Podcast: Interviews Chuck Davis, Frank Robinson; also, how the Nazi Party influenced ESPN

Episode lucky number 13 in the “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online over at heinnews.

For this week, Mr. Hein and BallinEurope were graced with the presence of a pair of American ballers set to play in the 2012-13 Eurocup Last 16 round after wins for their respective teams last night: Chuck Davis of Banvit and Frank Robinson of Budivelnik Kiev (also this year’s home of those awesome Red Foxes).

Some truly candid and excellent insight into playing hoops through Europe – the two have played in a dozen countries combined – run throughout both talks. Davis may be most well-known among international basketball fans for his two tours with the unheralded, Cinderellaesque Team Azerbaijan. Check what Chuck has to say on the controversial subject of naturalized players in international play…

Robinson began his professional career after finishing with Cal State Fullerton in 2008 with Union Olimpija and has since moved around The Continent a bit with eyes always on the Euroleague prize. Robinson also contributes to the “Taking the Charge” cause with a couple of musical tracks that Jerel Blassingame and he freestyled together during their mutual time at Asseco Prokom.

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Jaycee Carroll, Nik Caner-Medley: Proud to be Azerbaijani?

One hot-button topic in the European basketball world got a bit more heated yesterday: Word has it that The Azerbaijan Basketball Federation has opened talks that would install American-born players Jaycee Carroll and Nik Caner-Medley on the men’s national team in preparation for Eurobasket qualifiers.

Twitter tremors on the acquisitions – and let’s just call them acquisitions, shall we? It’s just business, after all – are still occurring, but the overriding sentiment only with an interesting bit of information was perhaps best summed up by Sportando’s tweet:

Jaycee Carroll has the same agent as Nik Caner-Medley who got as well passport from Azerbaijan. Europe, where fake passports happen.

As for BallinEurope, yes, we’re addressing the topic. Enrico Cellini weighs in on the subject below.

Suppose you are the head of a basketball federation in a tiny state with little tradition in the sport and must prepare for the Eurobasket 2013 qualification round. You would:

A) Hire a foreign coach with long European Basketball resume;

B) Invest in young players that could turn out to be good in the future; or

C) Just do like everyone else and grant national passports to American players so they can play in your national team.

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Team Azerbaijan backs out of FIBA women’s tournament

With an official statement from the host nation’s basketball federation and little more, Team Azerbaijan has been announced as no longer participating in this summer’s European Championship Women Division C.
Armenian Basketball Federation president Grachya Rostomyan stated simply that “Azerbaijani basketball team has rejected” the offer to play in the competition. FIBA Europe had informed the ABF of the decision on Tuesday.

Azerbaijan Basketball Federation executive director Rustam Rustamov later explained that “in November of last year when we appealed for participation in the European championship, we did not know where it will be held. This January, FIBA Europe decided to hold the contest in Yerevan. Taking into account the fact that this is a female team and considering the wishes of the basketball players and their parents, it was decided to reject participation in the contest in the hostile country.”

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