TBTers Around the World 12/6/16

 

By: Morey Hershgordon & Josh Brown 


Updates on TBT Heroes From The Four Corners of the Earth

France:

Cameron Clark (Oklahoma ’14) played for The Untouchables this past summer helping the Pittsburgh Alumni team reach the quarterfinals, one win shy of getting to NYC. He averaged a little over 10 points and 6 rebounds per game in TBT 2016. Right now, he’s carving out a nice year in the top division in France. He’s helped lead Es Chalon Sur Sane to six consecutive wins boosting the team record to 8-2, tied for second. Clark is averaging 13.7 points, third best on the team, on 48% shooting from the field and 5.3 rebounds. Most recently (11/25) the 6’6 swingman recorded a season-high 26 points and 7 rebounds in a FIBA EuroCup win.

When you look up some of the greatest March Madness Cinderella stories over the past decade, you’re bound to find the Bradley Braves. In 2006, they earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament as a 13 seed. Bradley went on to defeat No. 4 seed Kansas and No. 5 seed Pittsburgh before falling to top-ranked Memphis in the Sweet 16. That same Sweet 16 team formed an alumni team, Always A Brave, and made another unprecedented run this time to the Final Four this past August in TBT 2016. One of the best players in TBT 2016, Marcellus Sommerville averaged 21.2 points and 7 rebounds per game including 28 points and 11 rebounds in a win against Pedro’s Posse who boasts ex-NBA stars Mike Bibby and Jason Williams. Sommerville is playing for Entente Orleans in the top league in France. His 15.5 points per game ranks sixth in the league and he’s also grabbing 6.5 boards per game. The 10-year vet is teammates with TBTer Micah Downs of A Few Good Men. Even more, Sommerville was recently named a member of the 2016-2017 Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame Class. Sommerville has kept the momentum rolling from this summer, where he was named a member of the TBT all-tournament team, averaging 15.5 points for Entente Orleans in north-central France. Last season the 11-year professional set the club's single-season scoring record dropping 513 points in 34 games (15.1 ppg).

In 2005 and 2006, the Syracuse Orange won back-to-back Big East Championships winning four games in four days at Madison Square Garden. The anchor of the patented 2-3 zone during those runs was Darryl Watkins from Boeheim’s Army. The 7-footer, helped stabilize his team’s run to the Super 16 this past summer in TBT 2016. Right now, he’s playing in France’s top league for Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne. In his most recent game (11/22) Watkins was extremely efficient scoring 16 points, a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the line, and 9 rebounds in a key win to get his team back to .500.

Israel:

Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas ’12) of Team FOE is enjoying one of, if not, the best years of his professional career. A starting guard for Maccabi Kiryat Gat in Israel’s top division (Winner League), Taylor is leading the league in points at 19.5 per game edging TBTer Khalif Wyatt (19.1ppg) of the N. Broad Street Bullies. He’s also averaging four assists, three rebounds and close to two steals. The former Jayhawk, who led KU to the National Championship game in 2012, is playing even better in games his team wins averaging 23 points and seven assists in those contests.

Germany:

Jordan Hulls (Indiana ’13) helped lead Armored Athlete to a Super 16 appearance in TBT 2016 this summer. The heady guard has continued his solid play during the fall in Germany. There, he plays for Eisbaren Bremerhaven in the BBL (Germany’s top league). He’s averaging 12.2 points, 5.5 assists, 7th best in the entire league and 2.4 rebounds. Hulls just recorded his best statistical game of the year (11/27) when he hit three triples en route to 15 points to go along with eight assists. Since playing in TBT in July, Hulls hasn’t missed a free throw in game action (16-16).

Italy:

Christian Burns (Philly U ’07) of North Broad Street Bullies has made an immediate impact over in Italy this season. In a short time with Germani Basket Breseia in Italy’s top division, Burns is averaging 15 points and six rebounds off the bench. The former Division II National Player of the Year has guided his team to three straight wins and is shooting over 73 percent from the floor in the past week. Burns played for legendary head coach Herb Magee at Philly U.

