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 South West Slammers yesterday announced the re-signing of exciting American import Tre Nichols (180-G-89, college: Boise St.) for the 2017 SBL season. The 5'11" point guard from Dallas, Texas will return to the Slammers for a third season in 2017 after dominating the competition in 2016. The 2016 season saw Nichols lead the SBL in scoring with 31.1 points per game, which led to him earning a spot in the All-Star Five for the second consecutive year. Despite Nichols' career-high sea... [read more]
The 5'11" point guard from Dallas, Texas will return to the Slammers for a third season in 2017 after dominating the competition in 2016.
The 2016 season saw Nichols lead the SBL in scoring with 31.1 points per game, which led to him earning a spot in the All-Star Five for the second consecutive year.
Despite Nichols' career-high season, the Slammers dropped from runners-up in 2015 to missing the playoffs in 2016 with an 8-18 record.
Meanwhile, the Basketball South West board is still going through the selection process for a coach for the 2017 season following the departure of Michael Van Lit, who held the position for just one season.
Hawks Power Past The Defending Champs 98-77 - 4 days ago
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The dynamic backcourt of Rotnei Clarke (183-PG-89, college: Butler) and Marvelle Harris (193-G-93) has already proved a winner as the Hawks ran rings around a physical Perth Wildcats side 98-77 on Sunday. The combined 36 points and four assists from the import backcourt does not jump off the page, but they completely dictated pace and found a way around the 'Cats physicality to give their side big buckets at crucial times. Harris (19 points, three assists) and Clarke (17 points) ran the s... [read more]
The dynamic backcourt of Rotnei Clarke (183-PG-89, college: Butler) and Marvelle Harris (193-G-93) has already proved a winner as the Hawks ran rings around a physical Perth Wildcats side 98-77 on Sunday. The combined 36 points and four assists from the import backcourt does not jump off the page, but they completely dictated pace and found a way around the 'Cats physicality to give their side big buckets at crucial times. Harris (19 points, three assists) and Clarke (17 points) ran the show and got good back-up from snipers Cody Ellis (203-F-90, college: St.Louis) (16) and Oscar Forman (205-F-82) (13). Tim Coenraad (201-F/G-85, college: Nova SE) fill the stat sheet with 7 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Perth were out of sync for large parts, getting most of their production from Jameel McKay effort plays around the rim. McKay was by far the 'Cats best with 15 points and 15 boards, backed up by fellow import Jaron Johnson (198-G-92, college: Louisiana Tech) (16 and seven). Harris, McKay and AJ Ogilvy all got the party started with jams in the first three minutes, but the first quarter was a completely one-sided affair. Illawarra ran rings around the defending champions. Two threes and a dunk kick-started things for a hungry Hawks side that did not take a single possession off on either end. The ball was singing through hands no matter who manned the Hawks backcourt and all too often they had the 'Cats a step slow in rotation. It was a treat of early offence, captured in a picture-perfect four-man hot-potato ball swing from corner to corner and finished with a triple. Casey Prather (198-F/G-91, college: Florida) continued to show off the upgraded skill set, but struggled making plays with the ball in his hand as Perth turned it over six times in the first quarter and nine in the half. He was outshone by new Hawk and NBA hopeful Harris, who has proved to be a man completely dedicated to his craft not afraid of the moment. Imports in the Hawks back-court have been quite hit-and-miss over the last few years but coach Rob Beveridge has found a gem in Harris. He has the optimal tools for a Beveridge-coached team: shooting, ball-handling, versatility, physical defence, unwavering work ethic and a fearless attitude. Five different Hawks connected on threes in the first quarter alone as they went into the second up 37-19. Perth's back-up centre Angus Brandt shouldered the burden down low as the 'Cats worked at chipping away at the margin. But the resistance was futile so long as the explosive Clarke-Harris duo was on the court. Perth dominated the entire third term and started to get scoreboard love when Greg Hire came alive for three third-quarter threes, and at one point got the margin back to a single possession. But for every question they asked, the Hawks answered with distance shooting. Ellis shot the Hawks out of immediate danger, while Tim Coenraad, Nick Kay and Rhys Martin kept the margin steady for a cruisy victory. The Hawks took six ABC points from the game, with Perth winning only the third quarter. Courtesy of: publicnow.com
NZ Maori to take on Australian Indigenous Team in Gisbourne, Te Awamutu and Tauranga - 7 days ago
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The National Maori basketball team will be taking on the Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball team in a three game trans-Tasman series, starting tomorrow in Gisborne. Game two will be in Te Awamutu and the third in Tauranga. Head of Maori Basketball, Willy Taurima, says the Australians are the favourites due to the team being the defending champions and featuring some players, which will be led by ANBL veteran Tyson Demos(191-G-88). 'It certainly won't be a whitewash. They have a fe... [read more]
The National Maori basketball team will be taking on the Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball team in a three game trans-Tasman series, starting tomorrow in Gisborne. Game two will be in Te Awamutu and the third in Tauranga. Head of Maori Basketball, Willy Taurima, says the Australians are the favourites due to the team being the defending champions and featuring some players, which will be led by ANBL veteran Tyson Demos (191-G-88). 'It certainly won't be a whitewash. They have a few stars and we are missing a few guys due their obligations with the Breakers, but we've recruited enough experience to really have a crack at bringing the title back home to New Zealand.' The New Zealand Maori team that's been named boasts two recently retired Tall Blacks, nine NZ NBL current players, and eight former NZ Junior Tall Blacks. Taurima says there is a great rivalry building between the two teams. The last two events were highly competitive, with both nations holding a title each. 'This is the third year in the event's history. The first year was in 2014 when it was a two game series. It resulted in a draw at one win each, but New Zealand Maori won the title on point differential. The second year, in 2015, we lost two games to one. All three of those games went down to the wire, with about five points in it.' This year the event is being taken on the road to towns that Taurima says has a proud Maori representation in their communities. 'We wanted to widen the opportunity for people to see international basketball. And these will be great games with that good old Australian/New Zealand rivalry.' Courtesy of: basketball.org.nz
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