The 21st Asian Clubs Championships began this weekend with top clubs from 10 nations vying for the coveted crown. The best of the best from countries like Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria have converged in Qatar with American imports in tow hoping to bring the title back home. Here are the most notable names of imports that have experience ranging from the NBA level (DerMarr Johnson (6'9''-G-80, college: Cincinnati), Loren Woods (7'2''-C-78, college: Arizona)) to D-League veterans (Michael Fey (7'0''-F/C-83, college: UCLA), Chester Jarell Giles (6'11''-F/C-85, college: Oregon St.)).
Al Rayan (Qatar) Craig Winder (6'2''-G-84, college: Texas) (Rio Grande Valley D-League): No player in the tournament is coming off a greater past season that Winder who hitthe game winning three-pointer at the buzzer which won the D-League Title for the Vipers last month. The third-year pro out of Texas has spent the majority of his career in the D-league, averaging a career best 14.7 points this past season as a sensation 6th man off the bench.
Michael Fey (Los Angeles D-League): The 7-0 center out of UCLA appeared in 50 games for the D-Fenders this season, averaging 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 56.6% from the field. Fey has experience internationally, playing in China and the UAE previously.
Mahram (Iran) Jackson Vroman (6'10''-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) (Phoenix, New Orleans NBA): Former Iowa State big man has spent the last few seasons in Iran after receiving Lebanese citizenship last May. He has led Mahram to back-to-back domestic league titles and the Arab Nations Cup last season. Teaming with Loren Toods, they combine for the most NBA experience of any club in the tournament.
Loren Woods (Minnesota, Miami, Toronto, Houston NBA / Austin D-League): Veteran center has played all across the globe since his last full season in the NBA during the 05-06 campaign. Lithuania, Turkey, Spain and now in Iran, he forms an intimidating front-line with fellow NBA alum Vroman.
Duhok (Iraq) Calvin Cage (6'0''-G-84, college: Buffalo) (Buffalo NCAA): Scoring point guard who finished career as eighth leading scorer in school history. Has moved around quite a bit since college; playing in Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, Philippines and Mexico before ending up with Duhok in Iraq.
Priest Lauderdale (7'3''-C-73, college: Central State) (Atlanta, Denver NBA): At 36 years old, he is still going strong. Former first round (#28) pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Lauderdale had a brief two-year NBA career, but has made a name for him self in Asia and the Middle East. In the early 2000s he dominated in Bulgaria before lately leading teams in Iran and Saudi Arabia to club glory. Has played for three of the 10 clubs in the tournament (An nasr, Al Hilal and Mahram).
Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) Brandon Crump (6'10''-C-82, college: Tennessee) (NCAA Tennessee): A four-year starter at Tennessee, Crump has carved out a fine career in China and South Korea. At 6-10, he provides excellent rebounding and shot-blocking ability in the paint.
DerMarr Johnson (Atlanta, New York, Denver, San Antonio NBA / Austin D-League): Maybe the most talented import taking part in these championships, Johnson was the sixth overall selection by Atlanta in the 2000 NBA Draft. A near life-ending car accident derailed his career, but he came back to serve as a valuable member of the Nuggets as well as dominant performer in the D-league. This is his first action in Asian Club competition, with his only other experience in the far east coming last season in China.
Al Riyadi (Lebanon) Nate Johnson (6'7''-F-77, college: Louisville) (Columbus D-League): One of the most successful players in recent history of Middle East / Asian basketball. The former Louisville swingman has been a model of excellence on this stage. A 2006 Asian Club Championships winner, 2008 Jordan League Champion, 2009 Lebanese League Champion, three-time Arab Club Championships winner.the list goes on and on and on with Johnson.
Chester Jarell Giles (Los Angeles, Sioux Falls D-League): The mercurial talent who bounced around from Kansas, to Oregon State to eventually out of college, split the 2008-09 D-League season with LA and Sioux Falls before heading to the Philippines to play in the 2009 Asian Club Championships. In his second go-around, he will have a much better team on his side, as Johnson, Fadi El-Khatib, Brian Beshara-Feghali and company will match up well against any other team in the competition.
