Bahamian pro basketball players in Euro spotlight

As of Monday, October 17, 2022


Zane Knowles


Lashann Higgs






WILLIS Mackey Jr


#Tribune Sports Reporter

#BAHAMIAN pro basketball players across various leagues in Europe produced season highs in early season play for their new clubs.

#In Bulgaria’s National Basketball League, Zane Knowles was dominant for the CSKA Sofia Reds in their narrow 70-68 win on the road over Shumen on Saturday night.

#Knowles finished with 17 points, a game high 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. He shot 6-9 from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line.

#The Reds moved to 1-1 after an opening night loss to Spartak Pleven, 91-65.

#Knowles finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench.

#The Reds earned a promotion to the NBL after winning the BBL, Group A title last season and will play in the Bulgarian basketball elite for the first time after a 13-year hiatus.

#Knowles returned from injury last season to conclude the year with Levski Sofia and helped the team reach the NBL semifinal.

#In five regular season games, he averaged 10.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

#Lashann Higgs scored a season high 19 points to lead Hozono Global Jairis to an 83-75 win over her former club Bembibre PDM in Spain’s Liga Femenina Endesa.

#She shot 3-5 from beyond the arc, 4-5 from the free throw line and also added five assists in 31 minutes.

#The third-year guard is the early scoring leader for Jairis in her first season with the club at 10.7 points per game.

#Higgs opened the season with nine points and grabbed five rebounds in her club’s 64-51 win over Cadi La Seu. She concluded last season in the Liga Femenina Endesa with Lointek Gernika Bizkaia. In 25 games she averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

#Jairis head coach Lucas Fernández said he has lofty expectations for the impact Higgs will have on the club for the 2022-23 campaign.

#“Lashann Higgs is a player who, within her humility and effort, has a great capacity to generate advantages from her one on one skills, with the ability to finish, to assist, and with great physical abilities in defence,” he said.

#“She is a player who from the beginning has shown us great enthusiasm for joining our team and who I am sure will work hard to offer us her best version.”

#Several players in France made their respective season debuts.

#It was a winning debut for Travis Munnings in his promotion to the French ProB League with his Boulazac Basket Dordogne basketball club. He finished with five points and three rebounds in an 82-75 win over Lille Métropole in the opener.

#Munnings has averaged 10.6 points, four rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in the preseason Leaders Cup.

#Last season, Boulazac finished 13th in league standings at 13-19. The front office has been optimistic about the impact they expect Munnings to have.

#“Munnings is a small forward that is very versatile. He is able to evolve and play shooting guard but also a power forward.

#“He will bring volume to the team,” they said in a press release issued by the team.

#“Munnings is an athletic player by his physicality. He plays on both sides of the ball with a lot of intensity and he knows how to adapt and put himself at the service of his team.”

#Munnings previously played in France when he made his pro debut with La Rochelle Stade Rochelais of France’s NM1 League. He averaged 17.5 points, eight rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in his brief stint with the club.

#Willis Mackey also made his regular season debut with Lyon in the French Nationale Masculine 1 League.

#He finished with 11 points, a team high three steals, two rebounds and two assists in his club’s 87-84 win over Kayserberg.

#Mackey joined the club as a medical transfer for the next three months.

#“His arrival will compensate for the prolonged absence of our American interior Michael Craion,” the club said of Mackey’s signing. “It is therefore a high quality reinforcement that joins Team Lyon for the next few months.”

#Mackey spent last season with another NM1 club, Mulhouse Basket Agglomeration.

#In 33 games, the fourth year forward averaged 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on 62 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.

#Also in the NM1 League, Davis and Vendee Challans Basket ended a brief two-game skid with two consecutive wins.

#He finished with a season high 16 points and six rebounds in an 81-77 win over Tarbes Lourdes and added eight points and five rebounds in just 17 minutes off the bench last night in an 81-77 win over Rueil.

#The second year pro has averaged 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game through five games thus far.

#The NM1 is the professional level third-tier division in France. The two top teams from each season of the competition are promoted to the LNB Pro B, which is the French second division

#Kentwan Smith had a game high scoring effort and near double double in his debut for the Svendborg Rabbits of the Basketligaen – the top division in the country.

#Smith scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds – both team highs – in his team’s 78-76 loss to Vaerlose. Smith shot 8-13 from the field, including 3-4 from three-point range.

#Smith spent the last two seasons with Garonne ASPTT in France’s NM2 league.

#In 23 appearances, he averaged 15.4 points per game. In the previous season, he averaged 12.9 points per game and Garonne ended the regular season with the second-best record in the league.

#In addition to Denmark and France, Smith’s pro career has taken him to Finland, Mexico, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

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