American Vikings: Emmanuel Holloway and Allen Durham starring in Finland

BallinEurope just got the word on a couple of American ballers plying the trade in Finland, namely Emmanuel Holloway and Allen Durham of the Salon Vilpas Vikings. Sure, BiE’ll give ‘em some space!

A former Illinois State Redbird, Holloway came to Vilpas after stints with Basketbol Brno of the Czech Republic and Germany’s Pro B team Hannover. Holloway is currently enjoying a breakout season with the Vikings, leading the team in minutes (34.2), points (20.6), and steals (1.7), while also contributing 4.4 boards and 3.0 assists per game. Below runs either a very short documentary or a very long player profile on Holloway by YouTube user/Vilpas Vikings enthusiast Karupappa.

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Live blogging EuroBasket 2011: Finland vs. Georgia

So this writer isn’t live in Vilnius for today’s surprisingly (somewhat) crucial game in the 2011 FIBA EuroBasket second round between Finland and Georgia, but hey, why should that stop more BallinEurope live blogging? Tuned into the IPTV, BiE is ready to report on the contest … the key point of this matchup? The loser is eliminated and pretty much guaranteed to land dead last in the Group F standings.

Click below the break to follow with BiE!

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Update from the North: 2011 Nordic Championship roundup

From Sweden, sportswriter/broadcaster Magnus Dahlborn checks in with BallinEurope today to give us reportage on the recently completed Nordic Championship tournament, which saw the title awarded to undefeated Team Finland.

Due to the tragic events in Norway, a sombre feeling overlay the past weekend when the Nordic Championships between national teams from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland began in Sundsvall. The Norwegian team came and participated well nevertheless, considering that their senior national program in basketball has been non-existent the past few years.

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Ron Artest to play in Finland. No, really.

BallinEurope just received word from Hippo Taatila (via BiE pilgrim father Christophe, now of European Prospects) that Ron Artest may have topped himself in wackiness yet again – and this within a week of the announcement of his imminent name change to Metta World Peace. Reports Taatila:

“Finland’s top league Korisliiga will witness some serious NBA talent in September 2011, when Los Angeles Lakers forward/multipersonality Ron Artest will join league newcomer LoKoKo Loimaa.

“The 31-year old Artest has three years left in his Lakers contract, but that doesn’t seem to bother LoKoKo sports director Aleksi Valavuori, who backs up the rumor in Tuesday’s Ilta-Sanomat newspaper.

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No dunks please, we’re Finnish (or, The Greatest Offensive Foul of All-Time)

This jam forbidden in Finland

Theron Wilson, formerly of Bradley University, has found a nice niche in Finland with the Salon Vilpas Vikings, though perhaps someone should have informed him of the stinginess of Korisliiga referees. It appears that, unlike the Ukrainian ball Wilson was with in his rookie professional season last year, Finland’s zebras just aren’t accustomed to play above the rim – and the Americans’ tendency to destroy a loitering opponent underneath.

In last week’s game against BiE fave Honka Espoo Playboys, Wilson puts his prowess on display to come from out of nowhere, grab the board off a Harris Dejuan miss and, in Waltonian vernacular, throws it down!

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Who and what to watch for in 2010s European basketball

Welcome to the 10s, everyone! Now, enough with the pleasantries: With an entire demarcated decade stretching out before us, Ball in Europe wonders about future headlines, about who’s coming up, about “Who’s Next” in ESPNspeak. Here’s to thinking we’ll be talking about some of the following this decade…

• Enes Kanter. It’s impossible to tell at present where the sensation (and MVP) of the 2009 FIBA U18 European Championship will be going in 2010 and beyond, unless “upward” is included as a potential location. Despite announcing his intention to play NCAA basketball at University of Washington next season, certain improprieties Kanter may or may have not been involved with at Fenerbahçe Ülker could keep him from playing at his stated destination next year; the question of whether Kanter actually played professionally with Fenerbahçe reportedly led to his departure from Las Vegas’ Findlay College Prep in September.

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New Playboy Belser makes quick impact in Finland

Don’t look now, but the balance of power in Finland’s top league may have shifted a bit with the arrival of Corey Belser from Aris Thessaloniki to the excellently named Honka Espoo Playboys of Finland’s Korisliiga.

Belser first appeared on international scouts’ radar in his days playing for the University of San Diego, culminating in College Insider‘s NCAA Defensive Player of the Year nod for 2006. Despite such a reputation, however, Belser went undrafted by NBA teams that year after Summer League play and instead jumped the pond to join Olympia Larissa.

Belser played three seasons for Larissa, opening with an Honorable Mention for the All-Greece Team and culminating in an average line of 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16 games.

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Who’s next? Three national teams to watch for

As we await the two-game showdown between France and Belgium for the final spot in the FIBA Eurobasket 2009 tournament and Eurobasket Division B pool play enters the homestretch, Ball in Europe takes a speculative look at three national programs we might be hearing a lot more about in 2010 and beyond.

Finland. When Finland capped pool play in Group B of the Eurobasket Additional Qualification Road with an impressive 95-89 victory over Italy, an exclamation point was emphatically put on the team’s success in this tournament.

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Finnish basketball phenomenon conquering the net

After Petteri Koponen and Hanno Möttölä, a new basketball prodigy from the North is currently making his way forth with giant steps. BallinEurope.com exclusively presents Hans von Blumenstock, who is already considered the Finnish version of Michael Jordan.

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Dennis Rodman to lead NBA Legends in Europe

Dennis Rodman is returning to Europe, this time as the main headliner of a group of NBA Legends for a European tour in November 2009.

The first planned event will take place on November 13, 2009, at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium.

And another sports Belgian sports site said organiser Geert Baeyens is hoping to get games scheduled in England, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Other players listed to participate in the NBA Legends event are Tracy Murray, Lamond Murray, AC Green, Shawn Kemp, Stacey Augmon, Norm Nixon, Darwin Cook, John Starks, Kenny Anderson, Oliver Miller, Stanley Roberts, Moses Malone, Robert Reid, Orlando Woolridge, Johnny Egan, Rodney McCray, Darryl Dawkins, Spud Webb, Dee Brown, Dominique Wilkins and Gerald Wilkins.

The second release called the event “Scottie Pippen & his NBA-Legends”. But Pippen apparently has pulled out, as the Sportpaleis website said Rodman has replaced Pippen.

Rodman will actually be making a return to Europe. He played one game for the Finnish first division team Torpan Pojat on November 6, 2005. Later that season he played three games for the English team Brighton Bears.

Rodman also played two exhibition games in the Philippines in spring 2006 along with former NBA stars Darryl Dawkins, Kevin Willis, Calvin Murphy, Otis Birdsong and Alex English.