Quinton Stephens is changing teams in Italy. Hours after reportedly leaving Auxilium Pallacanestro Torino, Stephens has signed with Scafati Basket in Serie A2 after appearing in 14 games for Torino - seven in Serie A play and seven in Eurocup play. However, Stephens played sparingly, and his move to Scafati should see him average more than the scant 4.4 minutes per game he averaged at Torino.
The 6'9 rookie out of Georgia Tech averaged 10.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in his senior season, so he is definitely capable of not only scoign on the offensive side but grabbing buckets on both ends of the floor. Scafati could certainly utilize him as they are in a fight for the top spot in the Western Division of Serie A2 with a 14-8 record.
Point guard Devin Brooks is headed to Hungary after signing with PVSK Pecs Panthers earlier today. Brooks will be playing on his third team of the season after stops in Bulgaria and Lebanon, joining a Panthers side that is in the middle of the pack in Hungary's top divison, sitting at eighth place with a 9-10 record.
The Creighton product started the season with Balkan Botevgrad in Bulgaria, where he averaged 12.8 points and 4.4 assists per game across all competitions, including the FIBA Europe Cup. He started 2018 with Byblos Sporting Club in Lebanon, appearing in four games and averaging 16.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
This will be the seventh different country for Brooks in his career, including stops with two NBA G League teams (Windy City Bulls and the Long Island Nets) in 2016.
Guard Darryl Bryant will be playing Bulgaria. The 6'1 shooting guard signed with Levski Lukoil earlier today, joining the Bulgarian National Basketball League midway though the season. Bryant spent the first half of the season with Al-Shamal in Qatar, where he averaged 17.6 points and 8.3 assists in seven games.
Levski Lukoil, also known as Levski Sofia, sits in fourth place in Bulgaria's NBL standings with an 11-8 record. This will be the eighth country of Bryant's career after graduating from West Virginia in 2012, having made stops in Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Finland before going to Qatar for the 2017-2018 season.
This week we were able to sit down with Lee Skinner, who plays professionally in the Czech Republic.
1. What team do you play for in the Czech Republic, and where in the country is it located?
I play for BC Kolin in the KNBL (top league in Czech Republic) and this is my third season as a pro, as well as the third season with this team.
2. Are there any other Americans on your team?
My first and second year there were three other Americans on the team with me but this season I am the only American on the team.
3. What's the level of play like?
Since I've only played here [in the Czech Republic] professionally, the level of play compared to he college level, I'd have to say the game is a little faster and players are stronger. Talent-wise, some players have more ability when it comes to one-on-one play.
4. What has been the biggest adjustment to playing in the Czech Republic?
On the court the biggest adjustment I've had to make is being able to create my own shot. As an import, it is crucial that you are able to score. My first year I found that out the hard way that if the team is not doing well or winning games, the imports are the first to feel pressure; so there's a greater responsibility to do well an perform at a high level. Off the court the biggest adjustment was definitely the language barrier. I had to learn at least basic level Czech to feel comfortable being alone in the city without a domestic player around to translate! Learning enough of the language has made it easier for me to fit in socially, whether I'm out with the team or running into fans or Czech people who would like to have a word with you.
5. What are some of your goals for this season?
My goal this season is to help my team win as many games as possible (which it always is). I was able to make the All-Star team this season and I also improved my scoring/rebounding averages from about 12.5 points and 7 rebounds per game to 19.5/10.6 per game. The goal for the rest of the season is to make the playoffs!
6. What's one thing that's surprised you about living in Europe?
Since living in Europe I've learned how to manage my expectations better. In the States it feels as though you always have what you need or can get it easily (e.g. hot water, internet, food we want, etc.). I've learned that many people in Europe believe we as Americans are very arrogant and misinformed, which I must admit is plausible in many cases. A lot of guys come over here and don't care to assimilate and learn about the culture because they simply don't care to; I think it's important to do that. It has made my experience over here more worthwhile and enjoyable.
J.P. Prince has reportedly left Antibes Sharks in France, as the team decided not to renew Prince's contract after signing him to a month-long contract in January.
The Tennessee grad only played in five games for Antibes this season, averaging a mere 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, career lows in both categories. This comes a year after averaging a career-high 16.2 points and 4.6 assists per game split between Azad University Tehran in Iran and Orleans Basket in France.
Agribertocchi Orzinuovi has announced the signing of Adam Smith for the rest of the season. This will be the third team of the 2017-2018 season for Smith, who started the season with Elan Chalon and most recently played for Socar Petkimspor in Turkey until January 2018. Though he hasn't played in more than ten games for either side, he's averaged 14.9 points per game across all leagues and competitions so far this season. Agribertocchi could certainly use his scoring abilities since it currently sits at the bottom of Italy's Serie A2 East Division with a 4-16 record. Smith also played in Italy during the 2016-2017 season for the Roseto Sharks.
This week’s BOTW takes us to Turkey and Erving Walker, who had an impressive and efficient game for Demir IBB in the Turkish Basketball Super League. The league leader in scoring, Walker nearly doubled his scoring average of 19.1 points per game by putting up 33 points and dropping 13 dimes in Demir’s 107-78 thrashing of Istanbul Buyuksehi Belediyesi.
Walker made 12 of 16 shots from the floor in an efficient 32 minutes, and his distribution of the rock in addition to getting buckets in an elite league like the TBSL made him an easy choice for Baller of the Week.