Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bambale Osby Enjoying Life in Israel

Bambale Osby (2006-08), now playing for Ramat Gan in Israel, is enjoying life there, according to a story in the Haaretz newspaper. The story follows Bambale and his teammate, Taj McCullough, as examples of American players exploring the country's nightlife and finding a way to fit in off the court. Excerpts:
Taj McCullough and Bambale Osby of Ironi Ramat Gan - both 23-year-old Americans (Osby by way of The Democratic Republic of the Congo) - like to think of themselves as following the straight and narrow.

"We don't go out at night before a morning practice," says McCullough, adding unconvincingly, "but it has happened a few weekends that we've stayed awake until sunrise, just to see how long we could stay up." [...]

In Osby's view, "Israel is like paradise. There is good food here, comfortable weather, beautiful women and great nightspots. It's like a little America."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Exree Hipp has a Blog

Exree Hipp (1992-96) debuted a new blog in October: Talking Maryland Basketball With Exree Hipp.

Unfortunately, he posted three times in one week and then never updated again. But the posts are about Maryland Madness and Exree's experience playing in the alumni game. Hopefully, he'll come back and post more as the basketball season progresses.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Terrell Stokes: Assistant Coach at UDC

Terrell Stokes (1995-99) is now the Assistant Coach for the University of the District of Columbia, though they haven't gotten around to writing a bio for him on their website. Head Coach Jeff Ruland says that Stokes has been an important part of rebuilding the program at UDC.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mike Jones in Argentina

Mike Jones (2003-07) has signed in Argentina (translation) with Peñarol Mar del Plata. The local paper says:
Monday morning saw the arrival in Mar del Plata of replacement player Michael Jones, who has the same name as another foreign player who had played for Peñarol at the end of the previous decade.

Mike Jones is a guard, 25 years old, 1.96 meters and 91 kilos, who graduated from the University of Maryland. When he left the United States, he tried his luck in Turkey (Mersin BSB), Cyprus (Apoel BC), and finally in Romania (Ploiesti Asesoft CSU). There, in the Carpathian league, in 37 games, he averaged 19.9 minutes, 13.2 points (59.7% 2-pointers, 37.5% 3-pointers, and 74.4% free throws), 2.5 rebounds, and 0.9 assists.

According Peñarol's managers, the player is a "stepping stone" toward the the future.

The team has a website but it hasn't been updated in 2 years, so don't look for any Mike Jones news there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Full Interview: Parrish Brown on Eurobasket

I tried to post a link to this yesterday, but Eurobasket's news links are being flaky. The link to the full interview works sometimes, but fails most of the time. So, while it was briefly working this morning, I copied the whole thing (and good thing, because as I'm rechecking links before clicking the "publish" button, the link is dead again).

Parrish Brown (185-G, college: Maryland) is a guard from Chicago, Illinois. In 2007 he graduated from the University of Maryland and turned pro. He spent his first season overseas in Germany, playing for BG Suedpark Bochum in the Regionalliga West during 2007-08. While there he appeared in 10 games and scored 26.8 points per contest and was named to the 2007-08 All-Regionalliga West First Team. From December 2008 until October 2009 he suited up for Potros ITSON of Mexico. Brown averaged 14.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 10 games of the 2009-2010 campaign, before he parted ways with the team recently.

You played in Mexico recently. How is the level of competition there compared to Germany?
The competition is the same in that the games are really physical. The refs allow a lot of grabbing, pushing, holding and it's very competitive, no one wants to lose.

You left your team in Mexico in October. What happened?
The coach that brought me on the team ended up being fired, so the new coach that was hired brought in his own players.

When you were in Germany during the 2007-2008 season you dominated the Regionalliga West and scored 26.8 points per game for Bochum. What do you remember the most from your time in Germany?
I liked playing in Germany. I mainly miss the fans. The fans in Germany are very loyal to their teams and show lots of support.

You attended the University of Maryland and played with several great players there. Who was the best teammate that you had?
I had a lot of good teammates at the University of Maryland. I can't really say which one was the best because I shared a different relationship with each teammate. But I still speak with Chris McCray, Dj Strawberry, Ekene Ebekwe, James Gist and Bambale Osby.

How is it like to play for such a famous school like Maryland in huge arenas and then come to Germany and play in front of a couple of hundred fans in a small gym?
I think it's very different but you have a love for the game that it doesn't matter how many people are at the game as long as you can lace up your shoes and go out there and compete.

What is your best memory from your college days?
I have a lot of great memories from college but my best memory is my senior year when we beat North Carolina at home and everybody stormed the court. That was a great feeling to have after beating a great team in North Carolina and all the fans on the court jumping up and down and yelling.

What are you plans after parting ways with the Mexican team?
Well right now I just plan to keep working out lifting weights and working on my game until I can find somewhere else to play.

