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.
Reno Bighorns signed 45-year old coach Darrick Martin. He has last worked as director of basketball operations at St.John's (NCAA). Martin has coached also professionally in Italy, Russia and NBA (Minnesota Timberwolves). By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in D-League [read more]
Reno Bighorns signed 45-year old coach Darrick Martin. He has last worked as director of basketball operations at St.John's (NCAA). Martin has coached also professionally in Italy, Russia and NBA (Minnesota Timberwolves).
Rex Walters to be named new Grand Rapids Drive head coach - 10 days ago
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The Detroit Pistons are expected to name Rex Walters the next head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, multiple league sources tell D-League Digest. Walters served as the head coach at the University of San Francisco from 2008-16 where he compiled a 126-125 record. Walters was selected by the New Jersey Nets with the 16th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He spent seven years in the NBA with New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami. In 335 career games, Walters averaged... [read more]
The Detroit Pistons are expected to name Rex Walters the next head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, multiple league sources tell D-League Digest. Walters served as the head coach at the University of San Francisco from 2008-16 where he compiled a 126-125 record. Walters was selected by the New Jersey Nets with the 16th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He spent seven years in the NBA with New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami. In 335 career games, Walters averaged 4.6 points per contest. Walters replaces Otis Smith, who is expected to join the Pistons in their front office for the 2016-17 season. Smith was the team's first head coach beginning in 2014. In two seasons with the Drive, Smith finished with a 44-56 record. Notable call-ups during Smith's stint include Lorenzo Brown, Robert Covington, and Henry Sims. Courtesy of: dleaguedigest.com
Bighorns Receive NBA D-league Community Relations Award - 15 days ago
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The Reno Bighorns were recently the recipients of the NBA Development League Top 3 Community Appearances Award for their outstanding efforts in the Reno/Sparks community during the 2016 NBA D-League League Meetings. The Bighorns placed in the top three out of 19 NBA Development League Teams. The award recognizes the top NBA D-League teams who reflect the passion the league and its players have for giving back to their communities [read more]
The Reno Bighorns were recently the recipients of the NBA Development League Top 3 Community Appearances Award for their outstanding efforts in the Reno/Sparks community during the 2016 NBA D-League League Meetings. The Bighorns placed in the top three out of 19 NBA Development League Teams. The award recognizes the top NBA D-League teams who reflect the passion the league and its players have for giving back to their communities. During the 2015-16 season: Bighorns players, coaches, mascot, front office personnel and Lady Bighorns made more than 230 appearances in the community (school assemblies, hospital visits, nonprofit events and fundraising benefits). The Bighorns supported more than 300 different area organizations with in-kind contributions. These in-kind donations (tickets, autographed memorabilia, appearances, etc.) were used to raise thousands of dollars for charitable causes in the Reno/Sparks area. The Bighorns helped raise more than $61,000 for local non-profits through cash, in-kind contributions, ticket fundraisers and theme jersey nights. The Bighorns collected more than 1,600 non-perishable food donations during the NBA D-League Season of Giving. The Reno Bighorns have a strong history of giving back to the community by contributing time, materials, resources and donations to organizations that share the team's commitment to youth education, youth health and wellness and violence prevention. The Bighorns Front Office, our team, along with our entire basketball family work to address community concerns and find ways for the Bighorns to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. 'We are excited and truly honored to receive this prestigious award from the NBA D-League,' said Bighorns Managing Owner, Herb Santos, Jr., in a press release 'Our involvement in the community has always been a corner stone of our organization as we have always considered the Bighorns a community owned team.' Courtesy of: rgj.com
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