Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jordan Williams Home from Europe Already

Never mind about Jordan Williams (2009-11) playing in Poland. With the NBA Lockout over, Williams has returned from Europe without playing a game and will now prepare for training camp with the New Jersey Nets, who drafted him in the second round of last spring's NBA draft.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Former Terp Women Overseas

A quick wrap-up of all the former Terrapin Women's basketball players playing currently playing overseas this season:

Laura Harper (2004-08) is in Turkey playing for Homend Antakya Belediyes.

Shay Doron (2003-07) is in Israel playing for Elitzur Ramla again this season.

Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) played briefly for Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca in Spain this fall, but has now returned to the US. Langhorne played for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA last summer, averaging 18.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Diandra Tchatchouang (2010-11), who played for the Terps as a freshman last season, has moved back home to France and signed with Lattes montpellier Agglomeration Basket of the French LFB league. She is currently injured but should return in December. Before the season began, the Women's Basketball in France website ran a profile story about Tchatchouang's career so far, including junior club teams in France and international competition.

Demauria "Dee" Liles (2008-09) played only one season as a Terp as a JuCo transfer, and is now playing for Club Atletico Faenza in Italy's Women's A1 League.

Not currently playing overseas, Marissa Coleman (2005-09) played for the Washington Mystics this summer, averaging 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and Kristi Toliver (2005-09) played for the Los Angeles Sparks, averaging 11.2 points and 2.9 assists per game.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jordan Williams Will Play in Poland with Zastal

Jordan Williams (2009-11), locked out from playing his rookie season with the New Jersey Nets, is headed to Europe to play for Zastal Zielona Gora of the Polish PLK league (the top league in that country). Zastal is currently in second place in the league at 7-2. The news was broken on Twitter by Williams's agent, then confirmed over the weekend by Jordan Williams (@Jwilliams20) himself.

While it seems that the deal may not be finalized (translation) until Williams arrives in Poland, the team's coach is already talking about Williams (translation) like he's on the team. The team expects him to be there in time to watch their next game on Saturday, and play in his first game next Wednesday. Excerpts from the two stories:
"We are close to the formal settlement of all issues on Jordan Williams. You could say that we are on the final straight. We will also organize as soon as possible Jordan's arrival in Poland. This will happen probably at the end of this week. Therefore, I have to deny information about Williams' involvement in Saturday's match in Kolobrzeg. Jordan's debut in our uniform will probably come in the home game against Sopot, which will be held November 30," said team president Raphael Czarkowski.

----

As previously reported, Zastal strengthens its composition. Jordan Williams reaches Poland on Saturday and is to join the team, who await a duel with Kolobrzeg.

Coach Tomasz Jankowski says it is no secret that he hopes for a good game and the young American creates a significant strengthening of our team. According to the coach, Williams has good height and weight, and also has quite a repertoire of moves, can shoot with power, and is strong mentally. At the beginning of his adventure with Zielona, Jordan will fight for a place in the starting five. Tomasz Jankowski also wants to help the player's acclimatization, so if possible, Jordan Williams, shortly after landing in Berlin, will set off to Kolobrzeg, where he will watch his new team's next game.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Travis Garrison Playing for Kavala BC in Greece

Travis Garrison is playing this season for Kavala BC in Greece's top league.  While I can't find a news story or press release from the team about it, he's on the roster on FIBA's website and the Greek basketball site ΕΣΑΚΕ. And, for one last piece of evidence, Garrison himself tweeted (@Garrisonhoops) last week, "In Kavala, was in Athens but changed teams." (He started the season and played very briefly with Marousi BC of Athens.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Greivis Vasquez and the Under Armour Team Videos

Two weeks ago, I posted about Grievis Vasquez (2006-10) joining with fellow Under Armour sponsored, locked-out NBA players, including Kemba Walker and Brandon Jennings, to play exhibition games against teams in Baltimore and New York. In game 1 on November 7, Under Armour defeated Baltimore's St. Frances Academy 88-85.

The Basketball Diary (@TheBballDiary on Twitter) has posted video from two of the Under Armour games from New York City:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keith Booth Joins Loyola Women's Basketball Coaching Staff

Former Maryland player and assistant coach Keith Booth (1993-97) has a new job this season. Booth has joined the coaching staff for the Loyola Greyhounds Women's Basketball team. From the team's press release:
Former University of Maryland All-American and NBA World Champion Keith Booth has been named an assistant women's basketball coach, Greyhounds Head Coach Joe Logan announced today.

"We are ecstatic to have Keith Booth join our Loyola women's basketball program and excited that he is able to return home to Baltimore to continue his coaching career," said Logan.

