Mar 10, 2008

Hello Everyone,

I am finishing the last of my packing today. I know I said I was flying home on Sunday but the airline was full and I can not fly out till Tuesday morning. I should be home in time for the championship game for Butler so that will be nice. With the changing of time back into daylight savings it is only a 5 hour time difference. I believe I arrive around 6:30 (a long day of travel). Like I have stated earlier I’m going to miss this place. It has been a very good experience.

On Saturday the team introduced me after the starting lineups were called and gave me some flowers (I got a standing ovation from the crowd). It was really a special moment for me. This just further demonstrates that if you do things the right way, play the game with passion, and are a genuine person people appreciate that. Something a lot of people like to call the “BUTLER WAY”.

Now that my season is over I thought I would reflect on my entire experience. The easiest is to start out in France and then go from there. This experience was something I have wanted since I was in college. I remember growing up always saying I wanted to go to the NBA. Then college rolled around and the goal changed to overseas. Without patting myself on the back too much, I am pretty proud of what I have been able to accomplish. I set a goal over 13 years ago and accomplish that goal. I really did not have any expectations coming over here. I had never been outside the country except to the Caribbean islands (that hardly counts). With all that being said lets start with France.


I spent three months in France, and learned a lot. First being how to drive a stick shift. This came in handy throughout my time overseas, although I did have one minor setback with the scrape in the garage. I learned how to say chicken real fast. That was the hardest adjustment coming into a country where they don’t really like to speak English. It was definitely nice to have a coach who was American which made the basketball scene easier. I lost a lot of weight early on in France. I think it was due to a couple of reasons, first being that we ran a TON in preseason workouts, and the second being adjusting to the food. It was usually good food but it was hard to order at restaurants and when I cooked at home it started off with just food that was easy like pasta.

I also learned that I will not be coming over so early ever again. I had a lot of friends playing in various places and none of them had to fly over till end of august or first of September. This is something I could only learn by experiencing it. The weird thing is that the league I started in was the third league in France. The competition was not that good and the league does not even have a playoff system. I am not exactly sure why I had to be here July 29th. With that being said I still had a great preseason averaging about 22 in 5 games. I am not real sure what happened once the season started. The first was I did not shoot very well in the first 2 games. I believe the second reason was that was not very happy in France. You def. play better when you like where you are. I was the only American on the team and prob. in the town. The team was young like me but many of them did not speak that well. It was just hard for me to adjust and once the talk of me leaving started surfacing it added extra stress. Once the decision was made to leave to Hungary it reenergized me a little.


I went to Hungary in October and they had not even played there first game. The team found out about me through a scout that had watch Butler play the previous year. The scout was actually good friends with Julian’s family in Slovakia. Once I started playing in Hungary I could see that the level of play was much higher. However this club was pretty unorganized and had just switched management. I was playing very well, but the club thought they were getting the Brandon Crone from Butler who was 6’6” 225 and could bang with people like Noah and Hortford. Instead they got the Brandon Crone from France who was now a legitimate 3 and maybe even a 2 man weighing about 205. I could still guard the big guys but it put me at a much higher risk of fouls. The apartment was very old and dirty with ants crawling in the bathroom. No internet was at the apartment so I spent all my time in a wireless cafĂ©. I went through many of forint (money) just buying coke so I would not get kicked out. The good thing about Hungary was the food was all taken care off which was very good food so the only money I spent while I was there was to get my bags there. I spent an extra week in a half there just trying to find out the next move. Luckily my agent had a contact in Sweden so that was the next destination for a tryout.

Part 1 Sweden

I flew into Sweden for a two day workout with a team that had already played 4 games. I was pretty nervous because while sitting in Hungary I was not playing so I was def. out of shape. To my surprise I played very well all though I was pretty winded a lot of the time. It was the same situation at this team where they needed a true 4 man. The coach had mixed feelings but luckily for me he could see I brought a lot of intangibles. We were still playing the waiting game because of Swedish tax laws and Loren was coming over so we took advantage of another week off.

Ireland & Amsterdam

Not much to reflect here except it was a great time. I would recommend Ireland to everybody. The country is beautiful, the people are very nice, and the beer is pretty good. The couple days we spent in Holland were also a great experience. It is crazy to think that at this time that I had been to 5 countries in less then a month. Here I thought I was coming to play professional basketball and it was turning out to be more of a backpacking trip across Europe (with a lot more luggage then a backpack). While I was on my little vacation I was still waiting for Sweden to decide if they wanted me, so I decided to go make a few euros in Germany on a tryout.


This was a very professional club. They paid for my train ticket as soon as I arrived. I was given a car on the second day of being there. I had to stay in a couple different hotels as they did not have an open apartment. The same situation happened in Germany where I had not played for almost 3 weeks now with the exception of the two days in Sweden. I was able to muster some energy and perform very well. This is where I found out for the 4th club in a row that they were looking for more of a 4 man. As soon as I heard that I called my agent and pleaded with him to stop selling me at the 4. He said he wasn’t that he told them I was three that could guard 4 (which is true). The coach here said he had a hard time letting me go because how good a player I was that I just did not fit into the team this year. So it was back to Sweden.

Sweden 2

I needed an experience like this to keep my spirits up about playing overseas. Like I mentioned earlier I had not expectations so I was not getting frustrated, I just really wanted to stay put somewhere and help a team win. It did not start well with us losing three in a row when I arrived. We turned it around and went from out of the playoff picture to 4th place. The competition in Sweden is good, but not one of the best in Europe. I was able to learn about the European game here though. The game is a lot faster due to the shot clock. In college you had time to run a play and then about 20 seconds of motion before the shot was going up. Here you have time to run a play and have to get a shot of that or create 1 on 1 right after. That is something that I struggled with first in France, but now feel like I have a grasp of.

I am excited to come home and try and put on a great 3 on 3 tournament, but I’m also excited to see where the next adventure will take me. I know everyone always says how fast time goes, but I think these 8 months flew by so fast, mostly due to me being in a new place about every other week. I’m going to enjoy the March madness and then it’s back to the gym to try and get better. My hamstring should be healed by then as I have been doing nothing on it, just letting it do its thing.

If anyone needs to get a hold of me while I am at home my email again is
I just found out that they are discontinuing the phone line I use on my computer so I will no longer have that number. I will update you with a new cell number when I figure it out myself!

I would also like to thank all of those who sent emails, comments, or anything else as it is nice to see that when your so far from home.

This is BC gone for now

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


great recap of your first pro season. you've had many ups and downs overseas and have always maintained a positive attitude through all of it.

have a safe trip home.

hope you recover soon from your injury and enjoy the offseason.

Big AL