Ex-Huskie star continues world tour

Not many basketball players jet over to France for a basketball tryout.

One who did exactly that is NIU Hall of Famer Tim Dillon.

“It might have been the craziest week of my life,” said Dillon from his home in Dixon after participating in the 1991 McDonald’s Open in Paris.

The 6-9 Dillon posted eight points by hitting 4-of-5 shots from the floor for the Yugoslovian professional club Slobodna Dalmacija split in a 117-86 setback to Montigala Joventut Badalona Friday night.

The game was seen internationally on television and in the U.S.A. on TNT.

“I know I can play better,” the former Huskie frontcourt star said. “If nothing else happens, it sure was an interesting way to spend a weekend. My hotel room on the 22nd floor had a great view of the Eiffel Tower.”

While the Western Division Champion Los Angeles Lakers and Magic Johnson got most of the attention from the media and fans at the McDonald’s Open, it wasn’t a bad PR move on Dillon’s part.

“My agent said it would be great exposure. What better way to get my name back in circulation,” added Dillon, whose last professional basketball appearance was in February 1990 with the CBA Rockford Lightning.

Dillon got a telephone call from overseas last Wednesday, flew to France and practiced twice on Thursday on little or no sleep.

On Friday, the Yugoslavian team talked contract with Dillon.

“Some other teams in Europe are interested,” Dillon said. “Some teams in Spain and France. If that doesn’t work out, I would like to play with the Rockford Lightning again.”

Dillon, a third-round draft choice of the Chicago Bulls in 1984, played pro ball in Italy, Spain and Australia.

The Franklin Grove product was inducted into the NIU Hall of Fame in 1990.

“The Marshal” earned four varsity letters at NIU (1980-84) and now ranks No. 4 on the all-time Huskies scoring list with 1,559 career points.