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Americans in Europe

NEW YORK -- Bobby Hurley says the 2014-15 incarnation of Kentucky is deeper than his early 1990s Duke teams, but that the Wildcats don't have anyone "close" to Christian Laettner and Grant Hill.

How would the 1991 or '92 NCAA champion Duke teams do against this 34-0 Kentucky team?

?It?s really hard to project with a different era and a different time, guys stayed a lot longer," Hurley told me yesterday on "The 4 Quarters Podcast" on SNY.tv. "My team was an older team, a veteran team. Laettner was one of the most clutch and versatile players ever to play at the college level and Grant Hill was a one-of-a-kind player. I don?t think Kentucky has anyone close to those two guys but collectively they are definitely a deeper team and I know that it would be hard for us to generate the offense against this team."

Tags: Americans in Europe, Articles, Hurleys, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- Larry Brown lost his best player when Emmanuel Mudiay opted to sign for $1.2 million in China instead of going to SMU.

Now the Hall of Fame coach is worried that Mudiay's decision will set?a trend for more American ballplayers.

"I think it will get worse," Brown said Wednesday at American media day at the New York Athletic Club. "If he's as good as I know he is and he's the first, second or third pick in the draft, which I'm pretty confident he will be, I'm worried that a lot of kids will think about it.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Adam Zagoria
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Emmanuel Mudiay passed through the NCAA Eligibility Center on the academic front, SMU coach Larry Brown and an NCAA source told SNY.tv on Monday.

"The NCAA Clearinghouse approved his credits from Prime Prep," Brown told SNY.tv exclusively after speaking with his compliance director earlier Monday. "I want people to know he could've gotten into SMU. He chose to go to China to help his family, not because of an amateur issue."

An NCAA source confirmed to SNY.tv that the 6-foot-5 point guard was cleared on the academic front by the NCAA. The source added that the amateurism review was not completed, so it's not clear whether or not that would have been a stumbling block.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Articles, SMU
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By?GONZALO BEDIA DIAZ

Special to ZAGSBLOG

The economic crisis is all around the world and basketball is not exempt. If you check the European market you realize something has changed. The teams sign more NCAA rookies than years before because they are cheaper than experienced and outsanding ones. And the Old Continent it is not the paradise for American players any more because the salaries have decreased.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Articles, Adam Zagoria
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By JOSH NEWMAN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

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Jordan Goodman, a 6-foot-9 forward with prodigious talent who has decommitted from three colleges, is considering going overseas to play professionally instead of attending junior college, a source with direct knowledge told SNY.tv.

"He and his father are seriously considering some of the offers that have been extended to them, including club teams in Spain, Belgium and France," the source said.

"He could make a decision to go to Europe as soon as September."

Tags: Americans in Europe, Adam Zagoria
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Former Rutgers forward?Jonathan Mitchell has started strong in his professional career, leading?CB Tarragona of Spain in scoring and rebounding through three games.

?It is a great experience playing over here, in a different country and being a professional basketball player,? said Mitchell, according to ScarletKnights.com. ?Coach Rice prepared me for this, and although I couldn't see it while I was there, I am grateful for everything he did for me last season. I wish I could have learned more from him.?

?In one season, Jonathan Mitchell?s mental and physical toughness developed incredibly,? said head coach?Mike Rice. ?J-Mitch learned he was too perimeter-oriented during his junior season, and he worked at not being a one-dimensional player. Not only was he more versatile for us last year, but he was a leader on this team and I think that will help him succeed on the next level.??

Tags: Americans in Europe, Rutgers, Adam Zagoria
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Kobe is headed back to Italy.

According to reports, Bryant has agreed to play the first 10 games -- or 40 days -- of the Italian league season with Virtus Bologna. The Associated Press reports the deal is worth $3 million. He can return to the NBA as soon as the lockout ends.

"We have reached an economic deal," Virtus president?Claudio Sabatini?told a Rome radio station, according to The AP. "There's still some things to arrange but at this point I'm very optimistic. I would say it's 95 percent?done."

Tags: Americans in Europe, Articles, Adam Zagoria
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DeAndre Daniels visited Kentucky this weekend and according to?Dinos Trigonis, Daniels' former AAU coach with the Belmont Shore, the visit went well.

