Brian Harper (206-F/G-85, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Paine) is a 27 year old 206cm forward that is commencing his first season in Germany in the Beko BBL for TBB Trier. He started off playing guard at 6'5" at Paine and grew to 6'10" and never changing positions. Brian's a smooth shooting wing with explosive athleticism. He has tremendous lateral movement with a wing span of 7'4". Brian is a talented ball handler. He adds an extra advantage as he utilizes his size to rebound over smaller defenders. He played at Paine (NCAA2) from 2003-2007. He turned professional in 2007 and played for Gimle BBK Bergen (Norway-1Div., starting five): 15 games: Score-3 (25.1ppg), 8.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, 2.0bpg, 2FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 66.3%. In 2008-2009, he played for KCC Egis (Korea-KBL, starting five): Korean League: 9 games: 15.1ppg, 5.6rpg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 76.7%; released in Nov.'08, in Feb.'09 moved to Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League): 8 games: 3.5ppg, 1.6rpg; in March '09 signed at Reno Bighorns (D-League): 5 games: 1.2ppg. In the last three years, he played in Japan for Toyama Grouses (Japan-BJ League) playing a total of 102 games. Last season, he played 49 games: 16.3ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 28.7%, FT: 61.3%. He spoke to Eurobasket about basketball.
Congrats on your new job with TBB Trier in the German Beko BBL: Wat were the main reasons why you decided to join this team?
Thanks, I decided to join TBB Trier because of the opportunity to play in a great league and for a great organization. Also its going to give me a chance to play under a coach that really understands the game of basketball.
You played the last three years in Japan. You played as a rookie in Norway in 2007. Did you miss Europe or why did you decide to leave Japan?
I did miss Europe and always at some point of my career wanted to come back and play in Europe again.
Some basketball players perfer to stay in one country. There is a good lifestyle in Japan. Did you ever think about possibly having a long basketball career in Japan?
Leaving Japan wasnt an easy thing to do I love the culture, fans and professional basketball league in Japan , but I knew that if I wanted to continue to grow as a basketball player and wanted to play at the highest of levels it was something I had to do . Im extremely excited and grateful to be playing in Trier this upcoming season.
As an American what was the most difficult thing that you had to get used to to the Japan way of life?
I would have to say the bowing and taking off of the shoes ..Lol, yeah those two things took a little getting used to.
You are the ultimate swing man at 206 cm that can rebound, but also is very quick and can create massive mismatches at the position three. Where do you feel more comfortable at the three or four? Honestly I feel comfortable at both positions. I feel that with my size and skill set I can contribute to a team at either of the two positions.
What is a strength in your game that doesnt get noticed right away?
I would say my ability to play defense and block shots.
How excited are you about playing for coach Hendrik Rodl at TBB Trier? Do you remember watching the 1993 NCAA March madness where North Carolina Won? Rodl was on the winning team that won it all? Im very excited about playing for Coach Hendrik Rodl. Its not often you get the chance to play for a coach that has had so much success as a player and as a coach. Im looking forward to learning as much as I can from him! Yeah I remember Coach winning it all in 1993!
Who was your fiercest competitor that you played against in the NCAA 2 that might be in the NBA or Europe now? Monyea Pratt from Stillman College we played in the same conference and he always played real hard and was a good ball player. He plays pro ball in Germany now.
As a rookie you played in Norway for Bergin. What was your wake up call to professional basketball in Europe as a rookie?
The wakeup call was everyone that I was playing with and against could really play there were no breaks every night you had to come ready to play
In your second season, you got experience in the D-league playing for Sioux Falls Skyforce and Reno Bighorns (D-League). What experience will you never forget in the D-league? Yeah when I got back from Korea I spent about a month in the D-League and really enjoyed it. I will never forget the NBA style of play.
The United States have many stars on the Olympic team. Who will be the MVP of the team in their quest for the gold? Kobe Bryant
The Eurobasket Select Team came through to steal a win away from VfL AstroStars Bochum team 78-77. Yale's Jack Montague (183-PG, college: Yale) scored the final 8 points over the final two minutes for ESL to secure the win including the game winning floater with 34 seconds remaining. Montague finished his first professional game with a team high 16 points. Fellow starter Derrick Tony Seldon (196-F/C-93, college: W.Connecticut) and reserve Jeremiah Dunnings (183-PG, college: William Carey)... [read more]
The Eurobasket Select Team came through to steal a win away from VfL AstroStars Bochum team 78-77. Yale's Jack Montague (183-PG, college: Yale) scored the final 8 points over the final two minutes for ESL to secure the win including the game winning floater with 34 seconds remaining. Montague finished his first professional game with a team high 16 points. Fellow starter Derrick Tony Seldon (196-F/C-93, college: W.Connecticut) and reserve Jeremiah Dunnings (183-PG, college: William Carey) were the only others to reach double figures for ESL with 14 and 15 points respectively.
