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The Resurrection of Greg Plummer - Aug 30, 2011


POSTED BY:
SURUJH ROOPNARINE
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Gregory
Plummer
Re-born at 28 years old? His name is Gregory Plummer (6'4''-G-83, college: Eckerd) and that might be the best way to describe the 6-4 shooting guard/small forward they call The Purist. How else would you label the summer of 2011 for the 28-year old who took over the New York Summer league circuit, on his way to being named Nikes Player of the Summer at the annual Tournament of Champions earlier this month. Considering Plummer did not even play professionally this past season or last summer after rehabbing from surgery on his ankle which had been plaguing the Brooklyn, NY native the past two-plus years, the moniker is fitting. Plummer was integral to the success of the X-Men, coached by Staten Island Vipers (ABA) Head Coach Dytanya Mixson , who captured the West 4th Classic as well as EBC (Entertainers basketball Classic) titles before falling to Team Nike (Dyckman) in the TOC Finals. Plummer averaged an astonishing 41 points per contest in the West 4th playoffs and for the last two-months has been the talk of the tri-state area, something you could not have imagined at the beginning of the year.

While rehabbing, Plummer was a teacher in Westchester trying to pay the bills and make ends meet, but also during his rehab, he took the time to learn some new moves and tricks which he put on display this summer. Always a gifted shooter, (basically playing on one leg for Halifax of the Premier Basketball League in 2010 he still shot 50.0% from the field and 38.0% from behind the arc), Plummer worked on developing a more varied offensive game; inclusive of post-up moves and improved ball-handling as well as further refining his jump shot.

Though Plummer had a very productive High School career at Transit Tech HS in East New York, he went to unheralded Sage JC (Division II) before furthering his development at NCAA DII Eckerd College. Despite going the DII route, Plummer landed his first professional job in Luxembourgs second division during the 2005-06 season with BBC Nitia Bettembourg. After an abbreviated 11 games overseas, NY was calling him home and there during the 2006-07 season was where he would emerge on the professional scene with the now defunct Strong Island Sound of the American Basketball Association (ABA). Under Coach Mixson, Plummer blossomed into an All-Star on the back of averaging 20 points per contest while leading the Sound to the second round of the playoffs.

However, the end of the 2008 season would be the beginning of the troubles for Plummer, specifically his ankle. Never wanting to stop and truly rest or try to recover, Plummer would play the next seasons between the Continental basketball Association (CBA) and PBL, where he finished with Halifax in 2010, hobbled and unable to match the level of performance he had come to expect.
Today, fully recovered and coming off of the summer of his re-birth Plummer takes some time to talk about the last two months, his ups and downs and where he see himself going this season and beyond.

Surujh: First off congratulations again on being named Nikes Player of the Summer. What does the award mean for you?
Greg: It means a great deal to me and my career because it shows that I accomplished something that a lot of people didnt think I could. A lot of people didnt expect me to come back and be as productive as I was before the injury. Then to come back and win two championships, two MVP awards in two of the major leagues in New York City no one expected me to be playing at that level , but I knew that I could and I did. I didnt want to just come back and show that I could run up and down the court, I owed it to myself to show that I could perform at a high level and win.

Surujh: What are your thoughts on the TOC Championship game loss against Team Nike? Was it just a matter of wrong day and wrong time?
Greg: It was a matter of them scoring more points than us. Its as simple as that. They were the better team that day and they are the champs until next season.

Surujh: Regardless, it was a summer to remember for you personally. What did you expect coming into the summer tournaments? Were you mentally and physically ready?
Greg: I was definitely mentally and physically ready for the summer. My physical health was never a concern for me because I knew I was ready. I was home all winter and waiting for all the guys who play Professional ball to come home so that we could take them out. Thats something I was looking forward to because I had the opportunity to play with my X-Men brothers again and we always have a really good chance of winning no matter who we play against.

Surujh: Tell me a little about your last year and half for you, the injury, your rehab and not playing. What kind of affect did that have on you?
Greg: Without question the toughest and most frustrating time of my life. I wanted everything to happen fast. I wanted a speedy recovery, rehab, and just wanted it to be in the past. Sometimes it takes a while for your body to respond to the physical demands of professional basketball. I learned a lot of valuable lessons. As much as I hated it at times, I believe that I am a much better person and basketball player because I went through this. Being on the sidelines for that long wasnt easy but it made me hungrier and motivatedmore than Ive ever been.

Surujh: About your rehab, I read in the Post (NY) article that you spent time working on other aspects of your game in your training regimen. What did you focus on and what type of work did you have to put in?
Greg: I had to focus on getting my body stronger and making my game outside of shooting the ball more efficient. I worked out with Lamont Harris in the winter and spring. Everything we did was high intensity, fast paced and physical. Along with the workouts I used the winter leagues and spring leagues to get me ready for summer.

Surujh: What kind of feedback and response did you get from the NYC fans this summer?
Your opponents? Other coaches?
Greg: I surprised a lot of people. Nobody outside of X-Men expected me to play the way I did. It was fun to see guys who I always play against trying to adjust to the new things I added to my game. It was even more fun to see other coaches sending a bunch of different guys at me to slow me down. The most fun of all is the look on all of their faces when they focused on me and forgot that we had Tommie Eddie (6'7''-F/C-82, college: Mississippi) and Chris Wehye (6'7''-F-84, college: Quinnipiac) and that it led to championships.

Surujh: With many seasons about to get underway overseas and in the US minor leagues, where do you have your sights set for this season?
Greg: I have a few teams interested but no deal has been made yet so Im just waiting to see what happens. Im just excited about the opportunity to be playing pro ball again.

Surujh: What can Gregory Plummer bring to the table for a pro club overseas?
Greg: A professional, passionate, hard worker, and someone who is hungry for championships.   



ABA annouces Cinco de Mayo tournament - 7 days ago
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]

Joe Newman
ABA names new European VP of Marketing - 7 days ago
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]

Michael
Zeigler
Aliens tame the Lions - 17 days ago
Atlanta Aliens finished the regular season strong by defeating Lions Basketball 139-100. The Aliens used tough defensive pressure to establish an early lead and never looked back. At the end of the 1st quarter, the Aliens led 41-21. They extended the lead by halftime 84-47 and cruised to victory the remainder of the game. All of the Aliens scored and seven players were in double figures. ABA All-Star nominee Michael Zeigler (6'5''-F-89, college: Morehouse) led all scorers with his fifth t...   [read more]


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