China:

In only three years of TBT, D.J. Kennedy (St. Johns ’11) is one of the most popular names in the winner-take-all tournament. A back-to-back champion with Overseas Elite, Kennedy has grown from his stellar play in the summer (19.3p, 10r) to his professional season playing in China. For the Guangzhou Long-Lions, the 6’6 swingman is averaging over 22 points, 11 rebounds and five assists per game. He was just three assists shy of a triple-double (19p, 11r, 7a) in his team’s first win of the season a few days ago.

Over the past couple games, Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga ’09) of Few Good Men has defined how a point guard should lead a team. A member of the Shenzen Leopards of China’s CBA league (first division), Pargo has dished out 25 assists to just three turnovers in the last 100 minutes. And the Leopards have really benefited from his play. The team is riding a 6-game winning streak and sits in 4th place out of a 20-team league. For the season, the guard is averaging just under 25 points per game to go along with 8.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds. He led his team to the Super 16 this summer in TBT.

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Sweden:

The VCU Rams shocked the basketball world in 2011 when the small Virginian school and a young head coach Shaka Smart made a run to the Final Four. That year, shooting guard Brandon Rozzell was able to make a name for himself as a lethal shooter and solid defender. This summer, he rejoined his college teammates. He led Ram Nation to the Super 16 following an epic comeback in the South Regional opening rounds. In Sweden’s top league, Rozzell is 6th best in points (17.1) and 3rd in steals (2.0). BC Lulea, his team, is atop the conference with a 9-2 record.

Most known for doing the team’s dirty work around the rim, grabbing rebounds and taking charges, Mike Bruesewitz (Wisconsin ’13) has added a really nice offensive game to his repertoire in just his fourth season as a professional. In the first division in Sweden, the former Badger leads the league in scoring and rebounding at 19.8 points and 8.8 rebounds respectively. The TMD power forward, able to get his team to the Super 16 in Philadelphia, shot just under 38 percent in TBT 2016. In the span of a few months, Bruesewitz is up over 60 percent from the field and has registered a double-double in half of his team’s games.

South Korea:

Before Kyle O’Quinn’s epic 26-point, 14-rebound performance to lead No. 15 seed Norfolk State past national championship contender Missouri in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, forward Ricardo Ratliffe (Missouri ’12) lead a Tigers frontcourt that ripped off 30 wins and a Big 12 Tournament title. Ratliffe, now in South Korea, is one of the most decorated players in the Korean Basketball League (KBL). Top 10 in the league in points (22.9), rebounds (12) and blocks (1.2) per game, there’s not much the do-it-all forward can’t do. Oh by the way, he’s making over 70 percent of the shots he takes. In TBT 2016, Ratliffe played for Seven City Grain and tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds in the team’s only game.

Japan:

When you hear the name Zach Andrews (Bradley ’06) you automatically think freak athleticism for a man who stands 6’10. Throughout his basketball career, he has posterized his competition with some SportsCenter Top 10 dunks, specifically in TBT. The Team 23 center played a crucial role in getting Michael Illiano’s squad to the TBT 2015 championship and the Super 16 this past summer. In Japan’s second division, Andrews is averaging 11.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per night. His constant motor, night in and night out, has lead him to 10-plus rebounds every game for over six weeks (10/22). His college teammate, Marcellus Sommerville (Bradley ‘06) of Always A Brave, was mentioned in the Nov. 29 edition of the daily TBT Player Updates.

Russia

TBT 2016 Champion DeAndre Kane (Overseas Elite) continues to impress over in Russia for BC Nizhny Novgorod. The 6-foot-4  swingman scored 16 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in a 91-89 win over Lietkabelis, landing him Eurobasket Player of the Week third place honors. Kane is averaging 17.4 points and 8 rebounds per game in VTB United League action this season.

Spain

Notre Dame alum Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame Fighting Alumni) was in the stands when the Fighting Alumni won the first TBT in 2014 and joined his fellow Irish in 2015. Now playing in Spain, Abromaitis is putting together quite the season in Spain for Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias. Abromaitis scored a season-high 21 points and 9 rebounds in a 73-59 stomping of Mega Leks on Wednesday night. The 6-foot-8 forward plays alongside TBT folk hero Davin White (Team 23).