Duke Basketball: Blue Devil Alumni Playing Professional Basketball Overseas
With the NBA regular season in doubt, NBA players are hedging their bets by signing opt-out contracts with overseas clubs. From Turkey to Russia, Italy to Israel, overseas leagues are filling up with NBA talent.
Now is a perfect opportunity to branch outside the NBA and locate NCAA fans' favorite alumni players who have made careers playing basketball overseas.
Up to Bat: Duke Blue Devil alumni
William Avery: An Overseas Journeymen
William Avery averaged only 2.7 ppg and 1.4 apg in 142 career NBA games
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William Avery is best remembered as being one of the first underclassmen to leave Duke for the NBA (with Elton Brand and Corey Maggette). After his sophomore season at Duke, Avery was selected 14th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1999 NBA Draft.
Avery managed just 2.7 points per game and 1.4 assists per game in 142 career NBA appearances. After his rookie contract expired with the Timberwolves, Avery was not picked up, and he headed overseas.
Since his release, Avery has played in six overseas leagues: Israeli League, French League, the Ukrainian League, the Greek League (two stints), the German League and the Turkish league.
Most recently, Avery signed with Energa Czarni Slupsk of Poland in February 2011.
Trajan Langdon: Success in Russia
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The Alaskan Assassin set the Duke record for most three-point field goals in a career (thanks J.J. for dethroning). He was drafted in the sixth round of the 1994 MLB Draft (Padres) as well as the 1999 NBA Draft (Cavaliers).
Langdon was the first Alaskan to play in the NBA, but after three seasons in Cleveland, Langdon traveled overseas.
Although he has now retired from professional basketball, Langdon gained HUGE popularity and had tremendous success in Russia.
In his first season with powerhouse CSKA Moskow, in Russia, Langon led the club to a Euroleague Championship and was named Second Team All EuroLeague (2005-2006 season).
Langdon would be named First Team All Euroleague in the following two seasons (2006-2007, 2007-2008) and even be named the Euroleague Final Four MVP in 2008.
He led CSKA Moskow to two Euroleague Championships and helped the club win nine consecutive Russian League Titles.
In June 2011 he announced his retirement from basketball.
Sean Dockery: Cut by Canadians
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When he arrived at Duke, Sean Dockery was one of the nation's top high school PGs. Due to a lackluster career, Greg Paulus eating his minutes at Duke and an injury ridden Pre-Draft circuit, Dockery has never played for an NBA Team.
Instead, the hero/villian of the VT Cameron Indoor buzzer-beater wound up playing for the Edmonton Chill of the International Basketball League. (He also played for several teams in Europe, but never long enough to keep track of.)
In an even worse turn of events for the former McDonald's All-American, Dockery was cut from the Edmonton Chill and replaced with BYU alum Rashaun Broadus on May 5th, 2008.
On the plus side, Dockery has the 11th most steals in Duke history.
Nick Horvath: The New Zealand Hero
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If you are not a Duke fan, then you hated Nick Horvath. Plain and simple. Ten Commandment Style. Everything about this guy used to make me punch myself in the face.
Mediocre high school player, mediocre college player and NEW ZEALAND HERO (and NO, this is the Two Truths, One Lie game).
Following Duke, Horvath averaged 20 points per game and 10 rebounds per game his first season for the West Sydney Razorbacks. In 2009 (pictured above) Horvath won an ANBL Championship with the South Dragons.
After becoming naturalized to compete in the 2008 Olympics, Horvath signed with the Wellington Saints in the New Zealand NBL, where he led the league in rebounding with an average of 11.7 rebounds per game.
Horvath is the only player to have ever won an NCAA Championship (2001), ANBL Championship (2009), and an NZ NBL Championship (2010).
Thank you Wikipedia for making me hate him less.
Lee Melchionni: Jay Bilas 2.0
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Lee Melchionni was a honorable mention All-American coming out of high school and almost made the McDonald's All American game.
Melchionni spent a single season playing basketball in Italy for Cimberio Novara, which was a member of the Italian 2nd Division.
He's since hung it up and is in law school at Loyola Law School working as an NBA Player Agent for Wasserman Media Group.
Jay Bilas, watch out. Melchionni is coming for you...or coming to work at your law firm.
Chris Carrawell: Eventually Gave Up on the Dream
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On being an ACC Player of the Year and getting drafted in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft:
"I felt the whole system let me down,'"Carrawell said. "Whether it was NBA scouts, my agent, NBA (general managers), Coach K not lobbying enough for me—never in history had an ACC Player of the Year gone so low."
Carrawell's lengthy overseas career started in Italy. When the NBDL was formed, Carrawell pounced on the opportunity to earn a spot in the NBA and joined the Asheville Altitude.
Over the next six seasons, Carrawell played in Lithuania, Germany, Australia, the Philippines, the ABA and the Netherlands.
In 2007, Carrawell retired from the game of basketball. He now is an assistant coach for the Springfield Armour.