Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++ FIBA Europe Under 20 final highlights and top plays +++ VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy +++ The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague +++ Until it matters, it won’t matter +++ Watch all 40 of Angela Salvadores points against USA +++ LeBron, another sign that David Blatt just keeps on winning +++ Better know a Euro – Alessandro Gentile +++ Better know a Euro – Ioannis Papapetrou +++ Better know a Euro – Nemanja Dangubic +++

Merry Christmas wishes from BallinEurope – and from around the basketball world

BallinEurope would like to wish a very merry Christmas to the readers out there, with hopes that your holiday season is loaded with food, drink, love – and basketball!

While the NBA is making this last item a reality with a swell slate of five games and a special Christmas-themed episode of the “Taking the Charge” podcast series will be posted later today, BiE brings even more season’s greetings from throughout the basketball universe. Among those sitting on BiE’s virtual mantelpiece are the following.

Among some great stuff for the holidays, BiE’s favorite must be “The 12 Dunks of Christmas,” a production from The NOC featuring streetballer Special FX.

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Ramunas Siskauskas: The BallinEurope video tribute

On Monday, European basketball great Ramunas Šiškauskas announced his retirement from the game: A story that was noteworthy enough for even North Korean sports fans to be notified. In his official statement, Šiškauskas said that he’d “made my choice in the middle of the season. It was not connected with anything specific – I just feel I should stop. I can only be excited about my career” and that “I am glad I was able to quit as a significant player, playing for such a great team and organization as CSKA Moscow.”

At 33 years of age, Šiškauskas put together a 16-season career with BC Sakalai Vilnius, Lietuvos Rytas, Benetton Treviso, Panathinaikos and CSKA Moscow plus seven years with Team Lithuania in FIBA and Olympic play – good for a gold and two bronzes.

And in that decade and a half, Šiškauskas amassed just under 1,500 points in seven Euroleague seasons on 49.8% shooting including 42.3% on threes. His back-to-back EL titles earned in 2007 and ’08 are among his many individual-career and team highlights … aw, hell. Let’s dispense with further formalities and get to the Ramunas Šiškauskas career tribute in traditional BallinEurope fashion, i.e. with lots of YouTube clips! We’ll miss ya, Ramunas…

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Balling in college abroad: Checking in on some European NCAA players

With semesters coming to a close in European universities (well at least here in BallinEurope’s Budapest headquarters), BiE’s mind turned to the U.S. college game and specifically the European ballers playing in the NCAA. Below therefore runs some recent news – and video clips, natch – on 12 players plying their wares in the ‘States this season; starring Elias Harris, Denis Kilicli, Patrick Heckmann, Brice Massamba and more.

• Patrik Auda, Czech Republic; Seton Hall. In his sophomore year, Auda has earned the starting lineup for the 7-1 Pirates to produce an impressive 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game; in early December, Auda went for a career-high 17 points – all in the second half – against Auburn.

Auda has fit perfectly with the Seton Hall speedy offense this season, though it must be said that the Czech and his teammates haven’t met a true test against an NCAA superpower yet: That’ll come on December 28 when visiting current no. 1 Syracuse.

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Twelve European players to watch in 2010-11 NCAA basketball

‘Stateside, this weekend saw the tipping off of college basketball across the country and, while most prospects from The Continent are avoiding the Kanter treatment to simply play with club teams here, BallinEurope still has eyes on a handful of European players looking to make an impact in the NCAA in 2010-11. Our official preseason NCAA All-European team comprises the following players, quite a few of which should be playing high-level professional hoops before all is said and done.

• Patrik Auda, Czech Republic; Seton Hall. Kevin Willard got something of a nice working holiday this spring as he checked out players at the Carnarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands. The fans were then gifted with their new 6’9” lefty forward in Auda. Willard and his recruiters reportedly had an eye on Auda throughout last season, including the Czechs’ personal highlight of an All-Tournament Team nod for the National Prep School Invitational held in Rhode Island in February.

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Jordan Brand Classic scoop: Roster changes, player briefs, how to watch online

Just in case international youth basketball fans weren’t sated by the recent Albert Schweitzer and Nike Hoop Summit youth tournaments, perhaps the upcoming Jordan Brand Classic in New York today will go a bit further in sating the craving. Three games will be played between some of the world’s finest U18 players.

Game two of the tripleheader puts 16 non-U.S. players in the limelight, as “Black” and “White” teams have been drawn at random from the stock of internationals. Originally, a full 10 of these 16 were representing The Continent, with Lithuania, Serbia and France each claiming two spots.

Thanks to our old friend Eyjafjallajoekull, however, some changes have been made. Vasilije Micic and Nikola Jankovic of Serbia cannot make the trip; also out is Nigeria’s Christopher Obekpa. In for the internationals will be Italian point guard Matteo Ibro and two guard Albert Homs of Spain; replacing Obekpa will be Anthony Bennett of Canada. The roster switch-up now gives Spain and Italy two players each in the game.

The book on the Europeans in the Jordan Classic looks something like the following.

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