Felipe Lopez (St. John's) fouled me with no time left on the clock on a three. We then beat Leverkusen, who has Ajmal Basit (ex-UMass, Delaware) and some good German players. I had 14 points in this one; again I made some important free throws down the stretch.
We then lost two on the road to two of the better teams in Germany, the first one I had 19 points and we lost in overtime, and the second, well, the coach didn't play me all that much, so that's all I'll say about that game.
Finally, yesterday we won against Trier, which has Brian Brown (Ohio State) and is where Jarrett Stephens played last year. I had 20 points, with six threes. I am still jacking 'em up when at all possible. My team is pretty much out of the playoffs, as we've had some problems injury-wise and "other"-wise. But anyway, I'm just concentrating on our remaining seven regular-season games.
So, on to the other guys: Speaking of Jarrett, he has changed teams in Portugal, from Benfica Lisbon to CAB Madeira. He told me recently that he is enjoying it on the island (Madeira is off the coast of Portugal), and from looking at his stats and game results, he must be. He is averaging 25.1 points and 8.4 rebounds a game, as well as shooting 41 percent from the three stripe.
His team also recently won the Portuguese Cup, which is a tournament played in addition to the regular season between all teams in Portugal (it includes the lower league teams).
Calvin Booth got traded to Milwaukee just before the NBA trade deadline, and is now playing a bit more than he was in Dallas. He's averaging close to 15 minutes a game, and is getting three points and over three rebounds in that time. Oh, he's also still blocking shots — surprise (1.6 per game).
Joe Crispin signed a few weeks back in Poland for second-place team Anwil Wloclawek. He has been playing very well, averaging 20 points a game, while playing the "rozgrywlayaci" position. Maybe that means "scorer."
Titus Ivory moved to a new team in the Italian A2, Carife Ferrara, and is doing fine, too. He's averaging 13 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists a game. They are in the middle of the pack in the A2, which although it isn't the top league in Italy, is still one of the best leagues in Europe.
Glenn Sekunda is finally ready to play after rehabbing an ankle injury most of this season. He is with Snaidero Udine, which is in the A1 of Italy. He has as teammates John Wallace (Syracuse) and Dan Langhi (Vanderbilt), along with a lot of other talented players. Last year, Sasha Vujacic was there. He is now with the Lakers. This summer, look for his teammate, Uros Slokar, to get drafted.
Gyasi Cline-Heard is the champion of the Uruguayan League. He was the consensus MVP, and although his actual stats weren't available on the Internet, he was always listed with double figures in the write-ups I followed. Maybe I'll play in Uruguay next year, that way I'll be home now instead of later, and I can watch March Madness live instead of on tape!
Jan Jagla seems to be getting at least a little more playing time for the Artland Dragons in Germany. I got to meet him a couple months back when we played his squad. He's averaging 10 minutes a game, getting six points and two rebounds a clip. His team is doing very well, and in my opinion has a good chance at the German championship. Michael Jordan (Penn) is their point guard and Bryan Bailey (Bucknell) is also in their backcourt. They have a lot of good shooters and physical inside players, so we'll see how it goes.
Brandon Watkins seems to have been released from Antibes in the French Pro B league. He had decent stats, over 13 points a game, but as I'm sure, the team wasn't winning games, so the Americans were first to get the blame.
DeRon Hayes is also in France, and playing well for Nancy, an upper-tier team in the good Pro A league. He's getting eight points and two boards a game for the fifth-place team.
Some other notables, although not officially "alums," are Greg Stevenson, who is doing work in Zwolle, Holland with 21.3 point, 6.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals a game. His team is working its way up the standings in the Dutch League.
Greg Grays is playing for Turk Telekom of the Turkish League. I played in Ankara against Telekom four years ago, and it is one tough place to play. The fans throw heated-up coins at the visiting team during introductions and love to fill up the arena with a Turkish-blend haze at halftime from their smoking habits. An aside, Ali Ton was on that Turk Telekom team, brother of former PSU volleyball player Zeynep Ton.
Greg's squad is .500 in Turkey, which is a tough league. He averages 12.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds a game.
A further aside, the top Turkish team, Khalid El-Amin's Besiktas Istanbul, was our opponent in our European League competition last month. We caught them on a bad day (as a team; individually El-Amin had 34) and won in the closing seconds; incidentally, I played well (17 points), not to blow my own horn.
Finally, Danny Earl is visiting here in Braunschweig. He hasn't played this year, still waiting to be 100 percent before playing again for money, but according to him, he's still looking to give it one last shot, if only to pay off some of his medical bills (just kidding). Anyway, he and his brother are playing some exhibition games back home for their personally created team, the South Jersey Ivy. They played and won a game against the Harrisburg Horizon, who have Jon Branam on their roster, an ex-Nittany Lion. Probably the toughest practice player while I was at school … no offense to Chris Rogers, Brad Kopcha, Dana Fritz or Bryan Machamer.
So that's that. I'm looking forward to winning a few more games here and then we'll see. My contract is up in June, so I'll have to see where I may play next year. As long as I'm healthy, I'll hopefully find a good place to play. I'm also looking forward to getting back to Penn State and seeing some old friends, maybe for the Coaches vs. Cancer weekend in May.
I see the team has signed a couple European youngsters. I know some Finnish people (my teammate Mikko Noopila played at New Mexico State; my coach is the Finnish national team coach) and they all had good things to say about Joonas. Milos is from Yugoslavia, so if he's been schooled like a lot of young Yugos are, I'm sure he will have a positive impact.