I don't like copying the whole interview like this, but until Eurobasket fixes their news database issues, this is probably the only way most of you will get to read it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Q&A with Parrish Brown has a Q&A with Parrish Brown this week. Parrish is a free agent right now, after playing last season with Potros ITSON of Mexico's LNBP league. Here's a very brief excerpt (click the link to read the whole interview):

You left your team in Mexico in October. What happened?

The coach that brought me on the team ended up being fired, so the new coach that was hired brought in his own players.

What are you plans after parting ways with the Mexican team?

Well right now I just plan to keep working out lifting weights and working on my game until I can find somewhere else to play.

Update: Sigh... broken link. Eurobasket seems to be having some issues this week with all their news links, and lots of things on their page are broken. I found this interview week, but the link broke when I tried to go back to post it. It was broken all weekend, then worked again last night, so I went ahead and posted it, but now it's dead again. I was able to copy and post the full interview text, which you can read while we wait for Eurobasket to get their website working again.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Free Agents

As the international leagues start their seasons, several prominent ex-Terps are still free agents. Here is the run-down, including a few profile pages I found on their Agency's websites:

Chris McCray (2002-06), who played last season with the Rimini Crabs of Italy's Lega2 (Agent's Profile)

James Gist (2004-08), who played last season with Angelico Biella of Italy's LegaA (Agent's Profile)

DJ Strawberry (2003-07), who played last season with Fortitudo Bologna of Italy's LegaA (Agent's Profile)

Mike Jones (2003-07), who played last season with CSU Asesoft in Ploiesti, Romania.

Parrish Brown (2005-07), who played last season with Potros Itson in Mexico's LNBP (Agent's Profile)

Steve Francis (1998-99), who ended up on the Memphis Grizzlies roster last year, but never played for them.

Ryan Randle (2001-03), who played last season with Saint Etienne BC in France's ProB league.

Also..., I haven't had anything to post about them all summer, but Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) and Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) are both signed for another year in Greece with Euroleague Champs Panathinaikos. Here's a story from over the summer about PAO re-signing Sarunas.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Laron Profit is back in Argentina

Laron Profit (1995-99) is playing in Argentina (translation, see also below) for Libertad Sunchales again this season. Laron also played for Libertad back in the 2007-08 season, but sat out last year recovering from a ruptured Achilles. Here's what the local paper (linked above) had to say about Laron (I edited for clarity from the Google translation):

Sunchales Libertad coach Juan Carlos Parola offered this opinion in a conversation about Laron Profit: "Laron is a very complete player. Technically gifted with great knowledge of the game. During his stay in Libertad, he managed to be loved by the people of the city and the club, and recognized and highly respected by his peers."

On the significance of his hiring, he added: "The addition is significant because his qualities as a player give us sufficient reason to believe that apart from his experience and knowledge of the game, he will provide a lot of quality minutes."

The only question is American's physical condition, since just over a year ago he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon. In the midst of negotiations that seemed on track, the player had to face the injury, preventing his return for Libertad's 2008/09 campaign. In fact, he has now had 16 months of inactivity in professional competitions.

Profit made an excellent reputation for himself in his previous spell in the National League, where he became a game-changing player in the final leg of the 2007/08 season in which Libertad won the championship. In the final series against Quimsa, the forward was the leading scorer and was voted MVP of the finals.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Juan Dixon Signs with Aris in Greece

Juan Dixon (1998-2002), after being cut by the Atlanta Hawks last week, has signed to play this season with Aris Thessaloniki in Greece. Aris has recently been a very good team, finishing no worse than 5th place in the past 7 seasons. Aris was invited to the opening qualifying round for this year's Euroleague tournament, but was already eliminated last month.

Here are excerpts from the team's press release (translation here):
"It was a difficult decision to play for the first time in Europe after 7 years in the NBA. At the start of the season I participated in training camp with the Atlanta Hawks, then I was a free agent and I thought about what was the best choice for my family. After much thought, I accepted the proposal of Aris. I think I made an excellent choice," said the ace and added, "I promise that I will try hard to be good teammate for the team and hopefully that will help bring victories for the club, drawing on my experience in the NBA. [...]

As regards his role on the court, the American player said: "I can play both guard positions, either in position '1 'or the '2'. I spoke by phone with the coach of the team and he told me that he intends for me to be the second point guard on the court. I will try my best to do what is needed and what the coach expects from me."

At the same time, however, the leading scorer in the history of the Maryland Terrapins in the NCAA, Dixon showed a willingness to "bomb" the opposing basket, if necessary: "The past two years, I diverted from the road that led me to the NBA, meaning the scoring. I tried to make a transition from scorer to pure point guard, but that has not had the best result. My goal is to put the ball in the basket as much as possible. I came on to score!".

Note when reading the translation, Google is mistakenly translating the team name, Aris, as Mars.