Rickey Young (204-F/C-90, college: W.Virginia Tech), the young American forward who is currently averaging 12ppg and 11 rpg for Centar Bijelo Polje ( MNE 2nd Division) shared with eurobasket.com his thoughts about European basketball and his ups and downs in Montenegro this year. Like everybody else here in Montenegro, Ricky also experienced surprising hard weather conditions in the last couple of days.
Hello Rickey, I have to ask you first how do you like the snow here in Montenegro? You are probably not used to it?
The snow here in Montenegro is unbelieveable!! As you know I am from the south ( Atlanta,Ga) so Ive never experienced snow like this, its up to my knees..
Its not a usual thing to see an American in Montenegin Second Division. You signed a contract for one of the top teams in Montenegro, Ulcinj, at beginning of the season and then you moved to Centar, a small club from Bijelo Polje. What do you think about your new club and your latest performances? It seems to me that it did not take you long to conquer the hearts of fans in Bijelo Polje.
My new team ( KK Centar) is a young team, but they play hard everyday and I respect that. My last few performances have been solid, three consecutive double-doubles. And yes the fans here in Bijelo Polje have been great.
However, you and your ex teammate Paul Kirkpatrick (208-C-89, college: Howard) were the first Americans in Ulcinj's history but you did not settle in well. Both of you left the team after a couple of months. Is there a specific reason or you just did not feel it was a perfect situation for you?
Im not sure if I can say there was one specific reason why things didnt workout in Ulcinj, it was just the wrong situation at that stage of my career. I needed time to adjust to this game and playing with foreign players, but the management in Ulcinj are very ambitious right now and needed someone who could step in right-away and lead that team to good results.
Considering the fact that your first professional adventure in Ulcinj did not proceed as you planned, could you explain us how difficult it is to get used to living in a different culture, in a foreign country? It must be hard for a 21 year old, fresh out of college.
It is very difficult to adjust to life in a foreign country. The biggest obstacle would have to be communicating with the people on a daily basis.
You played in a small NAIA school. It would be interesting to know more details about your 'road to Europe'? Who helped you to get a deal in Montenegro? Why did you choose Montenegro?
Yes I attended a small NAIA school ( WV Tech). I played two seasons there before pursuing a professional career. My road to Europe has been an unlikely one! I only played one season of high school basketball, my last two at tech,and this is only my fourth year playing organized basketball. My agent (Sejo Cokrlija ) got me a deal here in Montenegro. we choose Montenegro because he is actually from Bijelo Polje, and felt that this would be a good place to begin my career.
As I said before, this is the first step in your professional career. Could you tell us more about the impact of european basketball on you? How did you adjust to the european style of play?
The European game is very different from the game I got used to in college. from the game rules, to the spacing on defense, and just the overall flow of the game. This game has really impacted me mentally, because it is a different game! Earlier in the season I was over-thinking and making mistakes on the floor. Now that I have adjusted to the game I'm thinking less and back to playing good ball.
Is there a significant difference in basketball level between US college league where you played and basketball in Montenegro, considering the fact that most teams in Montenegro have young teams?
Yes there is a big difference between the leagues. The players in America are much more athletic and physically stronger than many of the players here. But Ive noticed that there are much better shooter here in Europe even the big men can step out and make jumpshot.
How do you get along with local people? Did you have any problems with them?
The people here in Bijelo Polje are great! They welcomed me in from the first day I arrived, I havent had any problems since Ive been here.
What are your plans for the future? After a season in Montenegro you will probably want to move to a stronger league?
My plans for the future include finishing this year strong, and helping kk centar get to first division. As far as longterm, I plan to continue to get better and play in one of the top leagues in Europe. Hopefully sooner than later.
Thank you Rickey for taking the time to respond to our questions. Eurobasket. com team wishes you a good season and many success in your overseas career .
BC Timisoara (Romania - Liga Nationala) added to their roster 31 -year old Montenegrin forward Milos Komatina (205-F/C-84) who last played for BC Igokea Aleksandrovac , member of ABA League, in season 2015/2016. In 24 ABA League games he recorded very good stats in season 2015/2016 : 11.0 ppg and had 5.0 rpg and 2.2apg for BC Igokea Aleksandrovac In Bosnian Division I he had 10 appearances with 7.1 ppg and 3.7 rpg in season 2015/2016 . Milos won two championship titles and two cups... [read more]
In Bosnian Division I he had 10 appearances with 7.1 ppg and 3.7 rpg in season 2015/2016 .
Milos won two championship titles and two cups of Bosnia (2013 and 2016, both Igokea) , and another one in 2014 with Buducnost Podgorica in Montenegro. He played in Bulgaria for Cherno More and for Tamis Pancevo in Serbia .
American players Manuel Johnson (203-PF-83, college: Tex.A&M-Comm.) and Aaron Mitchell (188-G-89, college: Longwood) played for last two years together in Teodo and they will wear the same colors in the next season too.... but not blue and yellow colors of Teodo! Both players agreed terms with Dalia Sportive de Grombalia, a club from Tunisian elite division. DSG finished last season at 6th place in Group A and is trying to have a better season this year. With the addition of two experienc... [read more]
American players Manuel Johnson (203-PF-83, college: Tex.A&M-Comm.) and Aaron Mitchell (188-G-89, college: Longwood) played for last two years together in Teodo and they will wear the same colors in the next season too.... but not blue and yellow colors of Teodo! Both players agreed terms with Dalia Sportive de Grombalia, a club from Tunisian elite division. DSG finished last season at 6th place in Group A and is trying to have a better season this year. With the addition of two experienced player their ambitious will certainly be to be a threat for other clubs in the league.
Manuel Johnson played great last season. He averaged 12.3ppg and 7.5rpg in BIBL and was voted Eurobasket.com All-Balkan League Honorable Mention and Eurobasket.com Montenegrin League All-Imports Team. Aaron Mitchell also had a good year with 8.7ppg, 3.9rpg and 2.5apg.
They helped Teodo to make it to the Quarterfinals of Montenegrin league.
BC Spartak Pleven (NBL) confirmed in their roster 29-year old Montenegrin-Serbian center Milovan Savic (205-114kg-87). He played there last season. In 32 NBL games he recorded 14.9ppg, 9.4rpg (#2 in the league) and 2.9apg. Savic helped them to make it to the semifinals. A very spectacular season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Bulgarian League 3rd Team. The previous (14-15) season he played at MBK Banik Handlova (1.Liga) in Slovakian league where in 28 games Savic aver... [read more]
BC Spartak Pleven (NBL) confirmed in their roster 29-year old Montenegrin-Serbian center Milovan Savic (205-114kg-87). He played there last season. In 32 NBL games he recorded 14.9ppg, 9.4rpg (#2 in the league) and 2.9apg. Savic helped them to make it to the semifinals. A very spectacular season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Bulgarian League 3rd Team. The previous (14-15) season he played at MBK Banik Handlova (1.Liga) in Slovakian league where in 28 games Savic averaged 8.8ppg, 5.2rpg and 1.9apg. He contributed to his team making it to the semifinals. Savic was a member of Montenegrin U21 National Team back in 2007. He has played previously professionally in Montenegro (Mornar Bar and Gorstak) and Serbia (Metalac, Napredak Rubin and Konstantin).
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