David Solomon basketball

The Winston-Salem Wolves, a minor league basketball franchise that will play the 2019 season in the East Coast Basketball League, announced today that David Solomon has been named as the head coach under a one-year agreement for the coming season. Solomon has over twenty-five years of coaching experience in high school, college and professionally with several international teams. He is a FIBA licensed coach with past coaching positions in Denmark, Venezuela and Slovakia.

“Many of the players in the ECBL are actively looking to either go back overseas to play on another professional contract, or in some cases, looking for their first contract, ” team owner Marcus Shockley said, “David has extensive experience in all levels of coaching and knows the international arena extremely well. We wanted to bring someone in who not only had the coaching experience but also the knowledge to help develop players into international prospects. David fits that need perfectly, especially for a team going into the first year.”

In regards to the agreement only being in place for the 2019 season, Shockley stated, “in an ideal world, we’d have David for several years, and we hope that will be the case. But just like the players,  a good coach is often presented with opportunities that they can’t pass up, so we’re looking at it as we’re lucky to have a high caliber coach from day one, and build from there. As a minor league team, we want to build consistency but we also realize that one of the goals of our organization is to enable our players to reach their own professional goals, and for some players, that means playing professionally outside of the United States.”

The Wolves announced their schedule earlier this week, but no roster announcements have been made. For more information about the Winston-Salem Wolves franchise, visit WSWolves.com.

FIBA World Cup

FIBA World Cup

The FIBA World Cup is one of the top basketball tournaments in the world outside of the Olympic Games, and we here at Basketball Elite have covered it extensively in past years. The latest news however is something that will be unique to the FIBA event: the organization recently announced that in 2023, the tournament will be staged in multiple countries:

In 2023, the FIBA Basketball World Cup will, for the first time, be staged in more than one country after joint bids by Argentina/Uruguay and Indonesia/Japan/Philippines were confirmed as the finalists on Wednesday.

FIBA is, admittedly, more well known outside of the United States, but is the world governing body for basketball and the event is a global tournament that many NBA and Euroleague players participate in.

The 2015 Immaculate Training Pro Exposure Camp was held in Charlotte, NC on June 13 and 14, featuring multiple players who have already played international basketball. Multiple scouts from Europe and the United States were in attendance. We’ll have more scouting notes on the games but below are the rosters and full game replays from the event.

Game One:

Game Two:

Game Three:

Game Four:

Game Five:

Game Six:

All-Star Game:

All-Star Game Rosters:

42 – Ja’Wan Davis
49 – Aaron Brackett
66 – Vernon Payne
70 – Tony Gallo
72 – Corey Raley-Ross
76 – Chris Calvin
80 – Antonio Bumpus
89 – Markell Lotharp
96 – Titus Robinson
98 – Preston Ross
104 – Louis Craft
112 – Trevor Flores
114 – Curtis Withers
115 – Mike Bland

Player Drills:

Basketball Ref Pro Basketball Circuit

Across the U.S., each new basketball season brings a bevy of fledgling minor league basketball teams, all looking to establish themselves in the world of semi-pro sports. Unfortunately, almost all of these teams will fold in less than one season. Some estimates place the number of failed basketball teams over the past decade as higher than 200.

For the newly forming Pro Basketball Circuit, the existing model is flawed. Minor league sports in the United States cannot draw enough attendance to support the professional model; even the NBDL, affectionately known as the ‘D-League’, cannot draw enough fan support to be considered successful, despite the fact that the league is a subsidiary of the NBA.

So what makes the PBC think they can succeed where so many have failed? For starters, the league intends to create a system where teams play tournament-style play, with several teams at a single location, eliminating much of the cost of travel that often spells doom for new franchises. The majority of minor league teams barely break even or suffer slight losses on each home game, but take it on the chin when they hit the road.

Additionally, the PBC breaks the level of play into multiple divisions, allowing teams to move up or down in competition. The PBC also will heavily manage and regulate many of the things that wreak havoc in minor leagues: scheduling, referees, transactions and rosters. Many minor league owners complain about the lack of organization among existing teams and leagues.

The league also has options for players who want to gain exposure but cannot afford to leave their current jobs and families to chase a roster spot overseas. The league is going to propose a system for those players that will allow them to band together and play in games which fit around their schedule.

While only in the early stages, it’s unclear if this new model is radically different than what has come before, and only time will tell. Players, coaches, agents and potential team owners can learn more about the PBC by visiting ProBasketballCircuit.com.

By Marcus Shockley

Kevin Durant and the rest of the USA basketball team, much maligned for their early lack of cohesive play, have reached the FIBA World Basketball Championship finals and will take on Turkey later today. Turkey, led by NBA star Hedo Turkoglu, are playing in front of a home crowd, as the games are being played in Istanbul.

Breaking down the game, the USA team should not lose to Turkey; although Turkoglu is by all rights an NBA star, one NBA player is not enough to beat another team with an entire roster of NBA players. But what the US team has to be wary of is that the international game is not like the NBA, and that means that Turkey does not just hand the ball to Turkoglu every time down the court and clear out. They play a motion team offense, with Turkoglu working within the offense to find his shot. Occasionally, Turkoglu will bring the ball up court, but he’s not actually running the point.

The US team should use Kevin Durant in the same manner, because there is a lot more scoring on the the USA team than Turkey’s team, and even if Turkey tries to stop Durant, the US team should be able to find buckets in other places.

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By Marcus Shockley

The question, beyond whether the team of NBA players who have joined in to play with Team USA at this year’s FIBA World Championship is good enough, or whether the team is lacking in depth of talent, is whether the United States is still the basketball powerhouse that they’ve always been.

Not even the Brazilian soccer team can claim the dominance of a global sport like the US has over basketball. This year, with most of the starting players from the Beijing Gold Medal run opting out this summer, there have been reams of paper devoted to the idea that the United States was putting out a team of lesser players and would struggle.

So, as the United States finished first in their group after defeating Iran today, let’s talk about that concept and set aside some pretty silly myths.

Yes, basketball around the world has gotten better over the past twenty years. Pundits will point to the fact that nearly every team the United States plays in FIBA competition will have at least one if not several NBA players on their roster. This is also true.

However, the United States team is made up of entirely of NBA players. Not one player. Not three players. All of the US roster is made of NBA players. And most of the players on the United States roster don’t just hold a roster spot, either. As much of an achievement it is for a player from Slovenia to land in the NBA, it’s an entirely different achievement to start for a playoff team.

So it puts into perspective the wins by the United States. Sure, they can lose, but when they do, it’s all based on their own play. The talents the United States has is just so over the top that the biggest concern is the lack of focus and discipline that too many NBA players have.

But it isn’t losing. Not even for the ‘B Team’.

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