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The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
Sep
0

EuroBasket: Stars of the future on display at Under 18 All Star game

Before today’s 2014 FIBA World Cup qualification decider in Ljubjana, the Under 18 All Star game showcased some of the continent’s new talents. As always, young players look more polished in highlights.

Poland’s Damian Jezke (Rosa Radom, #65 in DraftExpress 1995 international rankings) led the victorious Blue team with 13 points. Serbia’s Nikola Jokic (Mega Vizura, #17 International 95) had 12 as they won 74-69. Kenan Sipahi (Fenerbahce, #5 in International 95) had 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Blues.

Turkey’s Kerem Kanter, younger brother of Enes, impressed for the White team with 14 points while Rade Zagorac (Smederevo, #35 International 95), had 13 points and 9 boards. James Metecan Birsen (Fenerbahce, #12 International 95) had 10 points.

Aug
14

Podcast: Interviewing ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla on European prospects, college hoops

Episode #46 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

We’re very pleased to have guesting on the show this week none other than former University of New Mexico Lobos head coach/current ESPN college basketball analyst and commentator/fantastic tweeter Fran Fraschilla. Since Fraschilla was in attendance at the recent FIBA U19 World Championship tournament, we gladly pick the man’s brains for his takes on Dante Exum of Australia; Sebastian Saiz, incoming freshman at Ole Miss; Nick Duncan of Team Australia and Boise State University; exciting Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic; and most of *that* Team USA side.

Just as naturally, BiE couldn’t resist getting the dish on Elias Harris’ prospects with the Los Angeles Lakers (a deal which Fraschilla recently tweet-praised), UNM’s chances in the 2013-14 season, and why he got out (and stayed out) of the coaching game back in ’02.

Hein and BiE were also able to yuk it up in our sports movie review of the week, because we checked out a true classic in sportsworld-side satire from the minds of those South Parkers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone – that’s right, we’re talking Baseketball!

Dude.

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
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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Jun
2

Europeans in 2013 NBA Draft: Consensus, Best-Case Scenarios, Official Fearless Predictions™ on our Top 10

NBA Draft Day 2013 is upon us and while US-based media mostly grouses about the lack of high-quality players this time ‘round, European basketball fans have much to look forward to one year after a first round passed with no Continental player selected. In the 2013 edition, a dozen or so European ballers are reasonably in the running to hear their names called within the 60 picks – and several will go in the first.

BallinEurope today takes a look at our top 10 prospects for this NBA Draft and Officially Fearlessly Predicts the fates of each. From thousands of mock drafts floating about the blogosphere, BiE called on seven good sources in order to form something of a “consensus” opinion. (“Consensus” is in quotes there for this oddest of drafts in which even the no. 1 overall is a question mark – and any semblance of agreement is lost by no. 7 on this list…) In seeking wisdom from all corners great and small, the mix includes specialists NBAdraft.net and Draft Express; big media outlets Yahoo Sports and the USA Today’s “common sense” mock; and the Hoops Hype, Dime Magazine, Real GM and Prospects in Europe websites.

Let the speculation roll on and enjoy the show tonight (this morning CET)!

The BallinEurope top 10 includes the following…

Alex Len is the poster boy for the uncertainty principle overriding the 2013 NBA Draft as the conception of Nerlens Noel has gone from prohibitive no. 1 choice to possibly the second-biggest center available behind Len. The Ukrainian first garnered serious buzz on opening day in 2012, when he was able to torch Noel and his Kentucky Wildcats for 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks; unfortunately for Len (though maybe also fortunate, as Noel’s stock drops), ankle surgery preempted his pre-Draft workouts.

Consensus: A top six pick, most likely by the Cleveland Cavaliers at no. 1, the Charlotte Bobcats at no. 4 or the New Orleans Pelicans at no. 6. (This draft is awesome.)

