They’re coming thick and fast; yet another American in Europe has picked up a passport of a minor European team in order to further their career ambitions. But unlike some of those that have gone before him, this one has multiple years of NBA experience. And that’s because he was a first-rounder. The country is Montengro, and here’s a clue as to who the player is. Answer after the jump. Per Eurobasket.com, Montenegro have announced their latest national team squad. In it is the new guy. It would appear that unlike some of his predecessors, the new guy is going to actually play for the nation that sold him the passport. It’s the noble thing to do. The list is not a bad list. Montenegro aren’t factors in the world of sport generally, but they can play basketball. They can particularly produce big men. NBA draft picks Nikola Pekovic and Slavko Vranes are listed there, as are Peja Drobnjak (who churned in a few memorable seasons of NBA time) and Vladimir Dasic (who might be drafted this year). Former NBA draft picks no longer involved in the national team setup, but who once were, include Zarko Cabarkapa and Mladen Sekularac. There’s also Dante and Galante favourite Vladimir Golubovic, as well as Milko Bjelica, a quality player with a name like a pudding. And there’s always Sasha Pavlovic, which is cool. However, they’ve struggled to find as much guard quality. Montenegro have a couple of decent guards placed in strong European leagues – Vlado Scepanovic with Murcia in Spain, Goran Jeretin with Aliaga in Turkey – but their guard production does not have the pedigree of their big man production. To counter that, two years ago, the team recruited ex-St John’s point guard Omar Cook, who has played the position for […]
One of the things we like to do here is monitor the ever-changing nationalities of players. Acquiring various passports can be highly useful for a professional basketball player, as they can be used to bypass various regulations regarding numbers of imports that most leagues enforce upon their teams. This often leads to the always-amusing sight of various players (often American) scoring passports from nations they have no connection with, purely because they can buy them. Only a fortnight ago, Taurean Green and Quinton Hosley did exactly the same thing. Another addition can now be made to that list. Former Utah State forward and two-time Jazz signee Spencer Nelson has broken new ground, acquiring not one of the standard Macedonian or Georgian passports, but an Azerbaijani one. This makes him the only Azerbaijani basketball player you’ve ever heard of. And unless you’re Polish and incredibly up to date on your PLK knowledge – Turow just signed an Azerbaijani centre called Alex Rindin – then he’s also the only Azerbaijani player you’ve ever going to hear of. Nelson took seven years to use up his four years of academic eligibility at Utah State. This is partly because he tore his knee up in his sophomore season and took a medical redshirt, but also because Nelson took two years out to go on a Mormon mission. Nelson is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is presumably now the only such member to also be an Azerbaijani passport holder. You couldn’t make it up. Well, you could, but you don’t have to.
On this website is a list of player nationalities. It’s a pretty useful tool, partly for reason of trivia, but also because it lists some of the more bizarre citizenships that high-level basketball players have accrued in recent years. Two new additions can now be made to that list. Former Florida guard Taurean Green and former Fresno State forward Quinton Hosley, according to Greek website gazzetta.gr, now have Georgian passports. Inevitable crude translation follows: The American guard the Union acquired a passport from Georgia, so most will be able to negotiate better terms in the next transcription. The third best scorer in the Greek league with 15.2 points average points will no longer be deemed as a Community and the only relationship that will from now on with IMG, is the pursuit of money due. Along with Greene became the Georgian citizenship and Quintas Choslei former player including Real Madrid. The decision on who gets the nomination the only natouralize entitled each country uses will be made this summer. The American who struggled so far in the national agriculture is Samont Williams Malaga. The news comes from a Greek website because Green has been playing there. This season, for AEK Athens, he has averaged 15.1 points and 3.6 assists per game, particularly impressive totals when you consider that he was essentially doing this for free (AEK, like so many Greek teams, have fallen way behind on his payments.) Hosley, meanwhile, has been in Turkey, averaging 18.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Both are beginning what should be good and lengthy careers in European basketball; therefore, the addition of these passports, which will allow them to bypass certain laws on non-EU import quotas that most leagues have, will help no end. Other famous nationalised Georgian basketball […]