EUROBASKET HAD THE PLEASURE OF SITTING DOWN WITH NEW AUSTRIAN SIGNEE GIO WOODS. THE NEWEST RECRUIT OF KAPFENBURG, HE BRIEFLY SHARED HIS THOUGHTS ON THE COMING SEASON AND ALSO SPOKE ON HIS EXPERIENCES IN BOTH SPAIN AND IN THE UNITED STATES.
EU: GIO, THANKS FOR SITTING WITH US. HOW HAVE YOU FOUND AUSTRIA THUS FAR? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE? GW: Thanks for having me. Austria seems to be a very inviting place thus far. The city of Kapfenberg is small and quiet. I;ve been here a little over a month and a half.
EU: HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT BASKETBALL HERE IN AUSTRIA? DID YOU KNOW THAT THEY PLAY HERE? WHAT WERE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PLACE BEFORE ARRIVING AND NOW THAT YOU ARE HERE? GW: Ive known about basketball here via eurobasket and also some friends that competed in the league here. Having lived in Germany as a child through the Military, i figured that were somewhat similiar. Being here reminds me of my past experiences in Germany as a youth.
EU: HOW IS IT PLAYING ALONGSIDE VETERANS LIKE DETERI MAYES OR AUSTRIAN STALWART DEMETRIUS NELSON? GW: Its rare that you get an opportunity to play with a Veteran like DT Mayes who has played in Austria his entire career has been very successful. His experience and knowledge for the game in general is amazing and having played in this league,he knows the in's and out's of how to grow and get better as an individual and team. Demetrius Nelson is also a great player to have on your team. He is a team guy and very skilled big man. We connected prior to landing in Kapfenberg and built chemistry which has transferred over to the court.
EU: WE SEE THAT YOU SPENT A SEASON IN SPAIN'S EBA...HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THE TWO LOCALES? GW: Playing in Spain on the island of Tenerife was beautiful and i enjoyed my time there. Going to comparring the level of play from EBA to Top Division Austria is a major difference. From age of players to the level of competition i would say is much greater in Austria. For my skill set and ability to play at a higher level, Austria is a great fit. Having a different role and playing here at the Point Guard position allows me to display my game as a complete player and team leader.
EU: AS A TESTIMONY OF USING THE PRO EXPOSURE SHOWCASE ROUTE, WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE ASPIRING PRO PLAYER? WE SEE THAT YOU HAD FREQUENTED SHOWCASES AND EXPERIENCED SUCCESSES AS A RESULT. GW: My advice to any aspiring players and or current players is to never sell yourself short. Dont think that just because you have done one camp you have done them all. Exposure is key to becoming successful in this line of work. You may never know who will be at the camps or who knows who or what opportunity may arise. People want to see the product in person and not just on film. You have to work hard and sometimes it may mean spending alot of money to invest in your career as a pro athlete. And for that i have found success at exposure camps.
EU: WHAT IF ANY OUTLOOK DO YOU HAVE ON THE SEASON UPCOMING? GW: My goal for this season is to first lead my team both by example and vocally. To help reach our highest potential in the league. To continue to grow as a player and a person. Also, to enhance my opportunities to play at the highest level possible.
EU: WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? GW: After entering the NBA draft in 2009 and 2 NBDL drafts and coming out unsuccessful in being drafted,overseas exposure camps have given me a chance to continue my career. I first want to represent GOD,my family, my agency Courtside and my current team The ECE Kapfenberg Bulls in the best way possible leadng them as a point guard should. Winning a championship would be great. I would also like the opportunity one day to play in the NBA Developement league or the NBA summer league as i continue my dream of playing in the NBA.