"DeAndre did go to Kentucky and was there for the Indiana-Kentucky basketball game," Trigonis said. "The kid went to Kentucky alone this weekend. From what he told me today [Sunday], he had a nice visit."

Trigonis said Laron Daniels, DeAndre's father, did not attend the visit and an Internet quote attributed to Laron (and briefly used on this site) was inaccurate.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Articles, Iona, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Wagner, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK (AP) ? LeBron James and Chris Bosh headed for South Beach, while Amar'e Stoudemire decided to star on Broadway.

Allen Iverson? He's headed for Turkey.

"My whole thing was being wanted, being accepted by a ballclub. That was the most important thing," the former NBA MVP said Friday, after signing a $4 million, two-year contract with Turkish club Besiktas during a news conference at the upscale St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan.

Tags: Americans in Europe, NBA, Adam Zagoria
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Greedy Peterson is headed to Greece.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Brooklyn native and former Providence forward has inked a one-year, six-figure deal to play for the Rhodes Club of the Greek League.

Gerard Jones, Peterson's advisor and the older brother of West Virginia sophomore forward Kevin Jones, said Peterson planned to return to the U.S. in 2011 with hopes of entering the NBA Draft.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Articles, Providence, Adam Zagoria
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Amar'e Stoudemire won't travel to Turkey with Team USA because of insurance issues related to his left knee.

But he is enjoying an overseas adventure just the same.

The new Knicks forward, who signed a five-year, $100 million deal with New York but was kept out of the World Championships because of insurance concerns, is currently visiting Israel after coming to believe that his mother has Jewish roots.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Articles, Old Knicks, Team USA, Adam Zagoria
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Jamine "Greedy" Peterson, who was dismissed from the Providence basketball team in May for a "violation of team rules," is headed overseas.

"He's actually got offers from France, Turkey and Spain," said Gerard Jones, the brother of West Virginia standout Kevin Jones and an advisor to Peterson.

He also has interest from clubs in Israel and Germany.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Providence, Adam Zagoria
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Despite a completely bogus Internet "story" to the contrary, Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight will not play in Europe next season.

"That's not true," Efrem Knight, Brandon's father, said Thursday morning by phone. "All that is is people trying to mess up Kentucky's recruiting."

The bogus story quoted Knight saying he would spend next season in Italy, following in Brandon Jennings's footsteps, instead of going to Kentucky. Jennings skipped college?at Arizona?and played a year of pro ball in Italy before getting drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, whom he helped lead into a Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Kentucky, Adam Zagoria
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The No. 1 high school prospect in the nation could be close to announcing his college choice, setting the dominoes falling for the top prep point guards.

Brandon Knight of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest on Wednesday told the Orlando Sentinel he plans to announce "sometime soon."

The 6-foot-4 Knight lists Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, UConn, and Miami as his final five.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Arizona, Florida, John Wall, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn, Villanova, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- Three years ago, I wrote a cover story for Slam magazine on four of the best high school guards in the nation -- Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Lance Stephenson.

The cover read, "Final 4 - Jennings, Holiday, Evans & Stephenson. Who's the best guard in the country?"

Three years later, three of those four guys are in the NBA and the fourth, Stephenson, likely soon will be.

Tags: Americans in Europe, John Wall, Lance Stephenson, Old Knicks, Adam Zagoria
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The Knicks could have taken point guard Brandon Jennings in this year's NBA Draft.

Jennings worked out at the team's Westchester campus back in May, along with Tyreke Evans, Earl Clark and Austin Daye.

Instead, Knicks President Donnie Walsh opted to pick forward Jordan Hill with the No. 8 pick on draft night and Jennings went to the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 10.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Old Knicks, Adam Zagoria
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Here's a quick rundown on what's going on in the sports world this Wednesday...

**First off, for those keeping track at home, my Black summer league Ultimate team in the Westchester Summer League (WSL) came back from a 7-4 deficit to Gold to win 10-7 in an exciting, rain-shortened affair at SUNY Purchase. We scored six unanswered goals to win the game and garner the No. 4 seed in Saturday's playoffs...Wish us luck.

