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Malaga's Marcus Williams talks heart surgery, journey to Euroleague stardom - Nov 23, 2012


POSTED BY:
DAVID PICK
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Marcus
Williams
On September 2, 2011, Los Angeles native guard Marcus Williams' basketball career was threatened without warning.

The former UConn stud and first round pick in the 2006 NBA draft was just three days into his new Russian contract when Kazan's physical identified a heart tumor. Williams immediately returned to the United States to undergo surgery, keeping him off the hardwood for over three months.

Williams had just capped a noteworthy season with Russian Enisey, averaging 15.3 points and finishing first in the league in assists with 6.8 per game.

Once receiving his worrying medical results, Williams contemplated the worst and began to reminisce about the highlights of his career, such as winning the 2004 NCAA title, being selected 22nd overall by the New Jersey Nets and playing in the Rookies All-Star Game. He also recalled being chosen to play in the Puerto Rican league's All-Star game, earning both the game's MVP and the Skills Contest awards.

It was on the flight home that Williams told himself "I'm sick of asking 'why' to certain things. I just continue to roll with the punches." He was convinced that it didnt matter where he played basketball, as long as he got one more shot to hoop.

Behind an encouraging 25-game comeback in China, Williams pursued a deal that would resurrect his career. The NBA, by the way, wasn't in the cards.

"There was some NBA talk over the summer. I had some camp invites but I never thought about going because I didn't want to do the NBA thing this year. I wanted to play more than anything," Williams told Eurobasket from his luxury patio overlooking the Mediterranean in Malaga, Spain. "Going to the NBA, I would have maybe been a second guard, for sure a third guard on some team and I know I can play basketball -- doing so at a high level was my ultimate goal," he added.

Throughout his rehab process, Williams gained 20-plus pounds of body fat, increasing his weight to 230 pounds, resembling a somewhat taller, non-muscular version of free agent NBA guard Derek Fisher.

Last summer, Williams was determined to get back into shape and like any other off-season, he played for the "L.A. Unified" squad in Los Angeles' famous pro-am Drew League. In July, he participated in a number of vigorous private workouts for European teams.

"It's funny," Williams recalled while looking back on how he was scouted by Spanish Unicaja Malaga. "Our General Manager told someone from my agency that they were on the lookout for a point guard and that they would stop through L.A. on their way to the NBA Summer League. They came to a few workouts, saw me play, and that was it. They were the first team to approach me," the 26-year-old guard said.

Later that month, Malaga's Croatian coach Jasmin Repesa left Williams with a very detailed to-do list before giving team officials the green light to sign the 6-foot-3 guard to a two-year contract.

" (Repesa) has been on my case before I even signed with Malaga. We spoke on the phone many times and he was strict about wanting me to lose my body fat, lose weight, and get into game shape early," the 211-pound healthy Williams revealed.

"I told him I'm willing to do whatever it takes, and though (Repesa) rarely allows us to get comfortable, (Repesa)'s very open minded and trusts us to make the right plays. I'm glad I was able to step in up."

With seven weeks into the Euroleague season, Williams, a Euroleague rookie, is fully recovered and is playing the best ball of his career. He's averaging 11.1 points shooting 41% from beyond the arc and is ranked third in the competition in made 3-pointers (18), leading his team to the Top 16 round with six consecutive victories. Williams also records 3.3 rebounds and 3.6 dimes in just 21 minutes of action.

Between 2006-2010, Williams collected 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 203-NBA games for the New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.
  




Dairis
Bertans
Dairis Bertans (ex Darussafaka) to sign at EA7 Armani - 22 hours ago
EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Serie A) landed 28-year old Latvian international shooting guard Dairis Bertans (194-91kg-89). He played most recently at Darussafaka in Turkish BSL league. In 23 games he averaged 10.0ppg, 1.5rpg and 2.6apg last season. Bertans helped them to make it to the semifinals. He also played 32 games in Euroleague where he had 6.4ppg and 1.3apg. Bertans contributed to his team making it to the quarterfinals. The previous (15-16) season he played at RETAbet in Spanish L...   [read more]

Paulius
Valinskas
Valinskas re-signs at Zalgiris - 16 hours ago
Defending champion B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas (LKL) confirmed in their roster 22-year old shooting guard Paulius Valinskas (190-82kg-95). He played there last season. In 33 LKL games he had 3.9ppg, 1.2rpg and 1.6apg. Valinskas helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). He also played 5 games in Euroleague where he recorded just 1.2ppg. Valinskas also spent pre-season at Zalgiris that year. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com...   [read more]

