'Honestly, what I want most it to keep playing basketball and Jerusalem sounded like the best possibility,' Hapoel's newly acquired NBA guard, Avery Bradley exclusively told Eurobasket before landing in the holy land on Sunday.
'I'm in great shape. I played in the Pro am games and in the Impact league in Las Vegas, so basically, I work out all the time and I always make sure I'm ready to play.' After intense pursuits of a recognized player to complete the team's roster, 20-year-old Avery Bradley's impressive athleticism, defensive skills and overall talent, fit exactly into what Jerusalem was missing.
Who were some of the players you consulted about coming to Israel?
'Tre Simmons is a friend of mine who played for Hapoel in the past. He said Israel's a great country and that it's a good opportunity for me. I heard Hapoel are known for their crazy fans so I'm just excited to get out there, play basketball and help the team win.'
Although a simple good luck phone call from Celtics head coach Doc Rivers could cost around $100,000, Bradley settled on calls, text and twitter messages from his green Shamrock teammates, wishing him luck and taking somewhat of an interest on his new journey. 'I'm happy I got the opportunity to play in the city of Jerusalem, a place known for its holy history and western wall.' Added Bradley.
Regardless of an impressive high-school and college career, Bradley hasnt yet made his mark in the NBA, but will need to do so immediately for his new team, and even though no contact with the team's coaching staff was made, Bradley's familiar, to some extent, with his new teammates, 'I know we got Jarvis Varnado who's a great athletic shot blocker. D.J. Strawberry is a recognized name I'm excited to meet. I know Luke Jackson played in the NBA and Brain Randle is a key guy for our team, so I'm just ready to meet everyone and start the season.'
When it comes to talking about championships and setting goals, the young Celtics player takes things one step at a time, knowing there are many Israeli league battles down the road, 'Jordan Farmar and Jon Scheyer play on the same team and they're suppose to be really good. Trevor Booker from Washington can also do some damage, so overall I'm expecting to have a lot of good games.'
As far as the NBA lockout and how long he will stay in Israel, Bradley said, 'the players and owners are doing whatever they can to end the situation we're in. No one wants the lockout, everybody wants the same thing - for it to be over. Until then, I'm with Jerusalem and my focus is on helping out the team in any way possible.'
For more Israeli basketball updates follow David Pick on Twitter: @Dpick_Mvd
Artzit newcomer Hapoel Ma'alot B.C added to their roster 26-year old forward Amitay Raz (196-91). It is actually his comeback to Hapoel Ma'a lot as he has played here before. Raz He just played at Hapoel Nesher in Israeli Artzit. Raz also played earlier that season for Hapoel Ma'a lot [read more]
Artzit newcomer Hapoel Ma'alot B.C added to their roster 26-year old forward Amitay Raz (196-91). It is actually his comeback to Hapoel Ma'a lot as he has played there before. Raz He just played at Hapoel Nesher in Israeli Artzit. Raz also played earlier that season for Hapoel Ma'a lot. He won Israeli Artzit League championship title in 2013. Raz has played previously for three other teams: Hapoel Migdal Haemek, Hapoel Afula and Jezreel Valley.
Yates' 21 points and 9 rebounds give him National League Player of the Week award - 1 day ago
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25-year old forward Evan Yates (198-F-91) had a very impressive game in the last round for Macc.Rehovot and receives a Eurobasket.com National League Player of the Week award for round 20. He had the game-high 21 points adding nine rebounds and six assists for Macc.Rehovot in his team's victory, helping them to beat Hapoel Afula (#11, 9-11) 74-67. Macc.Rehovot is placed at 5th position in Israeli National League. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier thi... [read more]
25-year old forward Evan Yates (198-F-91) had a very impressive game in the last round for Macc.Rehovot and receives a Eurobasket.com National League Player of the Week award for round 20. He had the game-high 21 points adding nine rebounds and six assists for Macc.Rehovot in his team's victory, helping them to beat Hapoel Afula (#11, 9-11) 74-67. Macc.Rehovot is placed at 5th position in Israeli National League. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Macc.Rehovot will need more victories to improve their 12-8 record. Yates turned to be Macc.Rehovot's top player in his first season with the team. Ashland University graduate has very impressive stats this year. Yates is in league's top in rebounds (7th best: 10.4rpg) and averages solid 57.2% FGP. Worth to mention Yates played also at Eurobasket Summer League, which helped him get the job in pro basketball.