PITINO APOLOGIZES, FEELS THE HEAT

Tags: Americans in Europe, Louisville, Rutgers, St. John's, Tennis, UConn, Adam Zagoria
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Jeremy Tyler, the 6-foot-11 high school senior out of San Diego High, will likely sign a contract next week with Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League

"They're the favorites," Sonny Vaccaro, who is advising Tyler, said by phone. "It looks like Jeremy Tyler is going to end up with Maccabi Haifa. It's 90 percent done.

"The contract has not been signed yet. As soon as they do the faxes back and forth, it should be done Tuesday or Wednesday."

Tags: Americans in Europe, Big East, Rutgers, Sonny Vaccaro, USC, Adam Zagoria
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Latavious Williams is the latest American player to head overseas to play hoops.

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound native of Starkville, Miss. had committed to play for Memphis head coach Josh Pastner, but will pursue a pro career instead.

"It was a difficult decision," Williams said in an official press release that appeared on Rivals.com. "But after consulting with a number of people, and taking my family situation into consideration, playing overseas is the best move for me.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Lance Stephenson, Memphis, Adam Zagoria
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Sonny Vaccaro will be honored in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

The Grassroots Basketball of America (GBOA) Hall of Fame announcement will be held at the Palms Hotel and Vaccaro will be given the organization's Grassroots?Pioneer Award.

Grassroots legends Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Stephon Marbury, Chauncey Billups, Sharief Abdul-Rahim, Rafer Alston, Felipe Lopez and Tim Thomas will also be honored

Tags: Americans in Europe, Sonny Vaccaro, Adam Zagoria
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A year from now, the Knicks will zero in on LeBron James and a high-profile class of free agents that also includes Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Steve Nash.

But beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, New York must worry about the immediate task at hand.

Tags: Americans in Europe, NBA Draft, Old Knicks, Adam Zagoria
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Could Xavier Henry be headed to Europe?

Xavier and his father Carl Henry told the Kansas City Star that a month after Xavier committed to play for Kansas the family looked into a deal that would have sent Xavier to Europe next season.

"You don?t have to take any classes,? Xavier told the newspaper.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Cincinnati, John Wall, Kansas, Lance Stephenson, Rutgers, UConn, West Virginia, Adam Zagoria
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Great story by the fellas over at the Daily News today on Lance Stephenson and where he may end up.

The story examines a number of factors complicating Lance's recruitment, from his father to his pending sexual assault case to the BornReady.tv website to his academics to his on-court demeanor.

At this point, Florida, Kansas, Maryland and St. John's have all bowed out. Arizona may or may not still be in it, and Memphis is interested but hasn't been in direct contact of late.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Arizona, Florida, Florida International, Kansas, Lance Stephenson, Maryland, Memphis, St. John's, Adam Zagoria
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The Big East will meet the Big 10 when Pittsburgh and Indiana face off Dec. 8 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

"We're planning to play them in the Jimmy V," an Indiana source said.

The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Indiana, Kyrie Irving, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. Patrick, Texas A&M, UConn, Adam Zagoria
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The Knicks will continue their search for a point guard on Monday when they work out Memphis freshman Tyreke Evans and California native Brandon Jennings at their Westchester campus.

Louisville junior forward Earl Clark of Rahway, N.J. will also work out for head coach Mike D'Antoni, as will UConn senior guard Craig Austrie and Gonzaga sophomore forward Austin Daye.

The Knicks hold the No. 8 pick in the June 25 NBA Draft and have already worked out the following point guards: Levance Fields of Pittsburgh, Jonny Flynn of Syracuse, Ty Lawson of North CArolina, Steph Curry of Davidson and Jrue Holiday of UCLA.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Louisville, Memphis, NBA Draft, Old Knicks, Sonny Vaccaro, Adam Zagoria
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Lance Stephenson told me last week he had "three more weeks to make my [college] decision.?

Lance said he didn't have a specific date in mind to announce, but his sexual assault case resumes June 29 in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

Stephenson said he was considering Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Memphis, but Gary Parrish is reporting that Florida is out of the mix.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Lance Stephenson, Maryland, Memphis, St. John's, Adam Zagoria
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Jeremy Tyler will work out later this week in Los Angeles for Maccabi Haifa Heat of the Israeli pro league.