Royce
O'Neale
Royce O'Neale (ex Gran Canaria) agreed terms at Zalgiris - 1 day ago
B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas (LKL) to sign 24-year old American small forward Royce O'Neale (198-102kg-93, college: Baylor). He played most recently at Gran Canaria in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 35 games he averaged 7.5ppg, 5.0rpg and 2.1apg last season. O'Neale helped them to win the Supercup. He also played 16 games in Eurocup where he had 10.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.3apg and 1.1spg. O'Neale contributed to his team making it to the quarterfinals. The previous (15-16) season he played at EnBW Ludwigsburg in...   [read more]


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The event was previously known just as Euroleague until 2010



Euroleague Standings
 1. Anadolu Efes 0-0 
 2. Baskonia 0-0 
 3. Brose Bask. 0-0 
 4. Crvena Zvezda 0-0 
 5. CSKA 0-0 
 6. EA7 Armani 0-0 
 7. FC Barcelona 0-0 
 8. Fenerbahce 0-0 
 9. Khimki 0-0 
 10. Maccabi T-A 0-0 
 11. Olympiacos 0-0 
 12. Panathinaikos 0-0 
 13. Real Madrid 0-0 
 14. Unicaja 0-0 
 15. Valencia 0-0 
 16. Zalgiris 0-0 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Keith LANGFORD
  Unics
  (193-SG-83)
  Avg: 21.8
 1. Langford, Unics21.8 
 2. De-Colo, CS.19.1 
 3. Goudelock, Maccabi .17.3 
 4. Wanamaker, Darussaf.16.7 
 5. Llull, Real Madrid16.5 
 6. Teodosic, CSKA16.1 
 7. Bogdanovic, Fener.14.6 
 8. James, Panathin.13.1 
 9. Larkin, Baskonia13.1 
 10. Rice, FC Barcelona13.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Ekpe UDOH
  Fenerbahce
  (208-F/C-87)
  Avg: 7.8
 1. Udoh, Fenerbahce7.8 
 2. Melli, Brose Bask.7.4 
 3. Honeycutt, Anadolu .7.3 
 4. Kuzmic, Crvena Z.7.0 
 5. Voigtmann, Basko.7.0 
 6. Zizic, Darussafaka6.7 
 7. Dorsey, FC Barce.6.3 
 8. Dunston, Anadolu .6.2 
 9. Jankunas, Zalgiris6.1 
 10. Tomic, FC Barce.5.9 
Assists Per Game
 Milos TEODOSIC
  CSKA
  (195-PG-87)
  Avg: 6.8
 1. Teodosic, CSKA6.8 
 2. Spanoulis, Olympiacos6.1 
 3. Llull, Real Madrid5.9 
 4. Larkin, Baskonia5.7 
 5. Colom, Unics5.7 
 6. Jovic, Crvena Z.5.7 
 7. Guler, Galatasaray5.6 
 8. Heurtel, Anadolu .5.6 
 9. Calathes, Panathin.5.5 
 10. Westermann, Zalgiris5.5 
Steals Per Game
 Charles JENKINS
  Crvena Z.
  (191-SG-89)
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Jenkins, Crvena Z.2.1 
 2. Calathes, Panathin.1.5 
 3. Wanamaker, Darussaf.1.5 
 4. Lazic, Crvena Z.1.4 
 5. Wilbekin, Darussafaka1.4 
 6. Larkin, Baskonia1.3 
 7. Jovic, Crvena Z.1.3 
 8. Guler, Galatasaray1.3 
 9. Hanga, Baskonia1.3 
 10. Fernandez, Real M.1.2 
Blocks Per Game
 Ekpe UDOH
  Fenerbahce
  (208-F/C-87)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Udoh, Fenerbahce2.2 
 2. Tyus, Galatasaray1.5 
 3. Pleiss, Galatasaray1.2 
 4. Parakhouski, Unics1.2 
 5. Dunston, Anadolu .1.1 
 6. Randolph, Real Madrid1.1 
 7. Singleton, Panathin.1.0 
 8. Birch, Olympiacos1.0 
 9. Honeycutt, Anadolu .0.9 
 10. Kirk, Anadolu Efes0.9 
Player of the Week

 Nando De Colo
  CSKA
  ( 196-SG-87 )
  
Poll

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