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NDSU all-time scorer makes French all-star team

FARGO -- Ben Woodside was in Russia when he heard the news that he's been selected to play in an all-star game in Paris.

Such is the life of a European professional basketball player.

"I honestly had no clue until one of my teammates told me before the game," Woodside said of being selected for an all-star game featuring players from the top league in France. "I'm thankful for the opportunity that God has blessed me with."

Woodside, who graduated last spring from North Dakota State as the school's all-time leading scorer, is making the most of his first-year opportunity with Gravelines-Dunkerque - a professional team located in northern France.

The 5-foot-11 point guard leads the team in scoring at 16.6 points per game, which ranks seventh in the league. His team has a 7-2 record, good for third place in the 16-team league.

Gravelines also has a 2-1 record in the Eurochallenge - which pits teams from all over Europe against each other.

It claimed a 77-66 Eurochallenge win Tuesday in Russia.

"Things have been going pretty well lately for me individually and for our team as well," Woodside said.

Woodside will play in the league's all-star game Dec. 30 in Paris. The first-team all stars is a collection of the best French players in the league. Woodside is a member of the second team, a collection of the best foreign players in the league.

A spokesman for Gravelines said Woodside will be a backup point guard to John Linehan, a veteran from Providence College who is playing for Cholet, France.