The NBA’s Basketball Without Borders has wrapped its European edition for 2010, the first-ever such camp in Spain. On-hand to represent the NBA were The Gasol Brothers, Rudy Fernández, Vladimir Radmanovic, Serge Ibaka, Marcus Camby, Jason Terry, Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ron Adams and Indiana Pacers assistant coach Dick Harter.
After three days of drilling and practicing on the parts of the 1993- and 1994-born lot, Sunday activities culminated in a pair of games followed by a third “all-star game” with the top U16s there. The matchups for the final 32-minute match were comprised of:
Team A: Paulius Semaska, Ignas Ramasauskas (Lithuania); Mateusz Ponitka, Przemek Karnowski (Poland); Sergey Karasev, Andrey Loginov (Russia); Alexsandar Cvetkovic (Serbia); John Stewart (England); Martin Kriz (Czech Republic); Alejandro Suarez (Spain); and
Team B: Josep Perez (Spain), Alex Chermushevich (Israel), Nenad Miljenovic (Serbia), Tomas Lekunas (Lithuania), Vladislav Trushkin (Russia), Dario Saric (Croatia), Rasmus Larsen (Denmark), Bogdan Radosavljevic (Germany), Francesco Candussi (Italy) and Piotr Niedzwiedzki (Poland).
The Polish players acquitted themselves particularly nicely at the BWB camp in general, with Niedzwiedzki leading Team B to the victory and bagging the all-star game MVP trophy as Ponitka took the Basketball Without Borders Europe camp MVP award. (Should the NBA be on the lookout for a Polish invasion in the medium-term future? BiE suddenly fears Team Poland in international play a lot more too…)
However, the player basketball prospect specialists Eurohopes were really gaga over was Dario Saric – could he be the next Dejan Bodiroga? As Jason Terry said, “Maybe two or three of these campers will play in the NBA one day,” so let the speculation begin!
Charity work, youth development and community outreach activities aside, at least some of the pros took a few moments to talk a little NBA. To wit:
• Terry of the Dallas Mavericks has set his individual goal for the upcoming season, throwing a gauntlet on the official NBA website. “I’m coming back this year for my title. It was taken away from me by Jamal Crawford and this year, I’m coming back to get it. Sixth Man of the Year is definitely in my future.”
NBA.com also dutifully points out that Terry needs to average 18 minutes a game – 1,500 for the season – to snag an additional $6.4 million in bonus incentives.
• Marcus Camby, a huge proponent of Basketball Without Borders since he participated in the BWB Africa program two years ago, was reportedly set to chat with the disgruntled Rudy Fernandez about returning to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
Said Camby to the Portland Tribune: “Everybody asks if I’m going to talk to Rudy. I want to pick his brain, see where his head is at. I enjoyed him as a teammate. Hopefully I can persuade him to come to camp. He’ll be a big part of what we do.”
No new news was forthcoming on this meeting if it ever happened, unfortunately.
• Finally, belated congratulations from BallinEurope to former Basketball Without Borders participant Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, who last week received national honors for his community work.