ESL marched out Montague, Seldon, Maurice Cole (182-PG-90, college: Dixie St.), Zack Leeper (193-G), and Bruce Marshall (208-C-94) to start the game against Bochum who were without American Clay Wilson (190-G-92, college: Princeton). 'I felt the first few minutes took some time to find our rhythm. This is the first time any of these players have played together before so I knew there would be an adjustment period,' ESL Head Coach Allen Mkrtychyan said. ESL did not get their first field goal to go down until Dominican's William Wise (206-F) knocked down a 3 point jump shot with 6 minutes to go in the first. ESL trailed 48-44 heading into halftime connecting on seven 3 point FG's in the first half (Leeper, Seldon, Wise, Ajani Santos (201-F/C-94), Dunnings, and Ethan Murray (188-G-93, college: Coll.of the Ozarks)).
The third quarter was a battle as the VfL AstroStars led by Ryon Howard (198-SF-84, college: Sacred Heart) and Michael Haucke (210-C-85) got into the bonus with 7 minutes left in the quarter. 'I thought we lacked the defensive energy we had in the first half and it resulted in unneeded fouls. We struggled to keep the tempo up and the amount of free points they had made it difficult to cut into their lead. However, the guys were able to make the adjustment in the 4th to get us back in the game', ESL Tour Manager Dustin Simcox said. ESL trailed by 12 heading into the 4th. Seldon knocked down his third 3 pointer of the game in the opening minutes to spark the rally.
Down 5 with 2:30 remaining in the game is when Montague took over to seal the game for ESL. He cut the lead to two with a three from the top the key, following a FG from Bochum, he came down and fired another three from the right wing to cut the lead to only one. Two timely defensive stops allowed him to knock down a little 12 foot floater to give ESL the lead with a little over 30 seconds remaining. It is a lead that ESL would not surrender as they escaped Bochum with a 78-77 win. ESL will play next tonight August 27th at Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven.
Notes: North Dakota's Josiah Coleman (196-F-94, college: N.Dakota), Wise, and Leeper led ESL in rebounds with 6. Cole led in assists with 4. Marshall led the team with 3 steals. Bochum out rebounded ESL 65-38. All 11 suited players scored for ESL.
Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz - 7 hours ago
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss (7'2''-C-89) to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall(6'5''-PG-91, college: N.Carolina). The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato. Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would... [read more]
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss (7'2''-C-89) to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall (6'5''-PG-91, college: N.Carolina). The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato. Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it's unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season. Courtesy of: nbcsports.com
Lorenzo Williams(187-PG-84, college: Rice) is a 31 year old 187cm point guard that recently completed his second season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 22 games and averaging 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 73.7%. He was born in Arkansas, but grew up in Texas. He played at Rice University from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 29 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3Pts: 34.6%, FT: 71.4%. He was drafted by the Anaheim Arsenal in 20... [read more]
Lorenzo Williams (187-PG-84, college: Rice) is a 31 year old 187cm point guard that recently completed his second season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 22 games and averaging 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 73.7%. He was born in Arkansas, but grew up in Texas. He played at Rice University from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 29 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3Pts: 34.6%, FT: 71.4%. He was drafted by the Anaheim Arsenal in 2007, but decided to come to Europe and played in Germany for BC Groer Recycling Weissenhorn, but left during the season, in March 2008 and moved to Skanska Pezinok (Slovakia-Extraliga). In 2008-2009, he played in Slovakia for AB Cosmetics Pezinok playing 28 games: Score-2 (20.8ppg), 3.2rpg, Assists-2 (5.8apg), 1.8spg, 2FGP: 62.3%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 83.9%. In the 2009-2010 season, he came to Germany and played for the Giessen 46ers playing 25 games: 11.4ppg, 1.6rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 67.2%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (Hungary-A Division, starting five): 19 games: 15.6ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-1 (7.3apg), 2.5spg, FGP: 65.2%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 70.4%, in Feb.'11 moved to Khimik-OPZ Yuzny (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): 15 games: 9.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 24.3%, FT: 87.5%. He then played two seasons for Atomeromu SE Paks (Hungary-A Division). In the 2013-2014 season he played for BK Ventspils (Latvia-LBL) winning the league championship playing 24 games: 11.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 82.4%; EuroChallenge: 11 games: 10.4ppg, 3.1rpg, 4.4apg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 22.6%, FT: 73.0%; Baltic League: 16 games: 9.8ppg, 3.4rpg, Assists-4 (4.4apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 72.7% In the 2014-2015 season he came to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) palying 28 games averaging 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.9apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 88.0%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Lorenzo thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Im currently at home in Houston, Texas preparing for the upcoming season. My summer has been great. My wife and I recently bought a new home and we are enjoying time with our son and family.
