The newest member of BK Prostejov takes some time to introduce himself, talk about his experiences and what he looks forward to accomplishing this season. Jamar Smith (191-G-87, agency: KMG Sports Management, college: S.Indiana), 6-3, 195lbs is coming off his first professional season spent in the NBA D-League with the Maine Red Claws. The former University of Illinois and Southern Indiana star had a stellar rookie season, being named to the D-League All-Rookie Second team after starting 45 of 48 contests and averaging 13.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 46.7% from the field, 43.2% from three and 88.9% from the free-throw line. Jamar picked himself back up after a tumultuous end to his time at Illinois by re-grouping at Southern Indiana and putting together two incredibly impressive seasons at the NCAA2 school before going undrafted at the 2010 NBA Draft. However, his refined shooting, especially from behind the arc, was too good to go unnoticed and he earned a training camp invite with the Boston Celtics prior to heading to Maine and the D-League. For reference, an abbreviated 21 game sophomore season at Illinois is the only time in his brief career where he failed to shoot at least 40% from three (31.7%). His chances cut short at joining the NBA this season due to the lockout, Smith is continuing his maturation as a player and person as he begins his European career in the Czech Republic. Now, as one of the key members of a re-tooled Prostejov squad, Smith will be counted upon by new Head Coach Zbynek Choleva to carry a big scoring load as he teams with returning center Yemi Nicholson, captain Jaroslav Prasil (201-F-80) and several other newcomers to try and return the team to its established levels of prominence over the past two seasons.
Q) First of all, thank you for taking the time for this interview. What was your first thought when you found out that you would be heading to the Czech Republic to play this season?
A) I was excited for the opportunity to play in another country and adapt and learn a new culture.
Q) Do you know anyone who has experience playing or living in Czech? What advice have you gotten so far on what to expect?
A) I don't know anyone personally who has played in Czech. Just to be open minded to the culture and enjoy the experience.
Q) Your new team has a completely different look from the last two seasons, when they were second-place finishers each of the last two seasons. Essentially you will be coming in and expected to put your stamp on the team right off the bat. Is this something you are accustomed and look forward to?
A) Definitely because my whole career I have been a scorer and then this past season I had to become more of the distributor, so I'm excited to get started.
Q) Asked to be primarily a shooting guard and scorer during your time in college, what was the biggest adjustment you had to make to your game to adapt to running the point at the pro level?
A) As a point guard you look to distribute first so it was just understanding when to look for my shot and the adjustment of running the offense.
Q) Obviously, you picked up the nuances of the position quickly, averaging 5.0 assists per game as a rookie starter for Maine last season. Under Austin Ainge (son of Boston Celtics Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge) what did you learn about yourself and your game while in the D-League?
A) That I could make any adjustment when it comes to the game and I feel now I can play either guard position just as effectively.
Q) Back to the connection to Boston, what was it like to be in training camp with all of those Future Hall of Famers?
A) It was a positive learning experience getting advise from guys like Rajon Rondo and his knowledge of the PG position.
Q) When we look back at your collegiate career, as a native of Illinois, what did it mean to you to play for Bruce Weber and the Illini? How did it affect you when you lost that opportunity to play for Illinois?
A) It was a disappointment; I'd always dreamed of playing there but when I lost the opportunity it bettered me as a person and I will always be very grateful to the University of Illinois for the opportunity.
Q) What led you to choose to transfer to Southern Indiana? How did your two seasons there help you develop and grow?
A) It was a school that was relatively close to home and a new opportunity for me. From the start I had to earn everything at Southern Indiana, nothing was given to me. I had to prove that I would not let anyone out work me and I wanted to be the leader of the team.
Q) Going into this season, what are your goals for yourself and the team?
A) Win the Czech Championship and perform very well in the EuroCup and EuroChallenge games.
Q) As the NBA is of course a goal for everyone, what are your thoughts on the lockout? Will the season start on time?
A) I'm not really sure because I haven't thought much about it. I try to really focus on what I can control and that is the upcoming season with BK Prostejov.
