We go to Italy for the first time this season for our Baller of the Week, as Ricky Ledo had a monster game in Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia's game last week against Red October Cantu in Italy's Lega Basket Serie A. Though his team came up short in the game, Ledo played admirably in the face of defeat, getting to the free throw line time and again (he finished 14-of-16 from the charity stripe) to give his team a chance at victory. Ledo leads the league in scoring at 26.8 points per game, but this season-high outburst was more than enough to earn him Baller of the Week honors.
We’re in Kosovo this week, where Elliott Cole put up a monster game to take Baller of the Week honors. The former University of Charleston star scored 43 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists, but his valiant effort couldn’t save his team in their narrow 101-99 defeat to Rahoveci. This follows up a 42-point performance from Cole the week before, upping his season average to 33.5 points per game as his team is off to a 2-2 start. Cole has already been named Kosovan Superliga Player of the Week two times this season, and we’re counting on many more in the future from this Baller of the Week.
Former NBA player Anthony Brown is headed to Serbia, playing outside the United States for the first time in his career. Brown signed with Partizan NIS in the Adriatic League earlier today, joining the Serbian side after playing in the NBA and the NBA G League since he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Most recently, Brown signed a two-way contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2017-2018 season and split time between the T-Wolves and their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, averaging 18.1 points per game for the Iowa Wolves during the NBA G League season. The Stanford grad also played for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2018 preseaso before being waived by the team October 10. He joins a Partizan NIS team that is off to a 2-2 start in the Adriatic League after finishing 11-11 last year, missing out on the Adriatic League playoffs.
Five games into the French season and we've already seen a major roster shakeup. Danny Gibson has moved teams in the LNB Pro A, signing with Cholet Basket after starting the season with Antibes Sharks. Gibson, who recently started his thirteenth year of professional basketball, averaged 13.6 points and 6.6 assists per game in five games played for Antibes, doubling his season averages from last season when he played for Limoges CSP.
Cholet is off to a 1-4 start and currently ranks in the bottom half of the league in scoring offense, scoring defense, rebounds and assists. This is not the start that Cholet was looking for after a disappointing 14-20 record last season. With only two players with a double-digit scoring average, the addition of Gibson will certainly help this struggling team.
BC Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania strengthened its roster with the signing of guard Derrick Walton Jr. Walton Jr. comes to the team from the United States, where he spent the 2018 preseason with the NBA's Chicago Bulls. Walton started out his career with the Miami Heat, signing a two-way contract with the team for the 2017-2018 season. He appeared in 16 NBA games for the Heat, spending most of his time with the team's NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. For the Skyforce, Walton averaged 16.2 points and 7.0 assists per game in 27 games played.
He joins a Zalgiris Kaunas team that is coming off an extremely successful season, winning the Lithuanian league title and coming in third place in the illustrious Euroleague. Zalgiris has its sights set even higher this season, and are off to a 5-1 start in the LKL and a 1-1 record in the Euroleague so far. Walton Jr. played in college at Michigan, where he was named All-Big Ten Second Team his senior year.
Baller of the Week takes us to Israel, where we catch up with forward Myke Henry who's hooping for Ironi Nahariya. Henry's strong start to the season got our attention after he dropped 31 points in his team's first game against Hapoel Holon in Israel's Winner League, the top division in the country.
He followed up that performance by dropping 33 points in the team's second game against Bnei Herzliya, going a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe and hitting 50 percent of his three-pointers. Back-to-back big games to start the season is enough for Henry to stand out from the crowd and be our second Baller of the Week of the 2018-2019 season.
Sterling Gibbs will continue his career in Greece after signing with Kolossos H Hotels in the Greek A1 League yesterday. Gibbs arrives after spending the majority of his past two seasons in Hungary, playing for Kaposvari KK his rookie year before spending last season with Egis Kormend. His three-year career has also seen a very brief stop in Russia and a summer spent playing in the Dominican Republic.
He had career-high numbers last season with Kormend, averaging 20.7 points and 3.6 assists per game after signing with the team in January 2018 and helping lead them to the semifinals of the Hungarian league playoffs. He joins a Kolossos team that is off to an 0-2 start in the Greek league this season after finishing in eighth place in the league standings last season and advancing to the Greek league quarterfinals.