"A year ago, no one knew Yogev Ohayon even existed. furthermore, if he would still be playing for Hapoel Jerusalem, nobody would hear of him," said Maccabi Tel-Aviv owner David Federman during a local Israeli radio interview yesterday.
That said, let's get some facts straight.
In 2005, DraftExpress.com's Director of International Scouting Luis Fernandez, claimed the Israeli 19-year-old left-handed point guard was "not the prototypical player that a league like the NBA looks for." However, he explained that "for the European competition, he (Ohayon) seems to have a bright future, and his talent could carry him even further with the proper work and development."
Fernandez also resembled Ohayon's play to that of the Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash and Argentine-Spanish playmaker Pepe Sanchez.
After recording 8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4 assists per game during his full rookie year with Hapoel Galil Elyon in the 2005-06 season, over the years, Ohayon established himself into Galil's, Jerusalem's and now Maccabi's and the Israeli national team's most appreciated ball handler.
Recent rumors flooded the Israeli press the past few days about an explosion between Ohayon's people and Maccabi's management. According to reports, the player's representatives claim to have a buyout option that allows Ohayon to terminate his agreement with the Israeli powerhouse, while Tel Aviv claims Ohayon is strictly under contract until the end of 2012-13.
While the confusing versions of the agreement continue to be revealed, Ohayon, who's currently receiving interest from Panathinaikos, Malaga, Caja Laboral, Kazan and Kuban, might have to settle this issue in court (i.e. Jeremy Pargo and Maccabi saga).
He who deserves colossal credit for Ohayon's emergence this past season is Maccabi's head coach David Blatt.
It's no secret that when signing Jordan Farmar, Theodoros Papaloukas and Tal Burstein to the team's roster earlier last season Ohayon was expected to come off the bench for spotty Euroleague minutes but play a bigger role during the domestic contest.
After parting ways with Farmar in mid-season, Maccabi's coaching staff decided to acquire Demond Mallet for the opening of Euroleague Top 16 rounds. A move that again illustrated to Ohayon that he wasn't trusted.
While Mallet played a combined 24 minutes throughout five Elite 8 Euroleague series games against Panathinaikos, it was Ohayon who helped rally the yellow-and-blue to one of Europe's heroic series and dazzling performances by an Israeli player in any European competition.
The Euroleague rookie Ohayon came up big for Maccabi versus Panathinaikos and nearly sent his ball club to final four games in Turkey. Against the Greeks Yogev dished out more assists (2.8) and scored almost double (9.8) then his regular Euroleague season averages of 2.6 dimes and 5.6 points.
While Ohayon and his agent carry on their act of media silence, Maccabi continues to expose the player's contract information, disclosing dates and clauses.
As for Federman's callout against Ohayon, in June, 2007, on DraftExpress.com's weekly player evaluation, Ohayon was chosen for a spotlight breakdown over players such as Danilo Gallinari, Rudy Fernandez and Omri Casspi, stating "it's fair to expect Ohayon to become a very nice player in Europe, even a premier point guard if he maximizes his potential."
So, five years later, Ohayon is living up to the expectations and even though he's currently in the United States on vacation and wasn't able to be reached for comment, it is safe to say - he was well known across waters before joining Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Historic season to culminate with 2017 Final Four in Istanbul! - 22 hours ago
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A world-class city that witnessed two of pro basketball's most spectacular season-ending shots ever will have the same opportunity again next spring when the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four returns to Istanbul, Turkey, Euroleague Basketball announced on Tuesday. Istanbul will host the best four EuroLeague teams from May 19 to 21 in what is sure to be a thrilling finish to a ground-breaking season, the first in European basketball history in which all the teams in the continent... [read more]
A world-class city that witnessed two of pro basketball's most spectacular season-ending shots ever will have the same opportunity again next spring when the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four returns to Istanbul, Turkey, Euroleague Basketball announced on Tuesday. Istanbul will host the best four EuroLeague teams from May 19 to 21 in what is sure to be a thrilling finish to a ground-breaking season, the first in European basketball history in which all the teams in the continent's premier competition are guaranteed to play each other. The 2017 Final Four will take place for the second time at the Sinan Erdem Dome, which officially opened its doors on April 16, 2010 and two years later played host to a memorable Final Four that was one of the most successful in EuroLeague history. "Basketball has seen outstanding growth in Turkey in recent years, while Istanbul already has a Final Four tradition that's second to none, so we are excited to be crowning the EuroLeague champion there next May," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, said. "We will return to the Sinan Erdem Dome, one of the finest arenas anywhere in which to watch basketball and the perfect venue to culminate a season in which fans will see all the stars in their own cities for the first time in history. With the way Turkish fans continue embracing the EuroLeague more and more each year, it will be great to have them with us for the very biggest games at the Final Four." The event will feature an expansion of a strong relationship begun at the start of this decade between Euroleague Basketbal and Turkish Airlines, which had a pivotal role in bringing the Final Four back to Turkey and will host the event, as well. As title sponsor of the competition, Turkish Airlines heads a family of Euroleague Basketball partners in Turkey to which a new member was recently added, Odeabank. The season's crowning weekend also will mark the first Final Four to be held under the 10-year joint venture between Euroleague Basketball and IMG. 