead of going straight to D1, Christmas went to Philadelphia’s Lutheran Christian Academy where he averaged 18 ppg ultimately earning the lethal scorer a spot on Temple’s roster in the Atlantic 10. In his freshman season the 6-5 guard patiently waited behind star player Mardy Collins, and didn’t get to see the floor too much. However, the next season Christmas got his touches. In a breakout year Christmas averaged a career high 20 ppg while shooting 40% from behind the arc, 46.6% from the field, and 87.1% at the charity strike. He was named 2nd team All-Atlantic 10 and the conference’s Most Improved Player. But despite impressive scoring performances from Christmas including three consecutive 30-point games, Temple registered a losing record. Photo Credit: AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr. As a junior, Christmas led the A10 in scoring once again with 19.7 ppg, and became the only player in conference history to have back-to-back scoring titles. And this year the Owls turned it around, and bolstered a 20+ win season, which was highlighted by an Atlantic 10 Tournament championship. Christmas was named First Team All-Conference and Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. In the Big Dance the Owls matched up against #5 seed Michigan State who was comprised of multiples potential Random Athletes of the Day: Kalin Licas, Raymar Morgan, Drew Neitzel and Goran Suton. The Spartans won by 11 as Tom Izzo held Christmas to just 3 points. As a senior Christmas came into the season with more hype than ever, and averaged 19.5 ppg (once again leading the conference), 5.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, and 1.5 spg. Christmas led the Owls to a regular season upset over #8 Tennessee (led by Tyler Smith) and another A10 championship after upsetting Xavier (led by Derrick Brown and B.J. Raymond) in the semifinals. As an 11 seed, Temple faced James Harden’s Sun Devils and lost by 9 despite a 29-point performance from Christmas in his final collegiate game. After a lot of shooting, Christmas holds the Temple records for most three-pointers in a season and career. Although Christmas was an unconscious scorer, he went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft. His local Philadelphia 76ers invited him to Summer League and signed him in September, but it was too good to be true and he was sadly waived in October. Throughout his career Christmas has had opportunities to play in the League with the Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, and Boston Celtics (best shot in 2012), but it never panned out. Christmas has gone abroad and has played for Hapoel Afula (Israel), CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech), PAOK (Greece), Rethymno (Greence), and he currently plays for PBC CSKA (Moskow). If I’m Khalif Wyatt, I’m a bit nervous. -Schotz

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