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Tonga National Team sign Jermaine Barnes - Nov 11, 2018

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NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA -- Former International star Jermaine Barnes (193-G/F-83, college: Point, GA) has officially signed with the Tonga National Team (FIBA Oceans) for three international events.

Barnes, played college ball at Point University (GA), will be brought as an import for Tonga to boost the squad in its campaign in the upcoming FIBA-Asia Poly Cup along with the Copa Mitchell Cup in Santiago, Dominican Republic January 2-8.

The club will start training two weeks before traveling to South America.

The 35-year-old reached international stardom after joining the Asian market from 2008-2012. Barnes set the single game scoring record in the 2009 Japanese Emperor's Cup (All-Japan Tournament) with 63 points. He broke Japan's all-time leader in scoring John Humphrey's 55 points record in the final four vs. Toyama Grouses (Japan B-League). Barnes would later join the USA National Select team in the 2012 FIBA Jones Cup in Taipei, Taiwan. He would led the American squad to the gold medal game versus Smart Gilas (Philippine National Team). Barnes was named All-FIBA Jones Cup Team along with Top Defense Player.

"Jermaine was the first person I thought of when I took the head coaching job", said import coach Travis McAvene . I have alot of experience coaching Barnes and hes the exact type of player this group needs. I think the Poly Cup along with South American Cups will be good for our growth.

McAvene has made it very clear that Barnes will not be the only import taken for the Copa Mitchell Cup. "We are looking at a few other players", said McAvene. A center like Keith Closs (224-C-76, college: Cent.Conn.St.) and a dominate scorer like Marquin Chandler (202-F-82, college: San Jose St.) come to mind. Cory Bradford (191-SG-78, college: Illinois) is also on my wish list. Veteran leadership is a big part of winning international events.

Barnes, who played in 9 countries (Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Cyprus, Taiwan, Spain, Germany) looks to continue his great career after this summer. A long journey back from a terrible injury suffered in NBA training camp. Barnes was signed the summer of 2014 with the Minnesota Timberwolves for training camp. Former NBA Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell discovered Barnes after his great play in Taiwan. After his training camp injury Barnes was forced to retire from basketball. After two season off he returned to play for Liberia in the LBS League in Costa Rica. Barnes would go on to average 28 points per game winning LBS Player of the Week back to back for round 6 and 7.

The Tonga National Team will dress 12 for the Poly Cup and only 10 for the 2019 Copa Mitchell Cup.

#21 Siale Bain-Vete
#44 Mosese Alipate
#5 Niasi Malua
#3 Semisi Tu'uefiafi
#23 Sonny Afu
#2 Marcus Alipate
#4 Afu Fakatou
#24 Nifai Tonga
#20 Solomone Wolfgramm
#0 Alfred Terepo Forward
#11 Obabaiah Paca
#40 Jordan Lino
#8 Jermaine Barnes   

Keith Closs
Tonga National Team tabs Keith Closs; ex NBA - 3 months ago
KEITH CLOSS Tonga NT (Mitchell Cup) inked experienced 40-year old American ex-international center Keith Closs (224-78, college: Central Connecticut State). He already started the season at GIE Maile Matrix (UBA) in the U.S. In 2007 (eleven years after he left the college) Closs was drafted by Tulsa 66ers (D-League) in fifth round (67th overall). The former Central Connecticut State standoutis in his 23rd (!!!) season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Closs' college team won...   [read more]

Tonga NT adds Bradford to their roster, ex Challans - 3 months ago
Tonga NT (Mitchell Cup) added to their roster experienced 40-year old American power forward Steffon Bradford (198-109kg-78, college: Nebraska). He played last season at Vendee Challans Basket in French NM1 league. In 30 games he recorded 12.6ppg, 5.3rpg and 1   [read more]

Tonga National Team adds Chandler to their roster (2019 Copa Mitchell Cup) - 3 months ago
MARQUIN CHANDLER Tonga NT (Mitchell Cup) added to their roster experienced 36-year old American ex-international forward Marquin Chandler (202-100kg-82, college: San Jose State). He already started the season at GIE Maile Matrix (UBA) in the U.S. Chandler has played there for the last three years. The last season he played also at GIE Maile Matrix in U.S. semi-pro league UBA. Chandler's team won Mitchell Americas Cup. He was voted All-Mitchell Americas Cup 1st Team in 201...   [read more]

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