EU: ANY WORDS FOR YOUR FANS FROM THE US AND/OR SPAIN? GW: TO all my Family and friends in Lacey Washington and Detroit Michigan, i thank you for all your support and love and i hope that you continue to "GRIND" with me as I continue my journey. S/O GRINDTEAM
EUROBASKET WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND OUR BEST WISHES TO GIOVONNE ON A FRUITFUL AND EVENTFUL SEASON IN AUSTRIA WITH KAPFENBURG. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SITTING DOWN WITH HIM AGAIN & ALSO TO HEARING TALES OF CLUTCH BASKETS SCORED AND VICTORIES THIS SEASON UPCOMING. BEST SWISHES GIO!
BC Hallmann Vienna has inked four new American import players. The newly built team agreed terms with Anthony Clemmons (186-PG-94, college: Iowa), Donald Lawes (201-C, college: Farmingdale St.), Dominique Coleman (189-G-84, college: Colorado) and Marvin Williams (203-C-93, college: La-Monroe). Together with Predrag Miletic they will form the import chore of BC Vienna. The addition also makes sure that guard Bogic Vujosevic will not return to the capital city ball club. Anthony Clemmons (... [read more]
Anthony Clemmons (186-PG-94, college: Iowa) is coming straight from the University of Iowa where he put up 9.2ppg, 2.7rpg and 3.8 apg in 32 games last season. Williams has played a season of pro ball in Tokio last year and added 13 games for Gladstone Port City Power in Australia this summer where the center had 17.7 and 6.8 rpg. Lawes played in Bolivia and Mexico recently. During the 14/15 campaign he played 11 games for KB Kastrioti in Kosovo putting up 18.3 ppg and 9.8 rpg. Coleman has the most experience of the new additions playing as a pro since 2007 in Finland, Belgium, the Ukraine and Italy. He also has international experience playing Euro Challenge with Kyiv before leaving due the civil war. Coleman played for ESSM Le Portel Cote d'Opale in the French 2nd League last season.
Planasa Navarra de Pamplona (LEB Silver) added to their roster 24-year old Austrian international forward Maximilian Hopfgartner (206-92, college: John Brown, agency: Dynamics Global Management) from Xuven Cambados. In 26 LEB Silver games in Spain he had 10.1ppg and 4.2rpg last season. A very spectacular year in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Spanish LEB Silver Honorable Mention. Hopfgartner's team won SAC Regular Season in 2013. He has been also a member of Austrian int... [read more]
Planasa Navarra de Pamplona (LEB Silver) added to their roster 24-year old Austrian international forward Maximilian Hopfgartner (206-92, college: John Brown, agency: Dynamics Global Management) from Xuven Cambados. In 26 LEB Silver games in Spain he had 10.1ppg and 4.2rpg last season. A very spectacular year in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Spanish LEB Silver Honorable Mention. Hopfgartner's team won SAC Regular Season in 2013. He has been also a member of Austrian international program for some years. Hopfgartner has regularly played for Austrian senior team since 2013 and previously for U20 National Team in 2012. He represented Austria at the Qualifications to European Championships 2015 two years ago. His stats at that event were 6 games: 1.7ppg. Hopfgartner graduated from John Brown University in 2015 and it will be his second season as a professional player.
54-year old Bulgarian coach Georgi Mladenov (agency: Global Sports Plaza). He coached last season at NTS Basket Rimini Crabs in Italian Serie B. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Mladenov won Bulgarian Division A championship title in 2012. He was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Bulgarian Division A Coach of the Year back in 2012. Mladenov was coaching Bulgarian Senior National Team two yea... [read more]
Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions (A Bundesliga) agreed terms with experienced 54-year old Bulgarian coach Georgi Mladenov (agency: Global Sports Plaza). He coached last season at NTS Basket Rimini Crabs in Italian Serie B. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Mladenov won Bulgarian Division A championship title in 2012. He was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Bulgarian Division A Coach of the Year back in 2012. Mladenov was coaching Bulgarian Senior National Team two years ago and coached also U20 National Team in 2010. He has coached previously professionally in Morocco and Bulgaria (Beroe).
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