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 Brisbane Bullets have released Jermaine Beal (191-G-87, college: Vanderbilt) from his contract with the club ahead of today's game against Melbourne United. Bullets Head Coach Andrej Lemanis said he did not make the decision to release Beal lightly, but felt it was in the best interests of the team, both in terms of winning games this season and building for the future. "We have not been able to get the best out of Jermaine, and he has not been contributing to the level that he want... [read more]
Bullets Head Coach Andrej Lemanis said he did not make the decision to release Beal lightly, but felt it was in the best interests of the team, both in terms of winning games this season and building for the future.
"We have not been able to get the best out of Jermaine, and he has not been contributing to the level that he wants to and it has become frustrating for both parties," Lemanis said.
"We have decided that it is best for the team to let Jermaine leave and to focus on the rest of the group for the remainder of the season,
"We believe this decision gives us the best opportunity to continue to compete and win games this season.
"We are also building a long-term program here and believe this is also in the best interests of continuing to develop our team and club culture," he said.
In 23 games for Brisbane (9-14, 8th), Beal averaged 11.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Taipans sign Tony Mitchell, ex Hapoel Eilat - 1 day ago
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Cairns Taipans (NBL) signed 28-year old American small forward Tony Mitchell (198-98kg-89, college: Alabama). He started the season at Hapoel Eilat in Israeli Winner League. In 5 games he had 8.8ppg, 4.8rpg and 1.4spg this season. The last summer Mitchell played at Hebei Xianglan in NBL where in 27 games he was the best scorer with impressive 42.9ppg and averaged 10.9rpg, 4.6apg (top 5), 2.5spg (in top 5) and 2.2bpg. Mitchell helped them to make it to the semifinals. A very impressive sea... [read more]
Cairns Taipans (NBL) signed 28-year old American small forward Tony Mitchell (198-98kg-89, college: Alabama). He started the season at Hapoel Eilat in Israeli Winner League. In 5 games he had 8.8ppg, 4.8rpg and 1.4spg this season. The last summer Mitchell played at Hebei Xianglan in NBL where in 27 games he was the best scorer with impressive 42.9ppg and averaged 10.9rpg, 4.6apg (top 5), 2.5spg (in top 5) and 2.2bpg. Mitchell helped them to make it to the semifinals. A very impressive season as he was named to Asia-Basket.com All-Chinese NBL 2nd Team. He has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2015. Mitchell won D-League championship title in 2014. He is quite experienced player. Mitchell has played in seven different countries on three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America). He has played previously professionally in Italy (Banco di Srd and Dolomiti Energia Trento), Philippines (TNT Ka Tropa), Russia (Krasny Oktyabr), Spain (Movil Estudiantes), NBA (Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings), China (Jilin Tigers) and D-League (Fort Wayne Mad Ants). Mitchell attended University of Alabama until 2012 and it is his fifth season as a professional player. He could be described:
A very good scorer, with great athletic abilities and all-around playing skills. He can easily beat his man and create for his own and teammates.
TheGold Coast Rollers have kicked off a recruiting drive that has netted them current Brisbane Bullets NBL star Torrey Craig (198-F-90, college: USC Upstate). Gold Coast City Regional Basketball Association general manager Joel McInnes has described American Craig as "definitely the biggest signing by the Rollers in the club's state league history". Craig will switch to the Rollers for this year's Queensland Basketball League season that starts in April when his Bullets commitments are... [read more]
Gold Coast City Regional Basketball Association general manager Joel McInnes has described American Craig as "definitely the biggest signing by the Rollers in the club's state league history".
Craig will switch to the Rollers for this year's Queensland Basketball League season that starts in April when his Bullets commitments are finished.
"He is a solid import and currently heads rebound statistics for the NBL," McInnes said.
Craig is a 26-year-old who hails from the USC Upstate Spartans in South Carolina.
At 198cm and 98kg, Craig is a swingman who played for the Cairns Taipans (NBL) for two seasons, then for Wellington Saints in the New Zealand domestic league in 2015 when he won that competition's most valuable player award.
The NZ NBL and the QBL are played during the NBL's offseason.
The Rollers, who have struggled in the QBL for a number of years, are on the verge of bigger things with a second American, currently playing NBL, in their sights.
And the Rollers have had a significant off-court win with well-known Gold Coast entertainment promoter Billy Cross coming on board.
Cross will be a backer of sorts but his main focus will be on getting sponsors on board.
"I like the idea of setting up pathways for our juniors because basketball is a fast-growing sport through the schools," Cross said.
Cross has two sons - Josh and Nick - who have taken to basketball.
It is understood the Rollers will announce a new naming-rights sponsor early next week.
But in a blow to the club, it has been confirmed that women's coach Megan Thompson has accepted a teaching-basketball opportunity in Perth.
Thompson had been with the Rollers for two seasons and last year took the side to the playoffs.
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