Attention, European basketball coaches! How would you like not only an opportunity to exclusively scout some unsigned US division I university and/or European professional ball players but also a free trip to Ireland?
No, really: Free.
International basketball personalities Tom Newell and David Cullen, via player representative/coordinator Noam Fishman, are organizing an event they like to call the “Unsigned Player Showcase” (or UPS) which will go down September 17-20 in the excellent cities of Dublin and Belfast. The showcase is all about “facilitating European coaches in filling their rosters with great players and employment for the professional basketball players attending.”
Confirmed players for the event include – but are not limited to – the likes of T.J. Scarbrough (formerly of Montana State University, with professional experience in Cyprus, Turkey, Japan); Jamal Nichols (DePaul University, and onto Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela); and Jermaine Washington (University of Nevada-Reno, later Ireland, Luxembourg).
The schedule of events in Ireland and Northern Ireland will include seven matches in which the UPS players will take on Irish and international professional teams, several workout sessions conducted by Tom Newell, and personal interviews between coaches and unsigned players.
The first five European coaches who commit to attending this event will receive a free trip to Ireland for the festivities. More details including a timetable, player CVs and other information may be seen at the official blog for the event.
To attend, please contact Noam Fishman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Act soon, though, because this one’s first come, first served with the clock running down…
Tom Newell boasts a professional résumé which includes coaching stints with the New Jersey Nets, Seattle SuperSonics, Dallas Mavericks, Iraklis Thessaloniki BC and the Chinese Basketball Association; a player/coach role in Belgium; scouting work with the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets; as national men’s coach for Japan; and a job as a FIBA expert instructor in the Olympic Solidarity Program for Third World Countries. On September 22, Newell will be attending the FIBA Hall of Fame ceremony on behalf of his father, 2009 inductee Pete Newell.
David Cullen was an organizer of the non-profit organization Peace Players International, for which he was a co-winner of the 2007 Arthur Ashe Courage award at ESPN’s ESPY awards show. In 2008, Cullen organized the non-profit Full Court Peace, which hopes to “cultivate and inspire enduring friendships between teenagers from rival communities in war-torn regions of the world” through the medium of basketball. Cullen is currently coach/GM for the Belfast Tropics.