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Serbia and Croatia make statements at FIBA U18s +++ Coach James Weldon gives his thoughts on Dragan Bender +++ Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role +++ Vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey up for auction +++ Ireland announce select squad for Luxembourg friendlies +++ We really need you to nominate beers +++ Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover +++ Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp +++ Ireland end famines with two slices of Danish bacon +++ Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++
Jan
0

Irish select coach Mark Keenan plotting another upset

Sunday sees the best ballers in Ireland head to the UK to try and pull off a big upset over their compatriots in the British Basketball League (BBL) for the second year straight. Emmet Ryan spoke with Mark Keenan, coach of the Irish Men’s Premier Select Team (MPSL), about their quest for glory in Birmingham.

Mark Keenan became a big deal just as Irish basketball entered its dark age, well the first as it was punctuated by a turn of the century revival, as he led an all-conquering St Vincent’s team to national cup and league success in the early 90s. Here was this 5’6″ nobody playing a vital role on the best team in the game as far as Irish viewers were concerned. Since hanging up his kicks, Keenan has enjoyed similar success as a coach. Last season he coached UL Eagles to the league title and a losing appearance in the cup final. Keenan was also the man in charge when an unfancied selection from the Irish league topped a BBL select team just hours before the BBL Cup Final.

Keenan’s back again with a squad containing just four members of that victorious roster. They head to Birmingham this weekend looking to build on a rout of a Welsh selection earlier this season. With no national team to aim for, this is the peak for many Irish players. Rare as the opportunity to play an international, even a quasi one, is the realities of life have somewhat stymied preparations. Of tbe 29 players invited to camp, only 17 could make themselves available for the weekend commitment in Birmingham. With the national cup semi finals on Friday night, many of the amateur outfit couldn’t commit the extra time off work or away from their families. Keenan however is confident in the 12 man roster he has. Now there’s just the small matter of preparing for an opponent of who they know little.

“We had to do some homework. Last we I watched a lot of BBL games on TV, as much as I could. With players I wasn’t familiar with, I bounced them off Colin O’Reilly an Irish player who played in the BBL. I’ve taken a similar approach this year watching them online and Colin’s helped out again with the players I haven’t seen too much of,” Keenan told Ballineurope.com.
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Sep
12

Eurobasket 2013 Power Rankings – Enter Stage 2

We started with 24 but now we’re down to 12. Who is styling and profiling their way into the quarter finals and who needs some help? We rank the 12 remaing sides in Eurobasket 2013 and the 12 who are now dearly departed, or not so dearly in the case of a few.
Before getting to the rankings, we need to say a big thanks to everyone who responded on Twitter yesterday to the news of me taking over as editor. It’s much appreciated guys. Now on to the rankings…
1. Italy (5-0). Entering the second phase with a 2-0 record to start, it’s been hard to find a fault with Simone Piangiani’s team in the early going. It only gets harder from here but so far the only question is Danilo Who?
2. Spain (4-1). I narrowly pushed the back-to-back defending champions in front of the hosts based on the manner of their four victories. When they are good, they are very, very, good. That defeat to Slovenia has, if anything, served as a wake-up call.
3. Slovenia (3-2). The advantage of hosting the tournament was at its most obvious in Slovenia’s 78-69 win over favourites Spain. The raucous crowd (is there any other kind?) in Celje played its part and the only blemish to date is that narros defeat at the hands of Croatia.
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Jul
2

Podcast: Talking international hoops with GB U20s coach Douglas Leichner, SellOutXBoy

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #45 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

This week we’re talking (mostly) international competitions, though Hein does get off a good rant (well, as ranty as the guy gets) on FC Bayern Munich’s apparent moves to sop up all available talent from the BBL, while BallinEurope is in shock and awe over FC Barcelona’s acquisition of Bostjan Nachbar – seriously, just look at this roster.