Best case scenario: Is Len facing lose-lose situations with any of these three teams, each of which worked him out in the pre-Draft? If taken at no. 1, Len gets a fat contract with immediate high expectations and Bargnaniphobia as just the second-ever European chosen first. At no. 4, he goes to the Bobcats and, well, they’re the Bobcats; at no. 6 with the Pelicans, Len figures to get quality time but with a smaller paycheck. All things considered, BiE sides with the personal cash grab: Best for Len is to go to the Cavaliers … and help the city of Cleveland hold its breath in anticipation of Lebron James’ impending freedom in 2014.

Official BallinEurope Fearless Prediction™: Len to the Charlotte Bobcats – and gods have mercy on him…

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Jun
0

Adidas Eurocamp: Edgaras Ulanovas demonstrates effortless 70-foot shot

As one of the world’s most prestigious protracted workouts for youth ballers, the Adidas Eurocamp will certainly produce innumerable highlight clips at which to gawk in the leadup to the NBA Draft (not to mention Europe’s 2013-14 seasons) … but BallinEurope may already have a favorite.

Courtesy Hoops Fix, here’s Edgaras Ulanovas of Lithuania showing how to flick in a three-pointer … from about three-quarters the length of the court – if a half-second too late to count.

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Jun
1

NetScouts to host Elite Skills and Exposure Camp; early registration rates through June

NetScouts logoAttention, European youth players: BallinEurope’s compadres over at NetScouts Basketball have announced their hosting for their Elite Skills and Exposure Camp in Prague for boys and girls aged 12-19 years old. The event runs August 7-10; participation includes a skills evaluation with top players joining the NetScouts Basketball International Recruiting Service for promotion to prep schools and college in the US.

NetScouts and the partnering Get Better Academy bring an impressive list of coaches and scouts for the camp; as of this writing, the list features former Union Olimpija youth head coach Luka Bassin; former CSU/Santa Clara women’s head coach Chris Denker; Get Better Academy skill development trainer Julian Betko (whose past clientele has included Danny Granger, Mario Chalmers, Jarret Jack and Carl Landry among others); and NetScouts’ own Carl Berman.

Through June 30, registration for the event is €160 for Czech Republic players and €260 for those from outside the country. From July 1, prices go to €200 and €300 for Czech and non-Czech players respectively. Prices include all lodging and meal expenses, and participation is limited to 80.

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May
1

Podcast: Interview with Team Spain U19s head coach Luis Guil; review of The Last Boy Scout; gobs of basketball talk

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #36 of the weekly “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online and, if you think the end of the Euroleague season means a paucity of subjects to discuss, well, you don’t know BallinEurope and heinnews once we get started…

At center is an interview with current Team Spain U19s/former Murcia head coach Luis Guil. Guil, who’s tutored the likes of Ricky Rubio, Sergio Rodriguez, Victor Claver, Sergio Llull, Carlos Saurez, Xavier Rabaseda and Alex Abrines among others, tells us about his highs and lows coaching youth hoops plus what he sees as a big Spanish export market for coaches worldwide.

Beyond this, any number of basketball-centric topics are on the radar, including the NBA Draft lottery; those awesome San Antonio Spurs; an incipient player strike in Spain; VTB United League, German Bundesliga and TBL playoffs; and, inevitably, upcoming FIBA tournaments.

And from the We Watch These Things So You Don’t Have To Department is our sports movie review of the week. This time, it’s the distinctly non-epic Bruce Willis flick of 1991, a.k.a. the year American professional football died, The Last Boy Scout. (See below for the wonderfully over-the-top loopy opening scene and ignore the rest. It’s for the best, really…)

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.

Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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May
1

Podcast: Interview with Ricky Rubio; wrapping the 2012-13 Euroleague season, NIJT; reviewing The Wrestler

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #35 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Talking the Charge” podcast series is now available online and is downloadable from iTunes – and o boy, it’s a good one.

