This was March 13, 2005, in Toronto. The 76ers' perimeter defense was nowhere in sight. That cleared the way for Donyell Marshall, coming off the bench for the Raptors, to tie an NBA record by draining 12 three-point shots.

"The basket," Marshall said at the time, "just looked humongous."

He also said: "To do it against the team you grew up watching, idolized, probably rooted for, felt good."

Now, more than 3 years later, Marshall can offer that skill to the Sixers. The 6-9 forward, who starred at Reading High, signed yesterday for $1,262,275, the veterans' minimum for players with at least 10 seasons of experience. A portion of the salary will come from a leaguewide pool.

He was expected to talk with reporters today via a telephone conference call.

In a statement, Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski said Marshall "has proven time and again his value as a player in this league. We believe his ability to stretch defenses with his perimeter shooting will prove to be a great asset for our team, and we look forward to having him back home in Philadelphia."

The Sixers zeroed in on Marshall, 35, last week after he was waived by Oklahoma City in a buyout situation and became an unrestricted free agent. Interestingly, they had pursued him at the midseason trade deadline in February 2005. Preparing for his 15th season, Marshall holds career averages of 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in 932 games.

Leaving Connecticut after his junior season, Marshall was the No. 4 overall pick in the 1994 draft, selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves. UConn retired his jersey on Feb. 5, 2007. *