*Then* we’re on to international competitions. First up in guesting to the show is the tweeter known as SellOutXBoy to explain just what in the name of Naismith is going on with the Russian national program in the wake of the shock firing/quitting/dismissal of national team head coach Fotis Katsikaris as well as the departure of federation president Alexander Krasnenkov. Believe it or not, it’s political. And possibly bleak.

Also joining us is Douglas Leichner, head coach of the U20s Team Britain; Leichner’s young charges ended up taking second place on the podium in the Division B side of the U20 European Championship and thus will move up to the top level for next year. Among other topics, Leichner touches upon Britain’s own Golden Generation of players…

Finally, there’s the sports movie review of the week. Check out the clip below, sort of a teaser-trailer for Mystic Ball, a 2006 documentary about Greg Hamilton of Canada and his attempts to learn the national pastime of Myanmar, Chinlone. In short the game can be described as a ball sport with only one team on the playing field at one time – and with no scorekeeping.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.


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Jul
3

Team USA takes FIBA U19 Worlds, 82-68; Vasilje Micic with assist of the night

Congratulations from BallinEurope this morning go out to Team USA, which took the FIBA U19 World Championship title in finishing an undefeated romp through the tourney by taking care of business against Serbia last night, 82-68. Kudos, too, to Team Serbia and Lithuania, who did European basketball proud by taking the other two spots on the podium, the latter outlasting Australia in a 106-100 consolation-game barnburner.

BiE also loves FIBA’s “Assist of the [Championship] Game” nod given to Vasilje Micic. Micic’s fancy move to the basket has him finding center Doko Salic under the hoop for a (relatively) easy two and what would ultimately be Serbia’s biggest lead of the game at 9-4…

Official FIBA writeup and full official highlight clip follow. Continue Reading…

Jul
1

Just because: A look at some mock 2014 NBA Drafts (a.k.a. Way too early Saric-, Hezonja-watching)

From Fox Sports via the syndication wire, BallinEurope’ll put this one up here for the sheer audacity of it. Below runs exactly what the BiE headline advertises: The sports network’s admittedly “way too early” 2014 mock NBA draft.

And though it is indeed way too early to be thinking about June 2014, BiE’s already looking forward to seeing the exportation of Croatian ballers Dario Saric and Mario Hezonja to the NBA. Hezonja chose not to participate for Team Croatia in the FIBA U19 World Championship wrapping today, ol’ Super Dario has done his dominant-level best, ranking first in rebounding (12.3 per game), second in points (22.4), second in assists (5.5), plus Worlds-leading marks in minutes played (36.6), free-throw attempts (8.0) and makes (6.1); check out LiveBasketball.TV-produced highlight clip from Saric’s 30-point effort against championship-contending Team Serbia run below.

Naturally, specialists NBA Draft and Draft Express also have their mock drafts up (as do many others in the blogosphere, but only Draft Express appears not to pencil in the various teams with their finish for 2013-14). NBA Draft likes Hezonja and Saric to go at nos. 15 and 17, respectively, while the ‘Express has the guy Fox calls “potentially the next Drazen Petrovic” (really?) landing with a lottery team at no. 8 and Saric hearing his name called at … number 22? (Really?!?)
Roll the tape!

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Jul
0

Podcast: Talking FIBA U19 Worlds, NBA Draft class with former Team Iran/Poland coach Veselin Matic, Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #40 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

This week, the accent is on the game’s future stars. With Hein over there in Prague covering the FIBA U19 World Championship tournament and today seeing the final matches played, we talking about the happenings at that youth competition with long-time club and national team coach Veselin Matic as well as with Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, who’s naturally also in attendance. Givony also gives us his brief thoughts on the wacky 2013 NBA Draft…

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Jun
0

Podcast: Featuring Team India coach Scott Flemming on FIBA rule changes, upcoming Asia tournament and “India’s Yao Ming” Satnam Singh Bhamara

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #41 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced weekly podcast Taking the Charge is now online and available for download via iTunes.

