O, what the heck, BiE’ll go ahead and list them all with home countries and current Estonian team in parentheses: Curtis Allen (USA, Voru KK); Richard Anderson (CAN/Jamaica, BC Rakvere Tarvas); Casey Archibald (CAN, TTU/Kalev Tallinn); Andrew Arnold (USA, TTU/Kalev II); Osby Bambale (USA/Senegal, TTU/Kalev Tallinn); Anthony Brown (USA, Valga/CKE Inkasso); Michael Dunigan (USA, Kalav/Cramo); Callistus Eziukwu (USA, Tartu Rock); Matthew Hall (USA, BC Rakvere Tarvas); Brett McGee (USA, BC Rakvere Tarvas); Armands Skele (LAT, Kalev/Cramo); Andrais Thornton (USA, Voru KK); Georgi Tsintsadze (GEO, Tartu Rock); and Derek Winston (USA, Valga/CKE Inkasso).
The survey considered some 349 clubs in 29 European domestic leagues, omitting associations playing a “fairly low level” of basketball, such as Armenia and Norway; also not considered where the leagues of the former Yugoslavia, as citizenship issues have made the whole foreigner/homegown question fuzzy in cases of dozens of players.
Some key findings included the following.
• Õhtuleht tallied 1,786 players playing outside their native land; at 992 total, U.S. citizens comprise 55.5% of all foreigners. These figures would translate out to 5.1 foreign players and 2.8 Americans per team.
• Estonian basketball’s ratio of 1.55 foreigners per team appears to be in line with Baltic basketball, as Lithuanian LKL teams carry 2.0 foreign players on the typical roster and Latvian LBL teams average 1.88.
• Unsurprisingly, the newspaper notes that the free-for-all mentality that formerly characterized roster rules in Germany’s Bundesliga has resulted in the league leading in all statistical comparison of foreigners on the roster. An incredible 155 foreigners play pro hoops in Germany, a huge 8.6 per team; additionally, 114 of these (or 74% of all foreign cagers) are Americans, giving the average BBL squad 6.33 yankees. (So call it the D(eutschland)-League.)
• Belgium is perhaps second-highest in foreign talent, with outsiders and Americans totaling 7.4 and 5.9, respectively, on the average team. League-leading Okapi Aalstar boasts seven from the ‘States (Stanley Burrell, Chris Copeland, Pablo Gonzalez, Anthony Hilliard, Damon Huffman, Tyren Johnson, Alex Ruoff) and one dual Lithuanian/American citizen (Christopher Young).
• The single-team leader in talent import is Gloria Giants Düsseldorf. While the Giants now sport five players of dual citizenship, just one German passport-holder remains on the extended roster of 14: Patrick Wischnewski. Check out this roster, with nationalities in parentheses: Ransford Brempong (CAN), Joseph Buck (USA), Chris Ellis (USA), Olumuyiwa Famutimi (Nigeria/CAN), DeAndre Haynes (USA), Nikita Khartchenkov (RUS), Laimonas Kisielius (LTU), Dorian McDaniel (USA), Marin Petric (CRO), Patrick Pope (USA), Jamaal Tatum (USA), Eric Vierneisel (USA), Steven Wright (USA). As for how the German Melting Pot strategy is working for Düsseldorf, the ‘Giants currently sit in dead last on the Bundesliga table at 3-17 on the season.
• Americans also rule the foreigner roost in Finland, where 40 of the 46 non-Finns playing are from the ‘States. This ratio is at or over 75% in Belgium, Latvia and Portugal as well. In Estonia, 71% of foreigners (or 10 of 14, as seen above) are Americans.
• Lowest in the Americans-to-foreigners ratio is Belarus, where just three Americans (Larry Hall, Tywain McKee, Melvin Sanders) play their trade – all for league-leading, 26-0 BK Minsk.
• A bit surprising was the Spanish ACB’s second-place standing in this category. While some 138 non-Spaniards play for one of 18 teams (for an average 7.66 per team), just 44 Americans (or 2.4 per team) are playing in Europe’s top pro league.