Kyle Austin (203-F-88, college: Cal-Riverside) is a 6'7" tall forward, who can play on both positions and helped his team Kormend with fantastic 23.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game to get into the best 5 after 22 rounds of the regular season and attending the 2nd round of the best 6 - including Adriatic League team Szolnok.
DT: You started your NCAA carreer in one of the strongest conference - PAC10 - playing for USC, but moved to Cal-Riverside before your junior season, where you put up real good numbers and got on the radar of several NBA teams after you graduated. What are your feelings about those 4 years, what were the biggest differences between the two programs and the level of the two conferences - PAC10 vs. Big West - ? Were you disappointed not getting into the NBA?
KA: I was honored to be apart of the USC program when it was at one of it's highest levels in history as the team had a few future NBA players on the roster. I was a late addition and was happy to achieve my goal in getting to a PAC 10 school. Playing time was scarce and after one game in my sophomore season i decided to transfer mid year and received a waiver from the NCAA to get my year back. The PAC 10 at that time was much stronger than today's PAC 12 with many now NBA all stars and the big west was not as strong, however it was a solid mid major program and I was given the great opportunity to be the main focal point of a team. I actually finished school one year early and attempted to play one year overseas before being eligible for the NBA draft. Things didn't work of course but I was far from disappointed I'm happy to be able to play this game anywhere.
DT: You signed your first professional contract with Palencia in the LEB Gold and played very well in the pre-season. You scored several times in double figures even against some ACB teams, but finally when the season started, you did not get enough time on the court. After playing only 8 games in the regular season you moved to Portugal to finish the season with Vitoria Guimaraes and run a great season averaging 17.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. How did you see the level of the two leagues and how did you like to play in those 2 countries?
KA: Well, anyone who plays overseas knows that that first job is the toughest. You never know what to expect and many are out of the country for the first time. I believe I played pretty well to start In Spain, but i was just a rookie trying to get my feet under me in a whole new world, and eventually combination of the team loosing and me playing 15 minutes a game caused for us to part ways. When I moved to Portugal I had some really good teammates and we began to gel on and off the court well putting together a winning season and finishing in the top 4 but finical problems cut my season short just before the play-offs. The levels of the two leagues were different with Spain being much stronger. Portugal did have a few good teams that reminded me of teams in Leb Gold however.
DT: After a - finally - successful rookie season you signed a good contract with Verviers-Pepinster in Belgium. However, you played only 4 games and moved to Sweden, where you averaged 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in only 3 games before moving to Hungary finishing the season with JKSE. How did you like Belgium and why did you leave Pepinster in November? What was the reason that you left Sweden and signed for the rest of the season in Hungary?
KA: After my rookie season the coach of Pepinster at the time was American and lived maybe a hour from my home in Pasadena. He came and watched me workout for some time and I ended up being the first signee. I thought I had landed in an ideal situation yet there I was again limited in minutes (11mpg) and we were loosing. I actually was just in Sweden to visit my friend Omar krayem who played briefly here with me in kormend. An American player on the team suffered a tough loss when his father died. I agreed to play there while he went home it was a good way for me to stay in shape and get some games in until I found another job. Finally I received an offer from JKSE in Hungary.
DT: You were playing very well in our country and helped your team to stay in the Top Division averaging 20.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. How did you like to play for coach Horvath and the chemistry on the team?
KA: I was able to play well in Hungary and I owe that to the coach and the situation I was in. Hungary was and still is a place where I believe players are able to get better and better and they play a good style here. The chemistry was good I met a very good friend of mines in Jibril Hodges and the other guys on the team helped me to feel welcome in the foreign land to me overall it was a good experience and was big in me feeling comfortable to come back to Hungary.
DT: The medias published during the summer, that JKSE gave you an offer to come for this season, but you did not agree. Rumors said, that several higher budget clubs in Hungary were trying to get you on their roster, but finally you started the season as a replacement player in France, playing ALM Evreux Basket in the Pro B! What is the truth, why did you finally decide not to take any of those offers and move to an other country?