With little left say for club basketball in the 2012-13 season except offer sympathy for the San Antonio Spurs and possibly Maccabi Tel Aviv, the emphasis this week is on India – just in case you were doubting they even played the game on The Subcontinent and because what the heck.

Guesting on the program this week is Team India head coach Scott Flemming, who’s over there building up a program from the ground up. Flemming talks to us about myriad issues in what he has often described as “develop[ing] basketball at a grassroots level in the country,” including the importance of Twitter and tea breaks, forming a proper domestic national league, competing in the upcoming FIBA Asia Championship tournament, the recent FIBA rule changes and of course the guy billed as the “Yao Ming of India,” 7’0”, 300-pound (2.13m, 136.5kg) wunderkind Satnam Singh Bhamara.

And since it’s India we’re talking, the sports movie review of the week is all about that Bollywood gem Lagaan, a 2001 epic centered on late-19th century colonial India – and a crucial cricket match between villagers and British heavies. As one-half Bollywood musical, one-half historical drama, one-half cricket flick, this is one traditionally-styled Indian movie the sports fan must see.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Jun
0

Podcast: Interview with Team Poland/Lietuvos Rytas coach Dirk Bauermann

Taking the Charge podcast series Episode #39 of the weekly “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online.

Co-host David Hein and BiE have kept this one mercifully (relatively) short. Recorded directly after game three of the San Antonio Spurs-Miami Heat NBA championship – not to mention directly thereafter game two of the Liga Endesa finals, game two of the Greek League finals and game one of Italy’s Serie A championship series – we do touch upon some happenings in these, but at center…

…is an interview with Dirk Bauermann, former head coach of Team Germany and Bayern Munich and currently with Team Poland and Lietuvos Rytas. Bauermann talks to us about his hopes for his new charges in Eurobasket 2013 (unfortunately seemingly without Marcin Gortat), what to expect from L. Rytas next season and, naturally, on earning his keep in the great basketball state of Lithuania.

As for the sports movie of the week film review, we check out probably the greatest baseball movie you’ve never heard of, namely The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Jun
11

Eurobasket 2013: Which NBA players are in, which are out?

Because it’s never too early to start looking ahead to Eurobasket 2013 – wait a minute, there’s only 11 weeks left until tipoff? Definitely not too early, then, to take a look at the formative rosters for the big Continental tournament.

While only a few national teams (Croatia and Lithuania among them) have released preliminary rosters at this point and a few major leagues still playing (Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, etc.), we can at least deduce which NBA players will or won’t be playing. After all, the rosters of 93.3% of NBA teams have finished their 2012-13 season – and the Miami Heat have no Europeans!

Below is a rundown of each team and the status of their potential NBA players. A few high-profile draft choices and rights-owned guys expected to jump over soon are also peppered in, along with links to appropriate sources. If you find/hear of anything relevant to the list, please comment below.
And we’ll do this group by group…

Group A
Belgium –
no current NBA players

France – Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is out for ’13 but hints he’ll be back in the future.

Ten days ago, based on a L’Equipe report, website Catch-and-Shoot described Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)’ Eurobasket status as *très incertain*, and after another punishing NBA season seems unlikely.

No official word on Nicolas Batum (Portland), though the Trail Blazers reportedly be “watching Batum’s injury” this offseason. Perhaps some discouragement is forthcoming…?

France-based media outlet Figaro reported back in May that Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers) and Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers) would play; this may have been speculation based on prior results, but Turiaf’s presence on Les Blues for this tournament has been on coach Collet’s mind for a while.

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Jun
0

Team Latvia tops USA All-Stars in China (no, really)

BallinEurope’s friends over at Net Scouts Basketball are involved in an interesting tournament currently going on in China. Net Scouts brings their “USA All-Star Men’s Team” to the big country to compete in the Four Nations Tournament, consisting of nine games in two weeks against the home country’s national team, Team Latvia and the Canada Federation’s developmental squad in Chongqing and Yanan.

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