Mad Ants eliminate Drive from playoff contention - 18 hours ago
follow us on
The Grand Rapids Drive (22-24) came back from 20 points down to tie the score at 99 after trailing the entire game, but the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (28-19) took back control from there and eliminated the Drive from the playoff picture, prevailing 126-119. The Drive went on an 18-6 run to open the fourth quarter after trailing by eight at the end of the first quarter and 13 at halftime. Henry Ellenson converted a three-point play to force the game's first tie, but Tyler Hansbrough (6'9''-F-85,... [read more]
The Grand Rapids Drive (22-24) came back from 20 points down to tie the score at 99 after trailing the entire game, but the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (28-19) took back control from there and eliminated the Drive from the playoff picture, prevailing 126-119. The Drive went on an 18-6 run to open the fourth quarter after trailing by eight at the end of the first quarter and 13 at halftime. Henry Ellenson converted a three-point play to force the game's first tie, but Tyler Hansbrough (6'9''-F-85, college: N.Carolina) responded with a three-point play of his own immediately after and the Drive were not able to tie the game back again. The NBA veteran Hansbrough had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Fort Wayne, Alex Poythress (6'8''-F-93, college: Kentucky) had 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds and Trey McKinney-Jones had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Loyd (6'4''-G-93, college: Indianapolis, agency: Three Eye Sports) also had 21 points, as he and Hansbrough combined to go 23-of-24 from the foul line. As a team, the Mad Ants hit 34 of 39 free throws. On the Drive's side, Kevin Murphy (6'5''-G-90, college: Tenn Tech) led the team in scoring for the third consecutive game with a game-high 32 points. Lorenzo Brown (6'5''-G-90, college: N.Carolina St.) had 28 points and five rebounds and Ray McCallum (6'3''-PG-91, college: Detroit Mercy) had 23 points and seven assists. Pistons assignee Ellenson had 13 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. A physical defense for the Drive meant the whistle was their enemy all night. They committed 33 fouls to 17 for the Mad Ants, and even after Brown dunked to cut the Fort Wayne lead to two in the fourth quarter the Drive bench was whistled for a costly technical. The Drive were very efficient from the field, especially in the second half, finishing shooting 52 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range. But it was not enough to make up for the Mad Ants' prolific volume and efficiency at the charity stripe, especially since they supplemented it with 48 percent shooting from the field and 12 offensive rebounds to six for the Drive. Grand Rapids pulled within a half-game of Fort Wayne in the standings on Feb. 22 when they beat Long Island to improve their record to 20-17, but the teams have gone in opposite directions since, and this loss put an end to the Drive's playoff hopes. They will remain without a playoff appearance in three seasons as a franchise. These teams meet for a rematch in Grand Rapids tomorrow night, March 25 at the DeltaPlex. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
If Thursday night's game turns out to be a preview of the upcoming NBA D-League playoffs, fans in Portland are in for a show. The Canton Charge - who swept Maine in two games last spring - had their way with the Red Claws Thursday night, leading from start to finish and even rubbing salt in the wound at the end of a 110-99 victory before a crowd of 2,287. Kay Felder (5'9''-PG-95, college: Oakland), a 5-foot-9 rookie guard on assignment from the parent Cleveland Cavaliers, drove in a for a... [read more]
