On the court, Ehingen Urspring's Kameron Taylor is having little trouble adjusting to Europe. Through the first five games of Germany's ProA season Taylor is putting up 13.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 2.4 apg. Off the court, however, Taylor is facing several of the same challenges that face many American players around the world, including a very important one: the language barrier.
Today is October 25. I have been Germany just over two months, and I finally ordered from a Chinese place speaking in German all by myself for the first time. The language barrier was tough when I first arrived, just because I've never really even heard German before, so the whole language was a brand-new experience. My teammates were my teachers these past months - it's amazing that all of the German guys can both speak German and English, including the coaches! It made it so much easier to learn and to adapt. They taught me a new word or sentence every day. Even the people of Germany know some English, too. This makes this easier like when, for example, if I'm ordering food (Chinese, maybe?) and I don't get the order completely right, I could just say the name of the food in English and they would understand. I'm expecting to be somewhat fluent when I come back to the States, and I'm excited to show off my new language when I get home.
Sometimes a player doesn't always put up the biggest stat sheet, but the efficiency they do put up their numbers with is something to be beholden. Twenty-eight points is nice; making eight out of twelve three-pointers (as Kalinoski did in Apollon's 94-88 victory) is downright dirty. Couple that with seven boards in one of the best leagues in Europe and you've got yourself a Baller of the Week!
We are happy to introduce the third Baller Abroad in our player diary series, Jack Isenbarger! Isenbarger is a second-year pro out of Elon University in North Carolina, where he was named to the all-conference team multiple times and finished his career as the school's all-time leader in three pointers made (264). After a season in Spain, Isenbarger signed with Leeds Force of the British Basketball League, the top tier in England. He what his experience has been like so far:
We're back to Bosnia for this player diary to check in with James Robinson. After missing the beginning of the season (as explained below) Robinson's been on fire to start his year, averaging 21.2 ppg, 4.2 apg and 3.5 rpg through his first four games in the Adriatic League. He wrote a short post for us Oct. 12 about the beginning of his season and how he's adjusting to playing in a regional league - a rarity in professional basketball.
October 12 - After missing the first three games of the regular season due to a hand injury, it feels great to be back on the court. I've played in three games since my return (all wins) and the team record now stands at 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Adriatic League. (note: the team's record is now 3-2 in the Adriatic League as of 10/19).
So far we have traveled to Macedonia and Belgrade, Serbia. The game in Macedonia was filled with nervous energy since it was my first official professional game. Making sure we won was ever so important in order to make the 12-hour bus trip back home more manageable. The other games were also hard-fought wins that came down to the last few possessions but we were able to come out victorious in those games as well.
While in Belgrade playing, I got a chance to see the city a little bit, and it's more modern buildings and infrastructure reminded me somewhat of being back in the States. Even though it was a short stay, we'll return there two more times this year where I hope to see even more of what the capital of Serbia has to offer!
This week's BOTW comes to us from Down Under, where new import Jerome Randle put on a show against the Brisbane Bullets. The Cal product shot 13-of-18 from the floor in the 36er's 96-93 victory, evening the team's record at 2-2. Randle leads Australia's NBL in scoring at 24.3 ppg.
The first Baller of the Week of the 2016/17 campaign comes from Germany, where Rasta Vechta's Scott Machado put on a dazzling passing display in Germany's Basketbal Bundesliga. The Iona product dropped 17 dimes in Vechta's 98-96 win over Phoenix Hagen and is averaging 10.2 ppg and 9.5 apg through four games this season.
AEK Athens has signed PF/C Randal Falker after parting ways with former big man Josh Owens. Falker arrives in Greece after a career spent in Turkey and France, having spent the past three seasons playing for SLUC Nancy in France's LNB Pro A.
Falker joins a club that finished with an 18-8 record last season, advancing to the semifinal round of Greece's A1 Playoffs. The Southern Illinois product averaged 8.9 ppg and 8.2 rpg for Nancy last season.
In other news, Owens, the player released by Athens that made way for Falker, has reportedly signed with Pinar Karsiyaka in Turkey.