"He's working out and people are coming in to see him," said grassroots basketball guru Sonny Vaccaro, who will broker Tyler's pro deal. "The Israeli team Haifa are going to be in Thursday and Friday to interview Jeremy and work him out."

The 6-foot-11 Tyler initially committed to Louisville but then? announced he would skip his senior year of high school to play professionally for two years before entering the 2011 NBA Draft.

Tags: Americans in Europe, John Wall, Kentucky, Lance Stephenson, Sonny Vaccaro, Adam Zagoria
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Latavious Williams says he's still committed to Memphis, but the latest allegations against the program may cause him to end up elsewhere.

"I'm still committed," he said Friday by phone. "Right now they're looking into that [allegations that someone else took the SAT for former point guard Derrick Rose]. I'm going to take my time and chill out."

Williams is set to graduate May 29 from Humble Christian Life Center in Houston, and he said he and his family were still discussing the latest news about the NCAA charging Memphis with "major violations".

Tags: Americans in Europe, Georgetown, Memphis, Oklahoma, Paterson Catholic, Rutgers, Adam Zagoria
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Jarrid Famous wants out of his Letter of Intent to South Florida, multiple sources said Tuesday.

"Jarrid Famous is trying to get out of his letter," one source with direct knowledge said.

The 6-foot-11 Famous chose South Florida last month over Arizona, Missouri and Seton Hall and could end up at one of those places if he gets out. Arizona appears to be a likely destination.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Seton Hall, South Florida, Adam Zagoria
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The Florida Gators are in the news on two fronts today.

First off, sophomore point guard Nick Calathes will bypass his final two years of college eligibility to play professionally...in Greece.

Calathes, who holds a Greek passport and has dual citizenship, has agreed to terms with Euroleague champion Panathinaikos , the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Arizona, Florida, Lance Stephenson, Maryland, Memphis, Adam Zagoria
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Sonny Vaccaro has served as an advisor to Lance Stephenson and his family during the recruiting process and even?the?Godfather of Grassroots Basketball?is mystified by this particular?recruitment.

Vaccaro said during a recent? interview with a Memphis radio station that he initially thought Memphis would land the 6-foot-5 Stephenson, but now he is uncertain.

"For some reason his family can't make this decision," Vaccaro said. "Last week at this time?I would've thought he was going?to Memphis. That was the last time?I talked to 'Stretch,' that's his dad. He?texted me and said they're interested in another school right now."

Tags: Americans in Europe, Arizona, Lance Stephenson, Memphis, Siena, Sonny Vaccaro, St. Joe's, UNLV, Adam Zagoria
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In an interview with Bryant Gumbel that will be broadcast Tuesday night on HBO's "Real Sports," Brandon Jennings says playing ball in Italy is not quite like being in hell. But being in college would be.

Bryant Gumbel:? ?Do you view this as purgatory??? A place you got to go to because you weren?t? allowed into heaven, which is the NBA??

Brandon Jennings: ?I guess.?

Tags: Americans in Europe, Brandon Jennings, Sonny Vaccaro, Adam Zagoria
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Lance Stephenson says Europe is not an option and that he will definitely go to college next year.

"I don't think it's a good decision to go to Europe," Stephenson told the MSG Network in a interview broadcast at halftime of St. Benedict's 89-53 victory over Lincoln Saturday at the Prudential Center. "I just want to go to college and experience new things."

The 6-foot-5 Stephenson, ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2009 by the Hoop Scoop and No. 9 by Rivals, lists St. John's, Kansas, Memphis and USC as his favorites and has repeatedly told me and other reporters he likes the idea of bringing St. John's back.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Brandon Jennings, Kansas, Lance Stephenson, Lincoln High School, Memphis, St. John's, USC, Adam Zagoria
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Lance Stephenson and Dominic Cheek will still be on the board after the NCAA early signing period begins Wednesday.

Stephenson, the 6-foot-5 guard known as "Born Ready" from Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, and Cheek, a 6-5 wing from St. Anthony in Jersey City, are among an elite group of high school basketball players who have chosen to wait until the spring to pick a college.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Brandon Jennings, Dominic Cheek, High Schools, John Wall, Kansas, Lance Stephenson, Marquette, Memphis, Miami, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Signing Day Video, St. Anthony, St. John's, UCLA, UConn, Villanova, Adam Zagoria
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Count Derrick Favors and Latavious Williams among the elite prospects who may wait until the spring to choose a college.

