Re-born at 28 years old? His name is Gregory Plummer 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 Mixon , 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 Nike's 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 and Chris Wehye 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 Premier Basketball League tonight crowned the Rochester Razorsharks the 2017 Champions after holding off their rival Kentucky Mavericks 95-94 to win their fourth consecutive title. Based on their performances in the PBL Finals, Corey Allmond (6'2''-G-88, college: Sam Houston St.) and Jerice Crouch (6'0''-PG-84, college: Chattanooga) were named Co-MVP's of the PBL Finals. The final contest of the season started quickly for the Mavericks as Josh Johnson was able to get Kentucky out to a... [read more]
The Premier Basketball League tonight crowned the Rochester Razorsharks the 2017 Champions after holding off their rival Kentucky Mavericks 95-94 to win their fourth consecutive title. Based on their performances in the PBL Finals, Corey Allmond (6'2''-G-88, college: Sam Houston St.) and Jerice Crouch (6'0''-PG-84, college: Chattanooga) were named Co-MVP's of the PBL Finals. The final contest of the season started quickly for the Mavericks as Josh Johnson was able to get Kentucky out to an early lead. Nicholas Waddell (6'7''-C-89, college: Grand Valley St.) continued his excellent series play with some defensive stops and a few put backs to help the Mavericks post a 6 point lead after the first quarter, 28-22. As the second period started, Rochester slowly chipped away at the Mavericks lead behind their bench play of Deverell Biggs and Sidney Holmes. John Ivy played outstanding defense to help keep the Razorsharks in the ball game and at the half, the game was tied at 47 all. With 24 minutes left in the PBL season, both Kentucky and Rochester stepped up their effort and made this a half for the record books. The Razorsharks won the quarter 28-24 to give them a 75-71 lead. Jerice Crouch continued to attack the basket and veteran Melvin Council made some clutch long range jumpers to keep the Razorsharks in the lead. Not to be outdone, Nicholas Waddell and Stan Simpson (6'10''-C-90, college: Memphis) started to dominate in the paint for the Mavericks. Several times the game was tied in the closing minutes before Kentucky was finally able to take a 94-93 lead after a Nicholas Waddell bucket in the post. With 20 seconds left in the game, Rochester called timeout to draw up the most important play of their season. The Razorsharks came out of the timeout looking to get the ball in the post and were successful. Jerice Crouch was able to get the ball to Jordan Railey and he was able to score on a hook shot that bounced around the rim multiple times before falling in. Now it was Kentucky's turn to try to win the ball game. Nicholas Waddell had the first chance as the Mavericks hoped that lightning strikes twice with another post-up. Nicholas Waddell drove to the middle but Jordan Railey stepped up, this time on the defensive end, as he blocked the Nicholas Waddell shot out of bounds with 2.3 seconds left. The Mavericks ran an excellent play for sharpshooter Ben Vozzola in the left corner for a long three attempt, but the shot was long and the Razorsharks won their fourth championship 95-94. Melvin Council had 22 points to lead all scorers. Jerice Crouch had 18 points and Corey Allmond had 12 points in the win. Stan Simpson had 21 points for Kentucky in the loss. Nicholas Waddell had 18 points with Robert Crawford chipping in with 15 points. In the PBL Finals series, both Kentucky and Rochester each scored 295 points, with each winning 6 quarters and tying one quarter. Both teams were evenly matched, with the winning margin of victory being three, two, and one respectively. This was truly a series for the ages. 'This series could arguably go down as the best ever in PBL history,' stated PBL Commissioner Dennis Truax. 'Kentucky and Rochester put on a great series for the fans. Each game was an instant classic and both teams had multiple chances to capture the PBL title. What a great way to end our season with such great games. Congratulations to both franchises for such a hard fought series and to Rochester for winning their fourth straight title.' 2017 PBL All-PLAYOFF TEAM CO-MVP - Jerice Crouch - Rochester Razorsharks CO-MVP - Corey Allmond - Rochester Razorsharks Stan Simpson - Kentucky Mavericks Nicholas Waddell - Kentucky Mavericks Christian Davis (6'3''-F, college: Howard Payne) - Jamestown Jackals Bernard Edwards (6'6''-F-90, college: Defiance) - Ohio Bootleggers. Courtesy of: thepbl.com
Round 2 of Finals. RazorSharks force decider - 14 days ago
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Rochester R. - Kentucky M. 112-110 Rochester RazorSharks held off Kentucky Mavericks to even the championship series at 1-1. The winner-takes-it-all Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday. Rochester RazorSharks looked well-organized offensively handing out 23 assists. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Rochester RazorSharks made 8 blocks. 26 personal fouls committed by Mavericks helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Guard Corey Allmond (188-88,... [read more]
Rochester RazorSharks held off Kentucky Mavericks to even the championship series at 1-1. The winner-takes-it-all Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday. Rochester RazorSharks looked well-organized offensively handing out 23 assists. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Rochester RazorSharks made 8 blocks. 26 personal fouls committed by Mavericks helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Guard Corey Allmond (188-88, college: Sam Houston St.) orchestrated the victory by scoring 41 points (!!!), 6 rebounds and 5 assists (was perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line !!!). Point guard Jerice Crouch (182-84, college: Chattanooga) contributed with 35 points (!!!) and 5 assists for the winners. Center Nicholas Waddell (200-89, college: Grand Valley St.) replied with a double-double by scoring 27 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists (was perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line !!!) and center Stan Simpson (208-90, college: Memphis) added 19 points and 9 rebounds in the effort for Mavericks. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. Top scorers: Rochester R.: C.Allmond 41+6reb+5ast, J.Crouch 35+3reb+5ast, M.Council 10+9reb+7ast, J.Railey 9+7reb+2ast, J.Chichester 5+4reb, A.Coker 4+5reb Kentucky M.: N.Waddell 27+13reb+7ast, S.Simpson 19+9reb+2ast, G.DeVaughn 15+4reb+1ast, A.Jackson 12+1reb+5ast, B.Vozzola 9+5reb, C.Hagan 8+5reb+5ast
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