Booth, a Baltimore native, spent the last seven seasons as an assistant coach with the men's basketball team at the University of Maryland under Head Coach Gary Williams.

Last Friday, Booth made his first return trip to the Comcast Center, as Loyola lost to the Terps in their season opener.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ernie Graham's Number to be Honored in Comcast Rafters

Former Terrapin Ernie Graham (1977-81), who played for Lefty Driesell, was among the greatest Terps on the basketball court (he still holds the Maryland single-game scoring record of 44 points against NC State in 1978), but his name and number never hung from the rafters in Cole Field House or the Comcast Center because of his off-the-court problems.  But new athletic director Kevin Anderson has been set on changing that, and Graham's banner will be raised on January 11th at the Maryland-Wake Forest game.  From PressBox:
Graham's No. 25 jersey will be raised Jan. 11, when Maryland plays Wake Forest. The honor is way past due. Graham not only still holds the single-game scoring record at Maryland with 44 points in 1978 against N.C. State, but he was also one of the Terps' most complete players ever. He's the 12th leading all-time scorer and was a strong rebounder, outstanding passer and solid defender.

Yet, as the years rolled by, Graham was shut out, boxed out by an athletic administration that was well aware of some of the mistakes he had made off the court, and apparently unaware of everything he had done since then to turn his life around.
Click the link and read the whole story. It's a great story of how Graham ruined his NBA career with drugs, turned his life around, and now helps keep kids off drugs and out of trouble through the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne Share Their Workout Routine

In an ESPN High School Sports blog story, former Terps from the 2006 women's national championship team (and current Washington Mystics players) Marissa Coleman (2005-09) and Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) share their workout routines in video form and  and talk about how they got where they are today through practice, practice, and more work after practice.  The videos (and accompanying text and pictures) show their nine part workout to strengthen muscles and improve game reflexes. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Parrish Brown Signs with Mazeikiai in Lithuania

Parrish Brown (2005-07) has signed with Mažeikių (Mazeikiai) of Lithuania's NKL (their second division basketball league) for the season. The team's press release has a long story about Brown: his childhood playing days, his pro career, his tattoos, his favorite foods, the challenges of communicating to loved ones back home, thoughts on the NBA lockout, etc. Unfortunately, something about their website blocks Google auto-translation, but you can still cut-and-paste the text into the translator if you want to know what the whole thing says. Some edited excerpts:
This year, joining Mazeikiai is 25-year-old, 185 cm tall American Parrish Brown.

His basketball career is no different from many Americans; he played the game in college representing the University of Maryland. American students' interest in basketball great - he played in arenas with seating for twelve thousand spectators. Some games were against famous universities such as Duke or North Carolina, in front of full arenas. Many of his teammates went on to play in the National Basketball League (NBA).

After university basketball, he did not achieve the NBA basketball dream, so he decided to try teams based in Europe. "My first season, I joined Bochum (in Germany); the club finished the season in fourth place. I went back home again after the German season to try to make the NBA Developmental League but didn't succeed, so I played two years in Mexico. I fared quite well, and hoped for a contract for a third year, but was denied. I was invited to play in Uruguay instead. At the end of the season in this country, my agent offered to send me to Lithuania, so I found myself in Mazeikiai "- said the basketball player.

According to Brown, in the beginning it is difficult to play in any foreign country, and it always requires a little adjusting. It is difficult in different countries because, although the rules of basketball are the same, they are officiated differently, so the calls are sometimes confusing. "I liked the German fans the most; they came to the hall with drums, making a huge amount of noise when you start the game. Meanwhile, in Mexico, where soccer is king, basketball fans were not like that. Although my teammates said that Mazeikiai fans give noisy support, during my first game I haven't seen that yet," laughed the athlete.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Greivis Vasquez and the Under Armour All-Stars

Still waiting for the NBA lockout to end, Greivis Vasquez (2006-10) is playing on an all-star team sponsored by Under Armour, touring and playing exhibitions against top high schools. On Monday, Vasquez's team, which also includes UA-affiliated NBA players Kemba Walker and Brandon Jennings, defeated Baltimore's St. Frances Academy, and next they will head to New York to play schools there. From the Baltimore Sun's story:

But as much fun as Vasquez seemed to have, tossing no look passes and hamming it up with fans after he knocked down a long jumper, it's clear he'd rather be out on an NBA court.

"It's hard, man," Vasquez said when asked about the lockout before the game. "This is something to just get our mind off of what's going on. We're just trying to play. We want a fair deal, and we want to be out there playing." [...]

"I don't know what's going to happen," Vasquez said. "I could play back home [in Venezuela], but I want to play in the NBA. You want to play in the best league."