We're headed around the world for Baller of the Week this time, where Shawn Long had tons of production in Australia's National Basketball League. Hooping for the New Zealand Breakers, Long put up 32 points, nine rebounds and three assists in his team's 113-106 victory over the Cairns Taipans. The Louisiana-Lafayette product is averaging 17.0 points per game for the Breakers this season, his second as a Baller Abroad and third overall, but this breakout game in one of the most competitive leagues in the world made him an easy choice for Baller of the Week.
San Pablo Burgos in Spain's Liga Endesa has announced their signing of international vet Dominique Sutton, who arrives to the team after spending the first half of the season in Lithuania with BC Rytas Vilnius. The North Carolina Central grad averaged 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game across all competitions, which included the 7DAYS Eurocup.
A long-time presence on the international hoops scene, Sutton has not played in Spain prior to signing with San Pablo Burgos, having spent time in Greece, the Philippines, Italy, Germany and France. Burgos could certainly use his help as they currently sit in the bottom half of the Liga Endesa standings with a 6-12 record.
Kevin Ware is the newest player at Kymis BC after signing with the Greek team Jan. 25. Ware joins the team after playing this season in Canada, where he averaged 9.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the London Lightning in the National Basketball League. The Georgia State product has prior experience hooping in Greece, having spent last season playing for Ifaistos Limnou, a team also in the Greek Basket League.
Since starting his professional career in 2016, Ware has also played in Finland and Czechia in addition to his time and Greece and Canada. The combo guard is famous for his comeback after a gruesome leg injury he sustained while playing for the University of Louisville in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Andre Jones is joining a new team in Italy's Lega Basket Serie A2 after signing with Leonis Roma in the country's second division. Jones started the season with Termoforgia Jesi, where he averaged 18.6 points and 5.4 assists per game in 16 games played, his highest averages since the 2015-2016 season. The Winthrop product, who has also played in England, Georgia, Mexico and Slovakia, has played in Italy since 2017. He joins a Roma side that is in a middling eleventh place in the Western division of Lega Basket Serie A2 with an 8-9 record.
We're going to switch it up a little this week. Typically, our Ballers of the Week are players who have a big game in their domestic leagues around the world. We try to really dig into different countries and competitions so that we're really going global with who we choose. But this week, we've decided to mix it up a little bit. Keifer Sykes, a point guard playing for Sidigas Avellino in Italy, had a monster performance in the Basketball Champions League (a European basketball competition), and we took notice. Sykes dropped 43 points while making 66 percent of his shots, and even dished out 7 assists as well. Even though his team came up short in the game, Sykes' performance made him an easy choice for Baller of the Week.
Dominique Johnson is on the move again after signing with Sporting Al Riyadi in Beirut, Lebanon. Johnson joins the squad after starting the season with The Flexx Pistoia in Italy's Lega Basket Serie A, where he averaged 14.1 points and 2.8 assists per game in Serie A play. The shooting guard from Azusa Pacific has played in Italy the past two seasons, and also has experience playing in Germany, China, Turkey, Poland and the NBA G League.
Sporting Al Riyadi currently sits at the top of the Lebanese Basketball League with a 9-1 record, but is 1-2 in its group in the Asia Champions Cup. Johnson should look to inject some immediate energy into one of the best teams in Lebanon.
The Helsinki Seagulls in Finland's Korisliiga have signed a veteran presence in American swingman Alex Ruoff. Ruoff joins the team after last playing during the 2017-2018 season for Divina Seguro Joventut in Liga Endesa in Spain, having spent the majority of his career in Belgium, Germany and Spain, with stops in the Untied States to play in the NBA G League as well.
He joins a Seagulls squad that is toward the bottom of the Korisliiga standings in eighth place out of 11 teams with a 9-11 record. The West Virginia product joins fellow Americans Chris Ortiz, Tyler Thornton, Wayne Blackshear, Juwan Staten and Jalen Jackson.