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.
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today named Barry Webster Sr. as Vice President of Native American Affairs. "As the most diversified professional sports league in history, the ABA is extremely proud of its inclusiveness and providing opportunities," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman . "And while we do have two Native American teams in the ABA, Native Americans have not been treated fairly and with the respect they deserve. So, we are very happy that Barry Webster Sr. has joined t... [read more]
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today named Barry Webster Sr. as Vice President of Native American Affairs. "As the most diversified professional sports league in history, the ABA is extremely proud of its inclusiveness and providing opportunities," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman . "And while we do have two Native American teams in the ABA, Native Americans have not been treated fairly and with the respect they deserve. So, we are very happy that Barry Webster Sr. has joined the ABA and will work to establish even greater relationships with Native Americans throughout the US." Webster is a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska along with being part Ho-Chunk from Winnebago, NE. He resides on the Omaha Tribal Homelands in Macy, NE with his wife Libby and family. Barry attended the United Tribes Technical College where he played NJCAA basketball. He graduated from Nebraska Indian Community College and then went on to the U of Nebraska at Lincoln where he earned his BS in Education. He is currently working towards his Masters in Sports Management. In 2014, Webster was inducted into the United Tribes Technical College Hall of Fame for basketball and was recently named Head Coach of the Siouxland Bison, a new ABA team. "I want to thank God and the ABA for giving me this opportunity," added Webster. "I'm really excited and looking forward to bridging that gap with the ABA, WABA and Native America." For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.americanbasketballassociation.org or www.abaliveaction.com
Over the last weeks, the American Basketball Association (ABA) announced five new teams, as follows: - the Pensacola Energy based in Pensacola, FL, run by Curtis Beasley and pro player Terrance Beasley (6'6''-G/F-90, college: W.Florida), that will compete in both Florida and Gulf Coast Divisions. For more information, email either email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or call 850 361 7362 - a team based in Orlando, FL, run by Anthony "Amp" Stuckey, adde... [read more]
Over the last weeks, the American Basketball Association (ABA) announced five new teams, as follows: - the Pensacola Energy based in Pensacola, FL, run by Curtis Beasley and pro player Terrance Beasley (6'6''-G/F-90, college: W.Florida), that will compete in both Florida and Gulf Coast Divisions. For more information, email either firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 850 361 7362 - a team based in Orlando, FL, run by Anthony "Amp" Stuckey, added to Florida Division For more information, email email@example.com - a team based in Springfield MA, the Birthplace of Basketball, run by Zachary Baru For more information, call 413 222 6160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - the LA Palms based in Los Angeles, CA, owned by Tjuan Benefactor, CEO of ABA Media & Entertainment, Darnell Van Rensalier and Garfield Bright For more information, email Darnell at email@example.com or Tjuan at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.theLAPalms.com - the Twin City Jazz, based in Monroe, LA. This team played last season in Fairmont WV as the West Virginia Wildcats, and is now co-owned by Anthony Speights and Lajuana Logan. For more information, visit www.twincityjazz.com or email email@example.com
The Jersey Express believes they have the 2015-2016 ABA Rookie of the Year. First year pro Denzel Mensah (6'3''-G-93), affectionately known as 'Blade' for his uncanny resemblance to the comic book character, is averaging 11pts, 5rbds, 2.5asts, 1stl, and 1block per contest. Far from monstrous stats, but stats don't show you the monster he is on the court. Team owner Marsha Blount, said 'Denzel adds a passion and a toughness to the team. 'Blades' every movement oozes confidence. He backs it... [read more]
The Jersey Express believes they have the 2015-2016 ABA Rookie of the Year. First year pro Denzel Mensah (6'3''-G-93), affectionately known as 'Blade' for his uncanny resemblance to the comic book character, is averaging 11pts, 5rbds, 2.5asts, 1stl, and 1block per contest. Far from monstrous stats, but stats don't show you the monster he is on the court. Team owner Marsha Blount, said 'Denzel adds a passion and a toughness to the team. 'Blades' every movement oozes confidence. He backs it up with this ability to play and defend four positions. Captain J. Smith is impressed by the simple fact that everyone likes him. 'He's one of the few players I have every been around that everyone likes. Every player on the team, the coaches, the event staffing, and all our fans love this guy.' I know what your thinking, how does average stats and being popular add up to being Rookie of the Year. That alone doesn't, but the fact that the Express were ranked #1 for two weeks and in the top ten the entire season is additional validation. He is a big reason for the success of the Express. He was the last man in the rotation now he is a star player for a championship caliber team. Denzel is a great young player playing well beyond his age. He has provided energy, enthusiasm, and even some leadership. The latter is very difficult for a rook to do on a veteran team. But then again we are talking about Denzel Mensah, your ABA Rookie of the Year. by J. Smith
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