Days after Olympiacos made European basketball history, we’re still amazed by another incredible run by the Reds and so discuss the context of this back-to-back title victory. Also up for discussion are reasons why Real Madrid and FC Barcelona should be proud and CSKA Moscow a bit ashamed. And what about that Red Army side? Will they blow up the team? What is the future of Ettore Messina, Milos Teodosic and Nenad Krstic with the club after a most disappointing Euroleague finish?

We also weigh in on the results and performances of the Nike International Junior Tournament, with particular reference to the finalists, champions Club Joventut Badalona and runners-up FC Barcelona – an extreme contrast in styles vis-à-vis club development within the economic realities of European sport in the 2010s.

Ricky Rubio WolvesOf course, this show’s highlight is the brief interview with none other than The Human YouTube Highlight Clip himself, Ricky Rubio. In remarkably succinct fashion, La Pistola weighs in on this year’s Euroleague Final Four, the past frustrating season with the Minnesota Timberwolves (and the importance of Nikola Pekovic) and the possibilities for Team Spain in the upcoming Eurobasket 2013 tournament.

Finally, our sports movie review of the week focuses on the 2008 film The Wrestler featuring Mickey Rourke in an outstanding tour de force career-comeback performance.

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.

Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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May
0

Nike International Junior Tournament: Day three roundup

(Marc Garcia image courtesy Euroleague)

Garcia: Again the top-scorer for Barca

Just over two hours remain before Spain’s Europe’s top youth teams face off in the Nike International Junior Tournament championship game, and so follows a recap of yesterday’s action which ultimately saw FC Barcelona and Joventut Badalona advance, as provided by Net Scouts. The shows that these teams put on in facing a variety of styles – particularly impressive was Joventut, who handled defensive-minded Lietuvos Rytas, shut down the often dominant Dusan Ristic and Crvena Zvezda/Red Star Belgrade, and kept pace with a hustling Team China – are a true testament to the quality of these youth programs…

Joventut Badalona had little trouble with China (1-2), forcing the Chinese into 25 turnovers which resulted in Joventut taking 22 more shots in the game. Joventut maintained a double-digit lead for much of the contest. 6’8” Jose Nogues led the winners with 21 points, shooting 8-of-13 on two-pointers. 6’4” Agusti Sans finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists while 6’5” Alberto Abalde scored 16 and hit three three-pointers. 6’5” Jinglong Li was the only player in double-figures for Team China with 14 points. Joventut came back from a two-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to score 25 in the second to take a ten-point halftime lead.

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May
0

Nike International Junior Tournament: Game two roundup

(Xavier Assalit image courtesy Euroleague)

X-Man: Assalit top scorer in Joventut win

With games three of the 2013 Nike International Junior Tournament about to tip off, BallinEurope goes back to our friends at Net Scouts for a wrap on yesterday’s action.

As is typical of this tournament, day two proved a make-or-break for many teams, thanks to a couple surprising results: Team China (now armed with its full roster after playing against Crvena Zvezda/Red Star Belgrade with just seven in game one) eliminated NIJT defending champs Lietuvos Rytas while Joventut Badalona controlled Red Star to put themselves in the driver’s seat of group A. OKK Spars Sarajevo lost to FC Barcelona to put the Blaugrana free and clear in no. 1 position; the point differential between the two clubs is identical and thus a Barca loss plus a win is required to put the tourney’s newbies into the final game on Sunday…

Team China (1-1) surprised Lietuvos Rytas (0-2) 66-57 on the second day of the Euroleague’s Nike International Junior Tournament (NIJT) in London. 6’1” Yufeng Xu (1996) led Team China with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting and also grabbed 10 rebounds. 6’2” Deividas Kumelis (1995) led Rytas with 17 points and hit two three-pointers. It was a poor shooting game with China shooting 1-of-14 on three-pointers and Rytas only connected on 2-of-18 from deep. Rytas only shot 34.9% on the game and couldn’t take advantage of a 53-40 rebounding edge. Team China used a 17-7 second quarter advantage to take control of the game at the half (33-22).

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