KA: I made a few mistakes in the offseason after my second year. I first changed representation because I thought I needed a different direction. And I maybe listened to some of the wrong people. My first choice in my head was to go back to jkse and lead them to a winning season. That didn't happend, but I am happy to see that they have achieved that this year. I returned to the representation I started with...I might add that any players reading this should know to just try and stay loyal and go with an agent you trust and that looks for your best interest and will work hard for you. But in the end o think it worked out for everybody and I'm happy to now be here in Kormend!
DT: You played only five games - instead of injured Drake Reed - in France and left the country end of October. Were you stressed not to get a job for the rest of the season? When did you hear about the chance to play for Kormend?
KA: I actually was trying to come to kormend earlier :-) but the team in France wouldn't allow me to leave early. I wasn't stressed about finding another job I was more stressed with my role on that team and the fact that I chose to go there instead of take g one of the deals I had for the full year. But in the end everything happened for a reason and I hope to help this team keep shocking people.
DT: You arrived some days after Christmas to Hungary and started to practice with your team. Coach Hencsey said, that you were in a real good condition and shape. Where did you work out during the two months not playing ball?
KA: I was actually in better shape than when I had left France, like I said earlier I was frustrated with my role on the last team but I figured the best thing for me to do was get in real good shape so that wherever my next opportunity cam from I'd be ready. I practiced with both, college and high school and did alot of running while at home for two months.
DT: The team had a 5-9 record before the Christmas break and your first game against Albacomp. What did you think about the chances of the team for the season? Which expectations did the coach or/and the management tell you when you arrived?
KA: The goal was to win at least 5, preferably 6 games. After the Albacomp game we had lost but I knew they were the strongest team at that point in the league and I felt with our team we had a chance to win the next 5-6 games.
DT: The team run a strong series in the last two months and won 6 of 8 games in the regular season. After beating ASE on last Saturday and with some luck, you just finished with an 11-11 record on the 5th place and will play the Top 6 in the second round. What are your expectations for the rest of the season? Do you think, that your team can even reach the semifinals?
KA: I think that it's clear that you can't count this team out for anything it seems whenever you think were lifeless we somehow find a way and that's the characteristic of a good team. I know we will fight hard and have a chance against anybody. I recently spoke with a fan after saturdays win and he said now we have to win the championship. I kind of laughed but saw how serious he was and quickly realized that is the goal. We know we can beat anybody in the league so we will fight to win the championship we won't play to just try and reach the semis...but we will take it one game at a time.
DT: After playing 8 games this season you are the leading scorer with 23.4 points per game and the best rebounder - with Bennet Davis - grabbing 9.0 rebounds in 35.4 minutes per game. What do you think about your personal skills and how are you trying to help your team to win? What is your plan for the future? Will you try to move to a new country for the coming season or will you consider to play in Hungary again?
KA: This year I'm not going to make the mistake of looking into the future I really hope to finish here strong and make something special happen. As far as my personal play I know there is so much I can do better to help on both ends and I will continue to improve as the season goes further. The team is beginning to click And I'm excited about that. I think this year more than before I've been more focused on winning than my stats
DT: Before the last game against ASE you were wearing a T-shirt saying "Pasadena to Kormend". What did you want to tell with that text to the fans? Some of them already asked the management if there is a chance to buy a shirt? How do you like Kormend, what are your feelings about the Club and the Fans?
KA: Thanks to Zjaleece and Emeka from Pasadena for the shirt! I can have the shirts sent out here if they'd like thanks to "Odiegwu" custom clothing company. It was just a little appreciation In a sort of the two cities I represent. The fans here are so passionate you can't help but to feed off that and it's a big reason for our success this year as of late. The fans and many of my teammates here are from kormend and they have a strong sense of pride for there team, so that is great to be apart of.
DT: Thanks for your time Kyle and good luck for the rest of the season!
