Highland Park grad plays pro basketball in Australia - Jan 21, 2013
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Although he was a member of Highland Park High Schools state championship basketball team in 2004, Theron Wilson never thought he would be playing professional basketball, but that is exactly what he has done for the past three years first in Ukraine, then in Finland and now in Australia.
I dont think too many people in todays world know whats really to come, Wilson said. We have some ideas, thoughts and some preparation, but we never really know. We just hope that we love it no matter what it is.
For Wilson that preparation included two years at Seward County Community College in Liberal and another two years at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., where he graduated in 2009 with a major in mass communications and advertising and a minor in marketing.
In addition to his studies, Wilson was also part of the schools basketball team, averaging 18 points and eight rebounds per game.
I liked being away from home, Wilson said, yet Bradley wasnt so far away so that my family could get to some games in Nebraska, Wichita State, Springfield and Iowa if they wanted.
It was while he was at Bradley that he began to have hopes of someday playing in the NBA, but when an agent contacted him about playing basketball overseas, he decided to give it a try.
Playing overseas meant Wilson needed to become familiar with Federal International Basketball Association rules.
The rules are the same for the most part, but the three-point line distance is different, Wilson said.
FIBA rules also call for 10-minute quarters instead of the NBAs 12. In addition, the number of time-outs and fouls are different for the two associations, as is the amount of possession time before the ball must be shot.
While he enjoyed playing basketball in Ukraine and Finland, he said one drawback was having to depend more on others because of the language barrier.
A shared language was one of the things that attracted him to Australia.
Now preparing for his second season as a member of the Geelong Supercats, Wilson said the most difficult things for him to get used to were the 17- to 20-hour flight there and sitting on the right side while driving.
You have to look at everything a different way, he said.
Wilson also had to adapt to paying higher prices for most things.
Prices there are more expensive, he said. While most people get paid more theres a higher minimum wage the cost of goods and services is more. A $3 ice cream bar is not uncommon.
However, he said, the country offers free health care, and the higher prices are the result of more imports.
While most people dont associate Australia with basketball, Wilson said the sports popularity is growing rapidly in the Land Down Under.
Its one of the biggest sports over there, he said, adding only cricket and footy an Australian form of football that incorporates elements of basketball, soccer and football are more popular.
With games in Australia only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Wilson spends his noncourt time working out, practicing and giving clinics and camps as part of his team duties.
Because he works only eight months February through October in Australia, Wilson spends his time at home in Topeka practicing with some of the Highland Park players and spending time at Ross Elementary School, which he once attended.
Ill always have Highland Park in me, Wilson said. I try to instill in them (the players) how it is in college. I try to make it to the games Im still connected to Highland Park. Topekas my home its where Im from, and I can never forget that.
While he still hopes to someday play professional basketball in the United States, he said it is OK if he doesn't because he enjoys what he is doing now.
"I feel very blessed to go and see different lifestyles and other parts of the world and meet new people," he said. "Signing a contract to play another year is one of my memorable moments because I understand how hard it is to land a job professionally in basketball.
God has blessed me to continue my professional career, and Im thankful for the opportunity of having the chance to play beyond high school and college." Courtesy of: http://cjonline.com
The SKYCITY Breakers are once again taking their pre-season on the road, confirming today that the club will host the Brisbane Bullets in a three-city tour of New Zealand in September. In what looms as a mouth-watering three game series for last season's beaten Grand Finalists, the Breakers welcome a host of familiar faces in a tour that visits Tauranga (September 13), Napier (September 15) and Invercargill (September 17). The Bullets have assembled a championship contending roster under... [read more]
The SKYCITY Breakers are once again taking their pre-season on the road, confirming today that the club will host the Brisbane Bullets in a three-city tour of New Zealand in September. In what looms as a mouth-watering three game series for last season's beaten Grand Finalists, the Breakers welcome a host of familiar faces in a tour that visits Tauranga (September 13), Napier (September 15) and Invercargill (September 17). The Bullets have assembled a championship contending roster under the coaching of former Breakers mentor Andrej Lemanis , as he returns to club coaching post his Australian national team commitments at the Rio Olympic Games. SKYCITY Breakers General Manager Dillon Boucher says the series will give fans plenty to enjoy, as well as meet the needs of both teams in the lead up to what promises to be one of the best seasons yet. 'We are delighted to be taking our show on the road and to be visiting Tauranga, Napier and Invercargill. All three regions have shown a real commitment to showcase the game of basketball and I know will put on great shows for the fans in those cities. 