With the end of September comes the beginning of the season for many of Europe's basketball leagues. Three players who have suited up for the Golden Grizzlies within the past two years will be playing for overseas teams this year. In an attempt to highlight these former players, we've provided some basic information that should help the curious Oakland fan keep tabs on these players - Johnathon Jones, Derick Nelson, and Dan Waterstradt - in 2010-11.
Team: MBK Rieker Komarno
JJ will be leading the point guard position for Komarno this season. In fact, the team has already played one game, a win in which the former Oakland point guard played 40 minutes while dishing out 7 assists. While Jones was wearing the number 10 in this video of him knocking down a three-pointer, his official photo (shown above) advertises him with the familiar #23. To follow JJ's stats throughout the season, click here. The Slovakian Eurobasket page is also a great resource for actual words that are sure to be written about Komarno this season by writer Tomas Kottra, the man responsible for keeping us in the loop here at the Gameplan (and also much of this neat digital content).
Update: Check out this site to see some highlights of one of JJ's recent games. His team lost by one point in the final seconds, and at the 1:18 mark of the video you can actually see Jones taking the final desperation shot to try and win the game. Something about that shot brings back memories of his shot against NDSU after Ben Woodside's dagger. Sigh.
Team: Kouvot Kouvola
Nelson's team has already played two games this season, and there's no doubt the former Oakland forward had a bigger impact in the first. He played 30 minutes, scoring 12 points and grabbing 8 boards for his squad. Coverage of his league is a bit more difficult to track down (at least in English), but if you want to keep up with Derick's stats, be sure to check out his Eurobasket page periodically throughout the season.
Team: CS Municipal Bucuresti
Waterstradt appears to have spent time with two different teams in Romania last season, but he will return to Bucuresti this year, which is the same team that he was with at the end of 2009-10. Dan posted some strong averages with the club last season, so hopefully he will continue to provide results in Romania to further his professional career. There are a few highlight videos featuring the former Oakland center, but the one below takes the cake. Good to see the international game has given Waterstradt the ability to take the outside shot at-will.
We wish these guys the best of luck as they begin or continue their journeys as professional basketball players. It must surely get tough living in a foreign country away from family and friends, but hopefully these guys are using it as an opportunity to grow both as basketball players and individuals. After all, getting paid to play ball is not such a bad first gig straight out of college.