Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 50 of 55 NOV. 9, 2019 51 IRISH IN THE PROS BY ANDREW MENTOCK U nlike in most other popular American sports, it's common for basketball players to have long-last- ing professional careers by signing overseas. When Bonzie Colson II was re- leased from the Milwaukee Bucks July 21, he waded through the NBA waters to see which other franchises would bite. He received a handful of nibbles, but the other teams wanted to wait on a few other options before signing him to a potential two-way or Exhibit 10 contract. He didn't feel like waiting. "I had about 10 to 12 teams that wanted me on [an Exhibit 10 contract] and I had about five or six teams who wanted me for a two-way, and we were just going back and forth with them," Colson told South Coast Today over the summer. "I was just waiting and there was a lot of interest with those teams, but they were waiting to see what other guys were doing and I didn't want to wait." So he signed with Darussafaka Bas- ketbol Istanbul, a team in the Turk- ish Basketball Super League. While it's unknown how much money the contract he signed is worth, ESPN named the Turkish BSL as the fourth- best international league in 2017 and said that some of the teams can af- ford to pay as much as the top Euro- pean leagues. In addition to providing him with a financial opportunity, playing over- seas will give Colson a chance to ex- plore other countries. "I'll get to travel the world and visit different places I never have," he said. "It's all new to me. I'm go- ing in there with an open mind and grinding my tail off, understanding why I'm there and doing whatever I can to get out on the court." Colson is hardly the lone former Notre Dame basketball graduate to make this decision. There are at least 10 Irish alums currently on interna- tional rosters, from teams in Ger- many to China to Argentina. Only one player, Pat Connaughton, is on an actual NBA roster, with the Milwaukee Bucks. Three others are in the G-League. But make no mistake, the ultimate goal for most of them, including Col- son, is to make it to the NBA if the opportunity presents itself. "It was just the right decision for me," Colson said. "My goal is to get back in the [NBA] next year. It's part of the journey. I'm excited. They're a great team. "They have guys who played on that team for a year and then went to the League." IRISH IN PRO BASKETBALL • Tim Abromaitis (Played at Notre Dame from 2007-12), F, EuroLeague, Zenit Saint Petersburg: In eight games with the club based in Russia, was averaging 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. • Zach Auguste (2012-16), C, Turkish BSL, Gala- tasaray: In nine games with the Istanbul-based team, was averaging 12.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. • V.J. Beachem (2013-17), F, G-League, Windy City Bulls: Opens the season Nov. 8 … Averaged 6.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game for Windy City last year. • Austin Burgett (2012-16), F, Belgium-Scooore League, Liege Basket: Has yet to see action this season. • Bonzie Colson II (2014-18), F, Turkish BSL, Darussafaka Basketbol Istanbul: In nine games, was averaging 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. • Pat Connaughton (2011-15), F, NBA, Milwau- kee Bucks: In three games, was averaging 9.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. • Jack Cooley, (2009-13), C, Japanese B League, Ryukyu Golden Kings: In nine games, was averag- ing 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. • Matt Farrell (2014-18), G, G-League, Austin Spurs: Opens the season Nov. 8 … Averaged 10.7 points, 6.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game with the G-League's Delaware Blue Coats (76ers affili- ate) last season. • Torin Francis (2002-06), F, Argentinian Liga A, La Union de Formosa: Team has not yet played a game in the 2019-20 season. • Martin Geben (2014-18), F, Lithuanian LKL, Zalgiris: In 10 games, was averaging 4.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. • Jerian Grant (2011-15), G, Chinese CBA, Qing- dao Eagles: Opens the season Nov. 2 … Spent last year with the Orlando Magic, where he averaged 4.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game. • Luke Harangody (2006-10), F, Spanish ACB, Divina Seguros Joventut: In 10 games, was av- eraging 7.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game. • Demetrius Jackson (2013-16), G, G-League, Bay City Lakers: Opens the season Nov. 2 … Fin- ished his more recent season with China's Beijing Ducks after stints with the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers organizations. Steve Vasturia (2013-17), G, German BBL, SC Rasta Vechta: In seven games, was averaging 12.6 points, 4.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. ✦ Bonzie Colson Heads Overseas Colson will play in the Turkish Basketball Super League this year. PHOTO COURTESY WISCONSIN HERD NOTRE DAME IN THE NFL: WEEK EIGHT HIGHLIGHTS • Alex Bars (Played at Notre Dame from 2014-18), OG, Chicago Bears: Was signed from the 3-4 Bears practice squad, but was inactive in the team's 17-16 home loss to the Los An- geles Chargers. • Tyler Eifert (2009-12), TE, Cincinnati Ben- gals: Was targeted nine times and had six catches for 74 yards in the 0-8 Bengals' 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in London … Has 23 catches for 192 yards and one touchdown through seven games. • Golden Tate (2007-09), WR, New York Giants: Was targeted 10 times and had six receptions for 85 yards in the 2-6 Giants' 31- 26 road loss against the Detroit Lions … Has 23 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown in four games. • Jerry Tillery (2015-18), DT, Los Angeles Chargers: Recorded three tackles in the 3-5 Chargers' 17-16 win at Chicago … For the sea- son, he has compiled eight tackles and 1.5 sacks.

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