P.J. Hill Jr. (ex Bisons Loimaa) joins Atomeromu - 3 days ago
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Atomeromu SE Paks (A Division) agreed terms with 29-year old American point guard P.J. Hill Jr. (182-80kg-87, college: Ohio State, agency: Octagon Europe). He played last season at Bisons Loimaa in Finnish 2nd Division. In 36 games he had 10.4ppg, 3.6rpg and 3.1apg. Hill also played 27 games in VTB United League where he recorded 10.8ppg, 3.2rpg and 3.8apg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his college team won Big Ten Tournament in 2010. Hill was also voted... [read more]
Atomeromu SE Paks (A Division) agreed terms with 29-year old American point guard P.J. Hill Jr. (182-80kg-87, college: Ohio State, agency: Octagon Europe). He played last season at Bisons Loimaa in Finnish 2nd Division. In 36 games he had 10.4ppg, 3.6rpg and 3.1apg. Hill also played 27 games in VTB United League where he recorded 10.8ppg, 3.2rpg and 3.8apg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his college team won Big Ten Tournament in 2010. Hill was also voted Eurobasket.com Latvian League All-Imports Team in 2013 and 2014. He has played also professionally in Greece (Apollon Patras), Latvia (Liepaja/Triobet and Jekabpils) and MBL (Dayton Air Strikers). Hill is a former Eurobasket Summer League player, which is considered top summer league for players who want to play basketball overseas. He attended Ohio State until 2010 and it will be his seventh season as a professional player.
Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (A Division) landed 25-year old American guard Julian Norfleet (188-75kg-91, college: Mt.St.Mary's), with a 15 days try-out period. He played most recently at BC Boncourt Red Team in Swiss LNA league. In 27 games he averaged impressive 16.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg and 1.9spg last season. Norfleet helped them to make it to the Swiss Cup Semifinals. The previous (14-15) season he played at Rilski in NBL where in 31 games he had 10.4ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.5apg and 1.1spg. Norfleet cont... [read more]
Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (A Division) landed 25-year old American guard Julian Norfleet (188-75kg-91, college: Mt.St.Mary's), with a 15 days try-out period. He played most recently at BC Boncourt Red Team in Swiss LNA league. In 27 games he averaged impressive 16.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg and 1.9spg last season. Norfleet helped them to make it to the Swiss Cup Semifinals. The previous (14-15) season he played at Rilski in NBL where in 31 games he had 10.4ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.5apg and 1.1spg. Norfleet contributed to his team making it to the semifinals. Norfleet also played 16 games in Balkan League where he recorded 12.3ppg, 2.7rpg and 3.3apg. Among other achievements his college team won NEC Tournament in 2014. Norfleet received also NABC Division I All-District 18 1st Team award in 2014. He graduated from Mt.Saint Mary's University, MD in 2014 and it will be his third season in pro basketball.
Kormend inks Devon Saddler, ex Apollon Patras - 10 days ago
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Egis Kormend (A Division) signed 25-year old American guard Devon Saddler (183-95kg-91, college: Delaware). He played last season at Apollon Patras in Greek A1 league. In 18 games he had 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg and 2.6apg. Saddler also spent pre-season at Cibona (also in A1) in Croatian that year. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his college team won CAA Tournament in 2014. Saddler was also voted NABC Division I All-District 10 1st Team in 2013 and 2014. He has playe... [read more]
Egis Kormend (A Division) signed 25-year old American guard Devon Saddler (183-95kg-91, college: Delaware). He played last season at Apollon Patras in Greek A1 league. In 18 games he had 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg and 2.6apg. Saddler also spent pre-season at Cibona (also in A1) in Croatian that year. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his college team won CAA Tournament in 2014. Saddler was also voted NABC Division I All-District 10 1st Team in 2013 and 2014. He has played also professionally in Italy (Omegna). Saddler attended University of Delaware until 2014 and it will be his third season as a professional player.
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