'We highly treasure our partnership with Euroleague Basketball because it has allowed us for many years to be part of a great sport - commented Mr lker Ayci - This year we are even more proud to be the title sponsor of this championship, since the Final Four will actually take place in our city of birth and global hub, Istanbul. We are sure that the international atmosphere and innovative traits of our city will add an extra touch of innovation and thrill to such an amazing event. Furthermore, every year we commit to ideating, together with Euroleague Basketball, new and exciting ways to deliver a sporting experience that truly goes beyond expectations to all basketball fans and travellers'. Istanbul has been the unforgettable scene of an unmatched history of memorable Final Four moments. The 1992 Final Four ended with legend Aleksandar Djordjevic making a three-point shot with time running out as Partizan Belgrade won its only continental title in an upset at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Two decades later, Olympiacos Piraeus rallied from 19 points behind with 11 minutes to play at Sinan Erdem to defeat CSKA Moscow on the season's final shot, by Georgios Printezis. The Sinan Erdem Dome has a capacity for 16,000 spectators for basketball and, in addition to the 2012 Final Four, has hosted such prestigious basketball events as the 2010 world championships. The upcoming 2016-17 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season that ends in Istanbul will be the first in which there is no possibility that two opponents can meet for the first time at the Final Four. The new competition system features 30 regular season games among the competition's 16 teams, each playing the other 15 both home and away before four playoff series decide the semifinalists who will compete for the title in Istanbul. As such, the champion who wears the crown in Istanbul next May will always be remembered as the first who had to go through every single one of the very best clubs in Europe in order to survive. The new champion must play a minimum of 35 games, as well, making it also the longest season ever to survive in order to become Europe's elite club competition champion. The 2016-17 EuroLeague season opens on October 12 in the Spanish capital of Madrid with the replay of the first game of the modern EuroLeague on the same date in 2001, Real Madrid vs. Olympiacos Piraeus. Courtesy of: euroleague.net
Melih Mahmutoglu extends contract with Fenerbahce - 14 hours ago
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193-G-90) and Fenerbahce have agreed on terms of a new contract. The guard has penned a new three-year deal with the Istanbul powerhouse. Melih Mahmutoglu has been playing for Fenerbahce since 2013. Last season the guard notched 6.0 points and 1.0 boards per game in BSL. In EuroLeague his stats read 4.0 points per appearance. He has been the member of the Turkish National Team since 2013. [read more]
Melih Mahmutoglu (193-G-90) and Fenerbahce have agreed on terms of a new contract. The guard has penned a new three-year deal with the Istanbul powerhouse. Melih Mahmutoglu has been playing for Fenerbahce since 2013. Last season the guard notched 6.0 points and 1.0 boards per game in BSL. In EuroLeague his stats read 4.0 points per appearance. He has been the member of the Turkish National Team since 2013.
Defending champion CSKA Moscow (VTB) tabbed 29-year old American forward Jeff Ayres (206-109kg-87, college: Arizona State). He played most recently at LA Clippers in the NBA. But in 19 games he averaged just 1.7ppg and 1.2rpg last season. Ayres also played that season for another team D-Fenders in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in two games he had very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 13.0rpg and 1.5apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings (NBA) in second round (31st overall). The f... [read more]
Defending champion CSKA Moscow (VTB) tabbed 29-year old American forward Jeff Ayres (206-109kg-87, college: Arizona State). He played most recently at LA Clippers in the NBA. But in 19 games he averaged just 1.7ppg and 1.2rpg last season. Ayres also played that season for another team D-Fenders in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in two games he had very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 13.0rpg and 1.5apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings (NBA) in second round (31st overall). The former Arizona State staris in his eighth season in pro basketball. Ayres was selected to D-League All-Star Game in 2016. He won NBA championship title in 2014. He has played previously professionally in NBA (Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers) and D-League (Salt Lake City Stars and Iowa Energy). Let's have closer look into Ayres' outlook:
(by Borko Popic for NBADraft.net in 2009)
He is a competitor, battles at all times to establish post position and is very active His motor is excellent and he shows it by running the floor as well as anyone in the country Around the basket he is very active and he knows how to move without the ball to get to open spaces Has been the beneficiary of some great passes, but a lot of it has to do with his ability to read the action as well as being able to catch pretty much any pass that is thrown his way.
His repertoire in the post is limited, as a result he does not demand much attention from defenses Struggles getting his shot of against bigger defenders.
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