Alaskans tip off in Euroleague (Basketball)
The NBA season is still two weeks from starting, but the European equivalent tips off tomorrow.
That means Alaskans Doron Perkins, Trajan Langdon and Brad Oleson will be back in action.
All three players are veterans of the international game and have found success beyond the NBA, flourishing overseas and enjoying the luxury of a professional athlete.
Perkins and his Israeli team, Maccabi Electra, take part in the first Euroleague game Thursday.
On Oct. 21, Langdon’s Russian squad, CSKA Moscow, hits the court. The next day Oleson’s Spanish club, Caja Laboral, plays.
Here is a breakdown of each player:
Name: Doron Perkins
Birthday: May 6, 1983
College: Santa Clara
Team: Maccabi Electra
Pro experience: 5th year
Last season: Playing for Maccabi Haifi, he averaged 17 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 24 Euroleague games.
Fun Fact: Just three years after junior college, Perkins was named MVP of the Japanese League. It kicked off a terrific pro career that saw him earn the title King of the Assists and King of the Steals in Belgium before moving to Israel.
Name: Trajan Langdon
Birthday: May 13, 1976
Team: CSKA Moscow
Pro experience: 11th year
Last season: Playing for CSKA Moscow, he bagged 10.4 points and shot 43 percent from 3-point land in 28 Euroleague games. He has averaged double figures in all seven of his seasons overseas.
Fun Fact: As an NCAA All-American, NBA lottery pick and Euroleague Finals MVP, Langdon is one of the top two most decorated basketball players from Alaska (Carlos Boozer being the other). What’s more, he was drafted professionally in two sports – baseball (San Diego Padres) and basketball (Cleveland Cavaliers) and owns the Anchorage retail store, Lace ‘Em Up.
Name: Brad Oleson
Birthday: April 11, 1983
Hometown: North Pole
College: Alaska Fairbanks
Team: Caja Laboral
Pro experience: 5th year
Last season: Playing for Fuenlabrada in Spain, he collected 18.1 points and 2.5 assists in 32 ACB games. He was named the league’s first division MVP in February and won the Rising Star Award, the same honor once bestowed to Ricky Rubio.
Fun Fact: After he put UAF basketball on the map by leading the Division II Nanooks to their historic title in the Top of the World tournament, Oleson went on to win a USBL championship with the Dodge City Legend. His hometown declared April 24 “Brad Oleson Day.”
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