Baller of the Week is back for November! BOTW takes us to Finland, where Marcus Lewis showed up and showed out in his team's big win.
Jalen Jones, a 27-year-old swingman with NBA and NBA G League experience is taking his talents to Italy for the 2020/2021 season after signing with Pallacanestro Varese in Italy's Lega Basket SerieA. Jones is entering his fifth season of pro hoops having mostly played in the United States along with stops in Spain and Portugal.
The Texas A&M product had a prolific season last year for the Capital City GoGo, averaging 19.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Washington Wizards' NBA G League affiliate. He joins a Varese team that is off to a 2-5 start in SerieA despite having former NBA players in Luis Scola and Toney Douglas, and Jones will be looked to contribute immediately on both sides of the floor. In addition to Douglass, Americans Anthony Morse and Jason Rich are also on this year's team.
Erik McCree will return to BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque after signing with the French team for the rest of the 2020-2021 season. After starting the season with Bakken Bears in Denmark (playing in two games, including one in the Basketball Champions League, ), the fourth-year pro will return to a Gravelines team he played for last season.
McCree averaged 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for Gravelines-Dunkerque, and that offense will be needed for a team that currently sits near the bottom of the LNB Pro A standings after starting the season with a 1-4 record. The Louisiana Tech product joins fellow Americans Corey Davis, Quincy Ford and Cameron Wells on the roster.
James Blackmon Jr. will continue his pro career in Turkey after signing with Besiktas J.K. in the country's top division. Blackmon joins Besiktas having played in Italy for the past two seasons after starting his pro career in the NBA G League. He spent last season with Aquila Basket Trento, where the 6'4 guard averaged 13.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, which included competing in the 7Days EuroCup.
He signs with a Besiktas team that is looking for a bit of a boost after an 0-4 start to the Turkish Basketball Super League. Besiktas will also need reinforcements since they're also competing in the FIBA Europe Cup. Blackmon joins fellow Americans Isaiah Blackmon, Markell Johnson and De'Jon Davis on this season's roster.
Baller of the Week takes us to Russia, where sixth-year pro Alan Williams had a terrific performance for Lokomotiv Kuban over the weekend.
After playing in Romania for the past two years, Kris Richard is taking his talents to Poland after signing with Zastal Enea BC Zielona Gora in the Polish Basketball League. The 31-year-old guard comes to Zastal Zielona after playing for CSM CSU Oradea in Romania's top division since 2018, averaging 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for Oradea across all competitions, which included playing in FIBA's Europe Cup.
He should provide a boost to a Zastal squad that is not only playing in the PBL (where they sit in third place with a 6-1 record), but in the VTB United League as well (where they are off to an 0-3 start). Richard, who will play in ths sixth different country of his pro career, will join fellow Americans Geoffrey Groselle, Blake Reynolds and Cecil Williams on the roster.