Al Jalaa Aleppo (Syria) Garnett Thompson (6'10''-F/C-80, college: Providence) (Long Island ABA / Brooklyn USBL): Though he may not bring the name recognition as some of the other big men in this tournament, Thompson is definitely paying on their level. He helped lead Al Jalaa to the finals of their domestic league championship where they were stunned in the finals, however, he now has reinforcements for the Asian Club Championships as former St. Johns point guard Chudney Gray (6'2''-G-78, college: St.John's) will help facilitate the offense and get easier opportunities for Garnett. This season he has also taken Al Jalaa to the WABA Club Championships and scored 21 points while pulling down 12 rebounds in an opening game loss to favorites Al Riyadi.
Chudney Gray (Fayetteville D-League / Brooklyn USBL): Competing on the largest stages the last few years in Kuwait, South Korea, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt has earned Gray the reputation f being one of the most complete point guards in this competition. Experience with the Asian Club Championships (2007 Bronze Medal) plus a familiarity with Garnett Thompson should serve the duo well as they try to move past the preliminary round and further in the tournament.
An Nasr (United Arab Emirates) Vincent Jones (6'11''-C-77, college: Jackson St.) (Jackson State NCAA): A 6-11 veteran center out of Jackson State, Jones has played in multiple seasons in Russia and Turkey in addition to more recent campaigns in Iran, Syria and the UAE.
The American Basketball Association (ABA) released its Power Rankings through Sunday, November 27th and the top four teams held their positions. "With limited play over the Thanksgiving weekend, there was no change at the top," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman . "The Orlando Waves, Arizona Scorpions, DMV Warriors and Kentucky Enforcers all held their positions with undefeated records. With a full schedule of games this week and some top contenders playing one another, we could see some sh... [read more]
The American Basketball Association (ABA) released its Power Rankings through Sunday, November 27th and the top four teams held their positions. "With limited play over the Thanksgiving weekend, there was no change at the top," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman . "The Orlando Waves, Arizona Scorpions, DMV Warriors and Kentucky Enforcers all held their positions with undefeated records. With a full schedule of games this week and some top contenders playing one another, we could see some shifting." (At least 3 games qualified for the Power Rankings).
1. Orlando Waves 5-0 2. Arizona Scorpions 6-0 3. DMV Warriors 5-0 4. Kentucky Enforcers 6-0 5. New England Anchors 4-0 6. Atlanta Wildcats (4-0) 7. Roc City Ravens 4-0 8. Georgia Kingz 4-0 9. South Florida Gold 4-1 10. Kalamazoo Cobras 5-1 11. Orange County Novastars 4-1 12. Salina Saints 4-0 13. Universal Cityh Seraphims 3-0 14. Mobile Bay Tornados 3-0 15. Atlantic Coast Cardinals 3-0 16. New York Court Kingz 3-1 17. Virginia Storm 3-1 18. Fredericksburg Grizzlies 3-1 19. Grand Rapids Danger 3-2 20. Steel City Yellow Jackets 3-2 21. Springfield Sting 3-1 22. Carolina Cougars 3-1 23. Chicago Fury 2-1 24. Yuba City Gold Miners 2-1 25. Nevada Senators 2-1
Several traditional ABA powerhouses begin play this week including the Jacksonville Giants, Laredo Swarm, Windy City Groove and West Texas Whirlwinds, and several other regularly ranked teams play two games this weekend. There will be changes next week. The minimum number of games to be ranked next week will be four. For more information, visit www.abaliveaction.com
The Cleveland Am Pro'ers traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa last Saturday to take on the Steel City Yellow Jackets, in an exciting ABA Contest. The Cleveland team has not participated in the ABA or any Minor League in almost two seasons, but the team is back and loaded with talent. The Steel City Yellow Jackets who were coming off a victory in their previous game also had several talented players which made for an exciting contest. Cleveland and Steel City went into halftime tied at 51. In the... [read more]
The Cleveland Am Pro'ers traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa last Saturday to take on the Steel City Yellow Jackets, in an exciting ABA Contest. The Cleveland team has not participated in the ABA or any Minor League in almost two seasons, but the team is back and loaded with talent.
