Gary Neal (born October 3, 1984) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Neal attended Aberdeen High School and Calvert Hall College High School in Maryland before playing college basketball at La Salle University and Towson University. He began his professional career abroad with teams in Turkey, Spain and Italy before signing with the San Antonio Spurs in 2010. At 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall and weighing 210 lb (95 kg), Neal is considered a combo guard.
High school career
Born in Baltimore, Neal played at Aberdeen High School and one year at Calvert Hall College High School. As a junior, he led Aberdeen to a 21–4 record and won their state championship, while averaging a triple double per game. One of his Aberdeen teammates was former George Mason forward-center Jai Lewis. During his senior season, his Calvert Hall team went 22–9. One of his teammates on that squad was former Miami shooting guard Jack McClinton.
As a freshman, Neal was the Atlantic Ten Rookie Of The Year. He led the La Salle Explorers in scoring with an 18.6 average during his two seasons for the Explorers. Before the 2004–05 season, Neal was dismissed from the team due to a rape allegation by a University of New Haven women's basketball player who was working at La Salle camp. Neal was later acquitted after prosecutors failed to convince a jury that the woman was too drunk to consent to sex.
Neal sat out the 2004–05 season to transfer to Towson University. He initially joined Towson with no athletic aspirations, but was given a walk-on spot on their basketball team in 2005–06 conditional on the result of his rape case. Neal was activated as soon as he was acquitted, and received a scholarship for his senior year in 2006–07. That year, he returned to high scoring numbers averaging 25.3 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, and he led the Tigers to the 2nd round of the 2007 NCAA conference tournament, before losing to Old Dominion University. He became the fourth basketball player in NCAA history to score at least 1,000 points with two different schools.
Pinar Karsiyaka (2007–2008)
Neal was eligible in the 2007 NBA Draft in June and was projected to be on the bubble to get drafted. Neal went undrafted. When playing for Pınar Karşıyaka, Neal led the Turkish Basketball League in scoring, averaging 23.6 points per game.
FC Barcelona (2008)
Eventually, FC Barcelona bought out Neal's Pınar Karşıyaka contract. Neal was signed by FC Barcelona in January 2008. In Barcelona he averaged 2.3 points per game in the Euroleague and 3.3 points per game in the ACB with Barcelona during the 2007–08 season.
In June 2008, he was signed by the Italian Serie A outfit Benetton Treviso. With Benetton, he was named to the ULEB Eurocup (the league below the Euroleague level) All-Eurocup Second Team during the 2008–09 season.
San Antonio Spurs (2010–2013)
On July 22, 2010, the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA signed Neal to a three-year deal. In the 2010–11 NBA season, Neal played 80 games and started one and scored 45.1% of his field goal attempts, 41.9% of three-pointers, and 80.8% of free throws; he also averaged 9.8 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game. On April 27, 2011, during game 5 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs and the Spurs trailing the Memphis Grizzlies 97–94 and the series 3 games to one, Neal hit a three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Spurs beat the Grizzlies 110–103 in overtime and forced a sixth game in the series. However, the Spurs lost Game 6 to the Grizzlies 99–91 and were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. In 22 minutes that game, Neal scored 8 points and made 5 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
On January 2, 2012, the Spurs assigned Neal to the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League as he recovered from an appendectomy. However, he was recalled on the next day without playing any games for the Toros.
On June 11, 2013, in Game 3 of the 2013 NBA finals, Neal scored a career playoff high of 24 points on 9 of 17 from the field and 6 of 10 from 3-pointers to help lead the Spurs to a blowout 113–77 victory over the Miami Heat. However, the Spurs lost the series in seven games.
Milwaukee Bucks (2013–2014)
Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (2014–2015)
On February 20, 2014, Neal and Luke Ridnour were traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Jeff Adrien and Ramon Sessions. In April 2014, Charlotte changed their name to the Hornets. On December 12, 2014, he had his best game since the 2012–13 season with the Spurs when he scored 25 points in the Hornets' 107-113 double overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Minnesota Timberwolves (2015)
Washington Wizards (2015–2016)
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|