The NCAA early signing period begins Wednesday.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Favors, the No. 3 prospect in the Class of 2009 according to Rivals, is down to Georgia, Georgia Tech and N.C. State.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Baylor, Georgia, Georgia Tech, High Schools, Memphis, N.C. State, Adam Zagoria
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Lots of movement in the world of college basketball going on...

**Jai Lucas, son of former NBA player John Lucas, is transferring out of Florida. Lucas started all 36 games for the Gators last season, averaging 8.5 points and 2.3 assists. Playing alongside Nick Calathes, the Southeastern co-freshman of the year, in a three-guard lineup didn't work out for Lucas, who could end up at a Big 12 school close to his home in Bellaire, Texas. Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Maryland were among his finalists last time around.

?I just think we were going in different directions.? Lucas told Gatorsports.com. ?I have no regrets about it. The coaching staff, the players, the school, were great. I had a great time while I was here. I just wanted something else.?

Tags: Americans in Europe, Arizona, Florida, Seton Hall, South Florida, Texas, UConn, Adam Zagoria
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Josh Childress and Brandon Jennings are both from California. They both opted to leave the United States to play professional basketball in Europe. And both are being hailed as trailblazers.

Childress, a 6-foot-8 forward who played at Stanford, signed a three-year, $20 million contract this summer with Olympiacos of Greece instead of re-signing with the Atlanta Hawks.

"I get paid double, my role increases, I have no expenses and I move to a nice city?" Childress told The New York Times. "How many guys wouldn't do that, regardless if you're a lawyer or a doctor? In a business sense, if I were to tell people that I passed on that deal, I would be stupid. That would be the next headline: Josh Childress Shouldn't Have Gone to Stanford. He's an Idiot."

Tags: Americans in Europe, Adam Zagoria
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Could Kobe Bryant be the next American to play professionally in Europe?

The Greek team Olympiacos is reportedly set to offer Bryant $83 million tax-free to play for them for three years, according to a report on the Italian site basketcentral.it.

Bryant's father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, played professionally in Italy and Kobe speaks fluent Italian.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Adam Zagoria
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I was impressed recently when I saw that Pete Thamel of The New York Times had scored a trip to Italy to do a first-person story on Brandon Jennings, who opted for Europe over college. Now I see that Pete has apparently gotten the Times to send him on a tour of Europe for interesting hoops stories. Well played, Pete.

His latest epic chronicles the decision by former NBA forward Josh Childress to opt for Greece over the Atlanta Hawks or any other NBA franchise.

?I get paid double, my role increases, I have no expenses and I move to a nice city?? Childress told Thamel. ?How many guys wouldn?t do that, regardless if you?re a lawyer or a doctor? In a business sense, if I were to tell people that I passed on that deal, I would be stupid. That would be the next headline: Josh Childress Shouldn?t Have Gone to Stanford. He?s an Idiot.?

Tags: Americans in Europe, Adam Zagoria
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Pete Thamel from The New York Times has two stories today on Brandon Jennings, and my first though on this is, Great job by Pete getting the paper to send him to Rome for the research. We should all be so lucky.

The first story asks whether Jennings, an elite point guard who opted to play professionally in Europe instead of going to Arizona when his academic status was called into question, is a trailblazer.

The question of how many players will follow Jennings?s path to the N.B.A. lingers at all levels. Sonny Vaccaro, the former sneaker company executive who orchestrated Jennings?s move, said that the families of 12 elite high school players had contacted him. They are intrigued by the notion of going to Europe.

?I think we?re going to have a revolution, and Brandon Jennings, a kid from Compton, is going to start it,? Vaccaro said in a telephone interview.In another story about Jennings' family keeping an eye on him, Jennings says that three high school players in the class of 2009 ? the California big men Renardo Sidney and Jordan Hamilton and Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn ? were talented enough to play professionally in Europe.

Tags: Americans in Europe, Brandon Jennings, High Schools, Kansas, Lance Stephenson, Memphis, Adam Zagoria
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