July 9, 2012
ATHENS, Ohio - With this being the 20th anniversary of the original "Dream Team", one can't help but reflect on the impact that squad had on the global state of basketball. With more and more countries sending players to the United State to play professionally, more opportunities have been created abroad. Ohio Basketball has sent almost 30 players to various countries to continue their careers since 1997 and here is a look at how some former Bobcats did this past season.
The largest Green & White contingent resides in Germany as Steve Esterkamp, Patrick Flomo, Jaivon Harris, Terren Harbut and Brandon Hunter are currently plying their trade in Bavaria.
Esterkamp plays in the top German league, Basketball Bundesliga, for Ratiopharm Ulm. He started every game for the Swallows last season in their run to the finals, averaging 10.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 1.7 apg while shooting 48 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point land.
Hunter suits up for BBC Bayreuth who also plays in the BBL. Last season as a starter, he averaged 9.6 ppg while finishing second on the team in rebounding with 5.9 per contest.
Flomo, Harris and Harbut all play in the country's second professional league, Pro A. Harris led Nürnberger BC with 15.8 ppg, while also averaging 4.2 rpg, 3.1 apg and 1.4 spg. He started every game and shot 58 percent from the field, 40 percent from distance and 89 percent at the line.
Flomo started every game for Gloria Giants Düsseldorf in its run to the Pro A semifinals. He averaged 10.1 ppg, shooting 64 percent from the field, and led the team with 6.5 rpg. Harbut recently signed with ETB Wohnbau Baskets after averaging 16.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg with BV Chemnitz 99 in 2010-11.
Two of Ohio's career scoring leaders went head-to-head in Spain's Liga Española de Baloncesto (LEB Gold).
Leon Williams helped lead Cáceres Patrimonio de la Humanidad to the semifinals of LEB Gold after averaging 11.7 ppg and 7.4 rpg. Both averages ranked him second on the team as he also shot 57 percent from the floor. The man who started more games than any other Bobcat, averaged over 25 mpg in 44 contests for his Spanish club.
Jerome Tillman also had an impressive season with Ford Burgos. The 6-6 post player finished second on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg), while shooting 52 percent from the field and averaging 27 minutes a contest for a team that reached the LEB Gold Quarterfinals.
Tommy Freeman left Athens as the school's all-time three-point shooting leader and he has not disappointed with his new club in England. This past season, he led the Worcester Wolves of the British Basketball League in scoring at 19.4 ppg, while also averaging 3.8 rpg and 2.6 apg in 34.6 mpg. Freeman shot 46 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from deep and 87 percent at the charity line. He also plans to suit up for Team Paris in the EuroBasket Summer League.
He is joined across the pond by Mychal Green who plays for the Glasgow Rocks. He was the team's leading scorer at 18.1 ppg and helped lead his squad to the BBL Semifinals. Green also averaged 6.0 rpg, 4.5 apg and 1.3 spg.
DeVaughn Washington was the only Bobcat to not just play in two leagues, but also find a spot back in the Western Hemisphere. After suiting up for Gelişim Koleji of the Turkish Basketball Second League, Washington traveled back across the Atlantic to play in Uruguay's Liga de Basketball with Bohemios. In Turkey, Washington started and averaged 11.2 ppg while shooting 50 percent from the field. He also led the squad in rebounds (6.5) and blocks (1.3). In Uruguay, he averaged 16.4 ppg and 9.2 rpg while playing a limited number of games for a team that reached the LUB Quarterfinals.
Kenneth van Kempen is playing in his native Holland for Stepco BSW Weert of the Dutch Basketball League. A starter that averaged 25 mpg, van Kempen also averaged 9.0 ppg and finished second on the team with 6.5 rpg. The big man also connected on 43 percent of his three-point tries. One of van Kempen's teammates is Robbie Harman, who Bobcat fans may remember for tying the Convocation Center record with nine three-pointers in a game while playing for Central Michigan
Shaun Stonerook was always a Bobcat who knew how to get to the line, making 180 for the Green & White during the 1999-00 season. This past season he suited up for Montepaschi Siena in Italy's Lega Basket Serie A. As team captain and someone who started and played in every game, he helped lead the squad to a league title by shooting 57 percent from the floor and 80 percent at the stripe.