With a flurry of international signings this month, we decided to return to a feature we typically do during the summer: the Weekly Roundup! See which Americans signed where this week around the world.
We're in Germany for Baller of the Week, where Dwayne Evans had a monster game for Ratiopharm Ulm in their victory over Crailsheim Merlins. Evans had 32 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the 99-87 victory, a key win for Ratiopharm as they look to hold on to their playoff spot in the fiercely competitive Basketball Bundesliga. The Saint Louis University product has had steady averages for Ratiopharm so far this season, and is in the top 10 in the BBL in scoring and rebounding. His team currently sits in seventh place in the BBL standings with a 12-11 record, but are only one game ahead of the eleventh-place team. Evans great performance in such an important game earn him Baller of the Week status this week.
Bakery Piacenza announced their signing of Keith Appling for the rest of the season. Appling joins the team from Argentina, where he'd been playing for Asociacion Deportiva Atenas in the country's top division during the month of January. Appling has also spent time in Mexico and the Dominican Republic during the 2018-2019 season. He will join a Piacenza team that is currently in second-to-last place in the SerieA2 East division with an 7-18 record. This is Appling's first year as a baller abroad, having most recently played in the NBA and the NBA G League during the 2015-2016 after graduating from Michigan State in 2014.
Jimmie Taylor is the newest player for Spojnia Stargard after signing with the Polish team March 15. Taylor joins the team from Greece, where he had been playing for Panionios BC in the country's top division. The second-year pro averaged 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent from the field. While this is his second year of professional basketball it is his first in Europe, having spent the 2017-2018 season playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA G League. Spojna Stargard is fighting off relegation in their first year in Poland's top division, and currently sit in seventeenth place out of 18 teams with a record of 5-16. The Alabama grad should be joining the team before their next game, March 16 against Legia Warszawa.
Another big game in a European competition has us taking notice this week. Rashawn Thomas had a huge double-double for Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari (Italy) in the FIBA Europe Cup, dropping 40 points to go along with 16 rebounds in his team's 94-68 stomping of Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden (Netherlands) which put Sassari into the quarterfinals of the competition. The power forward hit 15 of his 22 shots from the floor, including shooting 4-of-6 from three-point range, while also grabbing four of his 16 rebounds on the offensive end. The second-year pro out of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi nearly quadrupled his season scoring average of 11.0 points per game, but has seen his best moments in Europe Cup play, where he is averaging 15.4 points per game. Thomas' success in such a big game for the team made him an easy choice for Baller of the Week.
Devondrick Walker could be out the rest of the season after suffering a foot injury over the weekend. The 6'5 guard out of Texas A&M-Commerce played in seven games for Happy Casa Brindisi before suffering his injury in Sunday's game against Fiat Torino. After a slow start to the season with Alma Trieste, another team in Lega Basket SerieA, Walker's season got a boost when he moved to fellow Italian team Brindisi. The fifth-year pro was averaging 11.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game before the injury, the most consistent numbers of his career. While Brindisi may have to say goodbye to Walker, they may be welcoming another American back into the fold, as it was also announced that Wes Clark could be returning from injury soon. Clark played 10 games before going down with an injury in December. Brindisi currently sits in fifth place in the Serie A standings with a 13-8 record.
The world of international basketball can get pretty messy. If you think that playing abroad is just like playing in the NBA but for a different country, you couldn't be more wrong. Teams can be cutthroat, and not every team is known for treating their players well. International veteran Julian Wright went through this experience as he talked about why he did not finish the season with French team Levallois Metropolitans.