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.
ABA Final Eight to start on March 29th - 10 hours ago
The ABA Finals starts tomorrow night in Baltimore, with the last two qualifying rounds. At this time, the Final Eight have not yet been determined. Jersey Express is playing Baltimore Hawks for one spot, Richmond Elite is playing Orlando Waves for another. This down was the Final ABA Power Ranking, on that will be based the Final Eight Bracket: 1. DMV Warriors 2. Jacksonville Giants 3. Orlando Waves 4. Austin Bats 5. Mobile Bay Tornados 6. Chicago W.City Groove 7. South Florida Gold 8. C... [read more]
The ABA Finals starts tomorrow night in Baltimore, with the last two qualifying rounds. At this time, the Final Eight have not yet been determined. Jersey Express is playing Baltimore Hawks for one spot, Richmond Elite is playing Orlando Waves for another. This down was the Final ABA Power Ranking, on that will be based the Final Eight Bracket:
The American Basketball Association announced that four ABA teams will participate in a tournament to be held in Mexico during Cinco de Mayo which will also feature several Mexican and Latin American teams. "We are very excited about this event which will be the first introduction of ABA Mexico," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman. "Bobby Garcia, ABA Mexico CEO, has been doing a remarkable job putting ABA Mexico together and this should be a fun and exciting event. We will be announcing the... [read more]
The American Basketball Association announced that four ABA teams will participate in a tournament to be held in Mexico during Cinco de Mayo which will also feature several Mexican and Latin American teams. "We are very excited about this event which will be the first introduction of ABA Mexico," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman. "Bobby Garcia, ABA Mexico CEO, has been doing a remarkable job putting ABA Mexico together and this should be a fun and exciting event. We will be announcing the participating US teams shortly." "Things are coming together very well," added Garcia. "There is already a lot of excitement about the tournament. And we've created a new website, www.ligaABAmx.com which also links to the ABA website, www.abaliveaction.com and to www.americasportsnation.com. It will feature quality photos and videos and news about both the ABA and ABA Mexico. #OneFamily #LigaABAmx #The Bridge #USA/Mex #El PuenteDelFuturo" For more information,m visit www.ligaABAmx.com or www.abaliveaction.com or email Bobby Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011-52-214-6647
The American Basketball Association (ABA) announced last week that Tom Ellingsen has been named European VP of Marketing. "I could not be more delighted than to have Tom representing the ABA in Europe," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman . "He has been a friend and a significant shareholder of the ABA since 2005 and has been very helpful to the league with his creativity and ideas. I have no doubt he will make an impact in Europe." A native of Norway, Tom receive his MBA in Sweden and Londo... [read more]
The American Basketball Association (ABA) announced last week that Tom Ellingsen has been named European VP of Marketing. "I could not be more delighted than to have Tom representing the ABA in Europe," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman . "He has been a friend and a significant shareholder of the ABA since 2005 and has been very helpful to the league with his creativity and ideas. I have no doubt he will make an impact in Europe." A native of Norway, Tom receive his MBA in Sweden and London. After several years in the finance department of Shell Oil and Mobil Oil in Scandinavia, he established his own business over 30 years ago, a business that included sales/trading and marketing of fish from Russian trawlers and export of Norwegian salmon to Europe. He has been involved in developing a number of projects within real estate, aquaculture/fisheries, nutrition, bio energy and the oil industry. "I've been following the growth of the ABA for over ten years," added Ellingsen, "and now I believe the time is right to bring this great brand to Europe - and to bring our great European companies to the US." For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.abaliveaction.com
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