Second best performed player last round was Storm Warren (201-PF-88, agency: Octagon Europe) of Maccabi H/H. He is American forward in his first season at Maccabi H/H. In the last game Warren recorded impressive double-double of 29 points and 17 rebounds. Bad luck as Maccabi H/H was edged by the higher-ranked Maccabi Raanana (#2, 14-6) 94-90. Maccabi H/H managed to keep the same 8th spot in the standings. His team lost some distance to top teams. But 10-10 record is not bad and everything may still change. Warren is a newcomer at Maccabi H/H and quickly became one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 24.8ppg (#1). He also registered 11.2 boards per game.
Third place about best performers goes to guard Denzel Livingston (193-G-93) of Hapoel K/S (#3). Livingston showcased his all-around game by recording 18 points, eighteen rebounds (!!!) and five assists in the last round. Despite Livingston's great performance Hapoel K/S lost 62-72 to the lower-ranked Ironi K-A (#6, 12-8). But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates. The last thing Hapoel K/S needs is to lose another game like this one. They lose more and more distance to the top teams. Their record is 13 victories and 7 lost games. Livingston has a great season in Israel. After 20 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 20.8ppg (7th best) and rebounds with 10.8rpg (4th best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Rashad Madden (196-G-92) of Hap.R/G Givat. - 23 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Germain Jordan (198-C/F-86) of Galil Elion - 18 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists 6. Sean Labanowski (205-PF-92) of Ironi Ramat Gan - 19 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists 7. Marcus Relphorde (198-F/G-88) of Hapoel Migd.H. - 24 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists 8. Demetrius Treadwell (201-F-91) of Hapoel Afula - 25 points and 16 rebounds 9. Jamal Olasewere (201-SF-91) of Hap.R/G Givat. - 24 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists 10. Lorenzo Gordon (201-F-83) of Ramat Hasharon - 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
New Orleans Pelicans (NBA) are going to waive 29-year old Israeli small forward Omri Casspi (206-102kg-88). In only one NBA game he had 12 points and 2 rebounds this season. Casspi also played for the Kings where in 22 NBA games he recorded 5.9ppg, 4.1rpg and 1.2apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings in first round (23rd overall). Among other achievements Casspi won Israeli Premier League championship title in 2006 and 2009. He received also Eurobasket.com All-European Championsh... [read more]
New Orleans Pelicans (NBA) are going to waive 29-year old Israeli small forward Omri Casspi (206-102kg-88). In only one NBA game he had 12 points and 2 rebounds this season. Casspi also played for the Kings where in 22 NBA games he recorded 5.9ppg, 4.1rpg and 1.2apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings in first round (23rd overall). Among other achievements Casspi won Israeli Premier League championship title in 2006 and 2009. He received also Eurobasket.com All-European Championships 3rd Team award in 2015. Casspi was also a member of Israeli international program for some years. He played for Israeli Senior National Team between 2008 and 2015 and previously for U20 National Team back in 2007. Casspi represented Israel at the European Championships two years ago. His stats at that event were 5 games: 16.4ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 47.1%, FT: 53.3%. Casspi has played previously professionally in other NBA teams (Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets) and Israel (Galil Gilboa and Maccabi Fox Tel-Aviv). The scouts decsribe him following way:
(by Stevan Petrovic for NBADraft.net in 2009)
Very long and athletic player with excellent frame, plus leaping and slashing ability ... It's very difficult to guard him due to his size and ability to play inside/outside ... Casspi will beat bigger opponents off the dribble due to his quickness and take advantage of smaller opponents by posting them up inside.
Has to work to improve his shooting mechanics and be a more consistent outside shooter ... Not good at taking his defenders off the dribble and creating his own shots.
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