Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Badger hoops globetrotters

Today the Journal Sentinel had a list of Euroleague basketball players with Wisconsin connections. Very interesting list. Thought I'd take a closer look at the Badgers who are playing internationally.

Jason Chappell, Gussing Knights (Austria)
I'm sort of surprised at this one. J-Cheezy never seemed like the type who cared much about basketball, just played it because he was tall and his dad was great. And there's that whole aspiring fashion designer angle. But he turned out to be a solid contributor to a great team and is now getting played to hoop. When we saw him back in Tucson in September 2004, if you would have told me Chappell would play basketball professionally, I would have told you there was a monsoon coming and the temperature would drop 30 degrees in an hour. Oh wait ...

Rashard Griffith, CSU Asesoft Ploiesti (Romania)
Shard apparently plays for the most successful Romanian club of the past decade. He could play forever over there, couldn't he?

Andreas Helmigk, Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria)
Wasn't able to interpret much that was written about Andreas, but check out this hottie he married. Way to go, dude!

Danny Jones, Schwetzingen (Germany)
It is shameful that this is the first time Danny Jones has been mentioned on Badgercentric. This guy was the greatest player to wear red when I was a kid, or at least that's how I remember it. Sort of amazing that he's still playing professional ball, he's got to be pushing 40. He still stands 198 centimeters tall, just like in college.

Zach Morley, Leche Rio (Spain)
I took four years of Spanish in high school, and can tell you that Leche Rio means Milk River. Morley hit a big shot this season to give the Prince's Cup to Lugo.

Ray Nixon, Tuebingen (Germany)
Speaking of guys who would have been well-served by a redshirt season ... this guy defied stereotypes by becoming a Wisconsin player who won a slam dunk championship! Click here to see his winning dunk. It's safe to say there are few things funnier than a German-language call of a slam dunk contest. Below is another YouTube video of Nixon dunking, but of very poor quality.



Kirk Penney, Breakers (New Zealand)
Apparently the guy hasn't just given up basketball to hang out with Andy North. He was first team NBL last season after averaging 24 points per game, and guess who one of his teammates is? Rick Rickert! Here's an interview with him from three months ago.



Kammron Taylor, L'Hospitalet (Spain)
Do yourself a favor and visit this team's official website — it's funky fresh! Best I can tell, Kamm, playing primera temporada, led the team in total puntos and tres-puntos made, was second in assistos. And his middle name is Harry.

Mike Wilkinson, Khimki (Russia)
Wilk has been granted Macedonian citizenship and plays for the Republic of Macedonia national team. What?!? Who does the ol' US of A turn to at power forward next time Elton Brand blows out his knee? Just kidding, Wilk's doing fine - 8.6 ppg and 4.4 rpg at last check. Notable teammates include Daniel Ewing and Pat Burke. Tell you what: I wouldn't dare fail to hedge out on a screen or miss a box out with those coaches glowering from the bench.

That's all I was able to glean in 45 minutes, maybe I'll revisit this post again and bring my personal translator, Babel Fish, with me. If anyone has any more info about these dudes please post a comment.

6 comments:

Toohey said...

Are you sure that's Chappell? He looks like a kid at space camp in that picture. Maybe it's just me.

Nice call on that Spanish website. It was the "freshest" thing I've seen all day.

Will said...

Good research Tappa. Thanks for putting that together.

Playing in Europe must be pretty sweet....do they pay in Euros? Even better then. And it gives these guys a chance to still play at a pretty high level and live in cool places.

Has the Madison newspapers or MJS ever done a big, blowout feature on Griffith in the last couple of years? I think that would be a cool story...follow him for a couple of days in Romania.

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