If Thursday night's game turns out to be a preview of the upcoming NBA D-League playoffs, fans in Portland are in for a show. The Canton Charge - who swept Maine in two games last spring - had their way with the Red Claws Thursday night, leading from start to finish and even rubbing salt in the wound at the end of a 110-99 victory before a crowd of 2,287. Kay Felder (5'9''-PG-95, college: Oakland), a 5-foot-9 rookie guard on assignment from the parent Cleveland Cavaliers, drove in a for a dunk that didn't quite beat the final buzzer but certainly will be remembered should the teams meet again in April. Felder finished with 26 points on 12-of-33 shooting that included flushes of two alley-oop passes. He also had nine assists. 'We talked about him a fair bit this week,' Red Claws Coach Scott Morrison said. 'I didn't think his scoring was the end of us (Thursday). I thought our transition defense was the reason we lost the game, but Felder also hurt us passing the ball. We've got to be able to contest his shots without taking three guys to do it.' The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Red Claws (28-18), whose magic number remains two for clinching a third straight Atlantic Division title. They have four games left, including a regular-season home finale Sunday afternoon against Reno. Canton (29-18) stands in second place in the Central Division. 'We're not clinched in the playoffs,' Canton Coach Nate Reinking said. 'So for us, we're trying to get the mentality like every game is a playoff game. Tonight we came out, we played extremely well but we knew Maine, they've got firepower, too.' Canton jumped to leads of 10-2 and 27-13 before the Claws cut it to eight after one quarter. They came as close as four (44-40) midway through the second on a 3-pointer by Coron Williams (6'1''-PG-89, college: Wake Forest) before Canton went on a 12-0 run and entered halftime with a 63-44 lead. Eric Moreland (6'10''-F-91, college: Oregon St.) (14 points, 16 rebounds) took a Felder pass and dunked early in the third for a 79-51 advantage, Canton's largest of the night. With help from two Celtics assigned to Maine, Jordan Mickey (6'8''-F-94, college: LSU, agency: Babcock Sports) and Demetrius Jackson, the Claws cut the margin to single digits in the fourth and with two minutes left had two open looks from deep to make it a five-point game, but attempts from both Marcus Georges-Hunt and Jackson rimmed out. 'It was important for us to show that fight,' said Mickey, who led Maine in points (20) and rebounds (11). 'We battled back. We didn't quit.' John Holland led Canton with 28 points on 16 fewer shots (11 of 17) than Felder. Williams had 18 for Maine, Jackson 16 and Abdel Nader (6'6''-F-93, college: Iowa St.) 14. After Jackson made two free throws with 6.4 seconds left, both teams relaxed, assuming Canton would dribble out the clock. Instead, Felder brought the ball up court and dunked, with Mickey coming over to contest it. 'No NBA team I know of would do that,' Mickey said. 'I know the Celtics wouldn't do it for sure and I doubt the Cavaliers would so something like that. Guys know better than to do stuff like that.' He paused. 'I'll keep that in the back of my mind,' he said, 'if we happen to play these guys again.' Courtesy of: pressherald.com
Stokes comes back to Sioux Falls Skyforce - 2 days ago
follow us on
Sioux Falls Skyforce strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old forward Jarnell Stokes (201-113kg-94, college: Tennessee). It is actually his comeback to Sioux Falls Skyforce as he has played here before. Stokes played atDenver Nuggets in the NBA, but was released by the team in Nov.'16. But in two games he recorded just 1.5ppg, 1.0rpg and 1.0apg this season. The last season Stokes played at another team Sioux Falls Skyforce where in 35 games he averaged impressive 20.7ppg, 9.... [read more]
Sioux Falls Skyforce strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old forward Jarnell Stokes (201-113kg-94, college: Tennessee). It is actually his comeback to Sioux Falls Skyforce as he has played here before. Stokes played at Denver Nuggets in the NBA, but was released by the team in Nov.'16. But in two games he recorded just 1.5ppg, 1.0rpg and 1.0apg this season. The last season Stokes played at another team Sioux Falls Skyforce where in 35 games he averaged impressive 20.7ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.4apg and 1.0spg. Great season indeed as he was selected USBasket.com All-D-League Player of the Year, Forward of the Year and voted to 1st Team. Three years ago he was drafted by Utah Jazz (NBA) in second round (35th overall). Stokes attended University of Tennessee until 2014 and it is his third season in pro basketball. He represented USA at the World Championships U19 in Prague (Czech Republic) four years ago. Stokes' team won Gold and his stats at that event were 9 games: 7.2ppg, 4.6rpg, FGP: 60.0%, FT: 55.0%. Stokes has played previously professionally in other NBA team (New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies) and D-League (Iowa Energy).
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.