'Brisbane might be newly returned to the competition, but they are already being talked about as being among the favourites with the roster they have assembled. With Andrej in the driving seat you know they are going to be a well prepared, well drilled and professional team in all respects. 'And of course we are delighted with our own roster, we have been able to attract a great group of players and with two more still to sign to the fulltime roster including an import player, we are anticipating an exciting season under new coach Paul Henare.' As well as Lemanis, the Bullets will feature former Breakers player Reuben Te Rangi (198-F/G-94) and include club legend CJ Bruton (188-G-75, college: Indian Hills CC) (one of only three players to have their numbers retired at the club) and Life Member Richard Clarke (former CEO) amongst their number on the support staff. The Bullets roster is loaded, with former or current Boomer players in Adam Gibson (188-G-86), Mitch Young, Tom Jervis (211-C-87, college: Troy), Cameron Bairstow (206-F-90, college: N.Mexico) and Daniel Kickert (208-C/F-83, college: St.Mary's, CA), plus exciting American Torrey Craig and a yet to be signed second American import. And for the Breakers it will be a chance before the NBL Pre-Season Blitz in Brisbane a week later to play the entire roster for the first time, with new American import Ben Woodside, returning club favourite and New Zealand basketball legend Kirk Penney and 6'11' Tall Black Robert Loe (211-F-91, college: St.Louis) amongst the club's new signings. The Breakers will have signed their second American import and final New Zealand players in time for the tour and will showcase their entire roster (injury permitting) in the three games, with club favourites Mika Vukona (197-F-82), Tom Abercrombie, Corey Webster (188-G-88, college: Lambuth) and Alex Pledger all raring to go in another NBL season. Each of the venues is delighted to be bringing world class basketball to their regions. 'The Tauranga City Basketball Association is very excited to be bring the Breakers back to Tauranga,' said Mark Rogers, General Manager of TCBA. 'This will be a great opportunity for our passionate basketball community to see the best players in Australasia live. I'm sure the community is in for a great night's entertainment and basketball.' 'We are rapt to secure the SKYCITY Breakers to Hawkes Bay,' said Dan Rodden, General Manager of Pettigrew Green Arena. 'To be able to do this for the community of Hawkes Bay is a great achievement. With the community engagement programme including a game it will mean everyone in the community can get to experience the Breakers while in Hawkes Bay.' 'We are very excited to have the SKYCITY Breakers returning to Invercargill this year,' says Laura Morrison, Business Development Manager of ILT Stadium Southland. 'The Southland public have shown us how passionate they are to see top quality basketball here at home and we want to give them that. The Brisbane Bullets are an excellent opponent with the Australia, New Zealand rivalry strong and being the only South Island venue, we are expecting tickets to sell quickly. The crowd was amazing last year and we are hopeful for the same.'
SKYCITY Breakers Pre-Season Tour v Brisbane Bullets 13 September, Tauranga ASB Arena (Truman Lane)
15 September, Napier Pettigrew Green Arena Taradale
17 September, Invercargill ILT Stadium Southland Surrey Park Sports Centre, Invercargill Courtesy of: nbl.com.au
Brazil rally past Australia in test game - 1 day ago
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Brazil - Australia 96:67 Brazil claimed a comfortable victory over Australia in the exhibition encounter in Sao Paulo. Raul Neto (185-PG-92) provided 17 points to lead the winners. Brazil eked out a 21:19 lead after the opening quarter. The hosts followed with a strong 23:10 run in the second frame to secure a 44:29 halftime lead. The Boomers slowed the home side down in the third term. The Aussies pulled within 12 points heading into the fourth quarter. But Brazil sank 32 points in the... [read more]
Brazil - Australia 96:67
Brazil claimed a comfortable victory over Australia in the exhibition encounter in Sao Paulo. Raul Neto (185-PG-92) provided 17 points to lead the winners. Brazil eked out a 21:19 lead after the opening quarter. The hosts followed with a strong 23:10 run in the second frame to secure a 44:29 halftime lead. The Boomers slowed the home side down in the third term. The Aussies pulled within 12 points heading into the fourth quarter. But Brazil sank 32 points in the final stanza to ice the win. Marcus Vinicius Toledo (201-F-86) and Alex Garcia (191-G-80, agency: Interperformances) delivered 13 points each for Brazil. Patrick Mills (183-PG-88, college: St.Mary's, CA) responded with 18 points for Australia. Brock Motum (208-F/C-90, college: Washington St.) had 7 points in the defeat.
David Humphries is a newcomer at Plymouth Raiders - 2 days ago
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Plymouth University Raiders (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old Australian guard David Humphries (193-95kg-91). He just graduated from Loyola Mary (NCAA). In 29 games he recorded 5.0ppg and 3.3rpg last season. As mentioned above Humphries is just out of the college and it will be his first season as a pro. He was voted All-NJCAA D2 Region XI 1st Team in 2014 at his college time. Humphries has played previously for another British team Central District Lions. By E... [read more]
Plymouth University Raiders (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old Australian guard David Humphries (193-95kg-91). He just graduated from Loyola Mary (NCAA). In 29 games he recorded 5.0ppg and 3.3rpg last season. As mentioned above Humphries is just out of the college and it will be his first season as a pro. He was voted All-NJCAA D2 Region XI 1st Team in 2014 at his college time. Humphries has played previously for another British team Central District Lions.
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