Basketball alumni join fellow Pirates overseas
Former Seton Hall basketball standout Jeremy Hazell put pen to paper on a two-year contract with Lucentum Alicante of the prestigious Liga ACB in Spain this past week in a deal that contains an NBA option should he choose to pursue an NBA career after the league’s current lockout is over.
Hazell, who is third on Seton Hall’s all-time scoring list and sits atop the all-time leaders in three pointers made and attempted, is the most recent former Seton Hall player to ink a European deal, but is the second in his graduating class to do so.
Jeff Robinson, the only Pirate to start all 31 games last season, signed a deal with BSC Raiffeisen Furstenfield of the Austrian A-League in late August.
Robinson is the second player from Seton Hall to play with the Austrian team. Stan Gaines, who graduated in 2007, had a stint with Furstenfield in 2008.
The summer proved to be a busy one for Pirate alumni as Paul Gause and Andre Barrett, two former Pirate point guards, both signed overseas contracts in England and France respectively.
Gause, a Pittsville, N.J. native who led the Big East in steals per game during the 2006-07 season, signed a deal with the Newcastle Eagles of the British Basketball League.
The Eagles play their home games in Newcastle upon Tyne, England and are widely regarded as one of the best basketball teams in the United Kingdom, having won the league four times since their inception in 1996.
Gause played his 2010 season with USC Freiburg, a German team in the Bundesliga 2, the second tier of German basketball. He averaged 15.9 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 3.8 assists per game, and 2.8 steals per game in 28 games as the starting point guard.
According to Gause, the style of European basketball is definitely different than the brand played here in the United States, both in college and professionally.
“Their style of play has more passing and cutting without the ball,” Gause said. “The physicality is different too. There’s much more finesse in Europe.”
With the NBA lockout, players coming out of college are being forced to consider their options abroad. Hazell and Robinson are just two of the many recently graduated players who have found a home overseas.
Former Duke star Kyle Singler also signed with Alicante and will play alongside Hazell in Spain.
Despite the NBA lockout which will delay the start of the 2011 NBA season and could possibly prohibit it from happening altogether, Hazell stands firm that he will play once the NBA does resume.
“I’m going to try and spend a year overseas,” Hazell said in an interview with SNY.tv. “Do what I’ve got to do and get my stats up, then come back next year and try to find a team.”
The list of other former Big East stars playing their professional basketball across the water most notably includes Rick Jackson (Syracuse), Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame), Dwight Hardy (St. John’s), and Gilbert Brown (Pittsburgh).
John Lopiano can be reached at email@example.com