The Steel City Yellow Jackets who were coming off a victory in their previous game also had several talented players which made for an exciting contest. Cleveland and Steel City went into halftime tied at 51. In the third quarter Cleveland jumped out to a quick 6 point lead, however at the 5:36 minute mark in the 3rd quarter Steel City made a run to take the lead into the third quarter 89 to 80.
In the fourth quarter Steel City went up as much as 14 points. Cleveland made a run and cut the lead to 6 points, but that would be as close as they would get. Steel City made several timely three point shots and won the game 124 to 112.
Cleveland was led by Todd Brown (6'5''-G-87, college: Wright St.) Triple Double 10 points, 10 assists, 10 Rebounds, and 2 steals. Todd is a bonafide pro who will be heading back overseas in the near future. Former NCAA High Jump Champion Jamil Dudley (6'6''-F) led Cleveland in scoring with 26 points. Dudley added 6 rebounds 1 assist, 2 blocks, and 4 steals to his stat line.
Morgan Jones (5'9''-PG, college: Ohio Dominican) a guard who during his senior season was in the Top 10 in scoring nationally added 21 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
Brendan Cooper (6'7''-G, college: Fairmont St.) a former Canadian League first round draft pick added 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Former Dartmouth University product Dan Biber (6'8''-F, college: Western St.) added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, and 4 steals. Cleveland Am Pro'ers veteran John Trew (6'8''-F, college: Ohio Dominican) had 6 points 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. To the surprise of the Cleveland staff Marzell Brooks proved to be a huge spark off the bench with 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in only 12 minutes of game action.
You can visit www.clevelandakronampro.com for updates in regards to the Cleveland Am Pro'ers.
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today released its Power Rankings for the week ending Sunday, November 20th and the Orlando Waves moved into the number one position with a victory over the strong South Florida Gold team. The Arizona Scorpions moved into the #2 position followed closely by last week's #1 rated DMV Warriors. "We have some very talented teams in the ABA this season," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman , "And I anticipate there will be a battle every week for the #1 s... [read more]
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today released its Power Rankings for the week ending Sunday, November 20th and the Orlando Waves moved into the number one position with a victory over the strong South Florida Gold team. The Arizona Scorpions moved into the #2 position followed closely by last week's #1 rated DMV Warriors. "We have some very talented teams in the ABA this season," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman , "And I anticipate there will be a battle every week for the #1 spot."
1. Orlando Waves (5-0) 2. Arizona Scorpions (6-0) 3. DMV Warriors (3-0) 4. Kentucky Enforcers (4-0) 5. New England Anchors (4-0) 6. Atlanta Wildcats (4-0) 7. Roc City Ravens (4-0) 8. Georgia Kingz (4-0) 9. South Florida GOLD (4-1) 10. Kalamazoo Cobras (5-1) 11. Orange County Novastars (4-1) 12. Salina Saints (3-0) 13. Universal City Seraphims (3-0) 14. Richmond Elite (2-0) 15. Mobile Bay Tornados (2-0) 16. Atlantic Coast Cardinals (3-0) 17. Steel City Yellow Jackets (3-1) 18. Grand Rapids Danger (3-1) 19. Wisconsin RimRattlers (2-0) 20. Austin Bats (2-0) 21. New York Court Kingz (2-0) 22. West Michigan Lake Hawks (2-0) 23. Springfield Sting (2-1) 24. Fredericksburg Grizzlies (2-1) 25. T- Carolina Cougars, Nevada Senators (each 2-1)
*Minimum of 2 games to be Power Ranked. Teams to watch: Jacksonville Giants, Windy City Groove, Laredo Swarm, West Texas Whirlwinds, Henderson Hawks. For more information, visit www.abaliveaction.com
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