Teams are filling up everywhere and your still unsigned. Are you getting a little nervous about finding a team for this season?
A little bit but I feel that over the course of my career I have shown that I can compete at a high level. So I just focus on the process which is Working out and preparing myself for the next opportunity.
You have gone into every professional season having found a club before the season starts except for last season. Is the transfer market more challenging this season than in past seasons?
I think the market for me could be a bit different this summer than in the past. I didn't have the best statistical season but I'm confident that I can still contribute a lot to several clubs around Europe.
Your turning 32 in November. Have you passed your prime or still in it? I feel that physically and mentally I'm the best I've ever been. I'm working harder and smarter every day. Being a veteran I know what it takes to prepare for the grind of a long season.
Last season was a season to forget with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. You came in December as the boat was sinking. How did you experience this chaotic season? Last season was very tough for me, especially coming off of the season I had the previous year. I take every situation as a learning experience and try to use what I learned in the future. Things definitely did not go as I thought they would. But that's how the game works sometimes. I'm very thankful for my year and a half there and I wish them the best in the future.
In the 2014-2015 season you had a very solid season for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL): 28 games: 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.9apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 88.0%. Did you feel it a bit disrespectful that they didn't resign you, but when they had injuries felt the need to get you back again? I didn't feel disrespected at all. It's a part of the business. I was thankful for the opportunity to be there.
You came to a team that had an influx of guards with Jerry Smith and Brandyn Curry. You played 22 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 73.7%. Was the team play something that effected your play? Our team had a lot of talent but unfortunately we were not able to put it all together on the floor. It was not easy having three point guards on the roster who could all impact the game in a different way. Unfortunately for me I was unable to find a rhythm and a significant role within the team. I think we all did whatever we could to make the best of the situation.
Last season was your worst of your professional career. What did you learn from this experience and what will you do better the next time if a situation like that presents itself again? I learned that you have to just focus on the things that you can control and continue to work hard and be positive.
How confident are you that at almost 32 years of age that you can get back to your stellar play of the 2014-2015 season where you averaged 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.9apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 88.0%? I'm very confident that I can have a major impact on a BBL team. My experience in the league and familiarity with the players and style of play would be a positive. I've improved as a player each year and I'm ready for the next opportunity to come.
How do you feel you can rebound from last season? You have proved time after time to be a consistent performer having done that in numerous different countries. Is your consistency something that will give you confidence going into that next situation? During the past 9 seasons I've gained the confidence to be unbothered by things in the past. I think my understanding of the European game over the years has improved each season so I can definitely rebound from last season. I take pride in being a consistent player and making my teammates better, which I believe will help with a transition to a new club.
The Fraport Skyliners are a team that will be rebuilding this season and have a lot of youth. With only one very experienced player Quantez Robertson and experienced Mike Morrison going into his fifth professional season, they mostly have kids at the moment. Would this situation with your experience be one that would be appealing to you? This certainly would be a situation that would interest me. They have a very good coach and are returning a few players that have made an impact in the BBL. I think my leadership would help the young guys a lot. I played in Bremerhaven with Garai Zeeb. He's a talented young player they have who is on the rise as well.
Coach Gordon Herbert has liked the scoring point guard types like Dashaun Wood, Justin Cobbs and Jordan Thedoore which he had in the past. Could you be that type of player if you had to be? I think I can do whatever a coach needs. I'm a very unselfish guy and I've improved my game each year. My game offensively is predicated on getting my teammates involved because that is the job of a point guard but I can score if needed. I've shown on several occasions that I'm capable throughout my career.
Describe in a few sentences as to why you could help any team at the moment with your play? I'm a hard working unselfish player who understands the European game. I believe a point guard should be the coach on the floor and I've developed the leadership qualities over the years to do that. Leading by example is key in every situation and I understand the importance of that.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick?
Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Lebron James and Shaq
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs where does this further NBA title put him against the best that ever played the game? I think Lebron has proved throughout his career that he is one of the best to ever do it. The title is just icing on the cake.
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