Bullock proud American in Norway (Basketball)

February 14, 2011

Peter Bullock

After winning two league championships in six seasons and establishing himself as a perennial 20/10 threat, Peter Bullock of Anchorage was paid the ultimate compliment by the Norwegian basketball federation.

They wanted him to jump ship.

“I was contacted about changing citizenship and joining their national team,” Bullock told me. “But I’m proud to be an American and kindly declined the offer.”

It’s actually pretty common for foreign players to switch countries, but Bullock wasn’t having it.

He loves where he’s from and the people that call Alaska home. In fact, he plans to travel to Oslo later this month to cheer on fellow East High alum Kikkan Randall at a World Cup ski race.

Indeed, Bullock is soaking up life as a Norwegian. No wonder they consider him one of their own.

The 6-foot-6 all-star forward has carved out quite the reputation in the country’s first division, piling up monster numbers and capturing national titles. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t really recruited out of high school.

After a record-breaking career at UAA in which he broke the all-time scoring mark, Bullock began his professional career in Australia. Two years later he ended up in Norway and hasn’t looked back. He lives in Bergen, the second largest city in the country and about the same size as Anchorage.

“It is pretty normal for me being here,” he said. “The weather here is similar to Seattle with them being sister cities.”

On the court, the 28-year-old is a MVP candidate for two-time champion Gimble. He currently leads the league in rebounding (12.6) while ranking fifth in scoring (22.3), fourth in assists (4.4), second in steals (2.5) and fifth in blocked shots (1.0).

“I have always been a tough competitor and with the wisdom that age provides to the game of basketball I feel that I have been able to become a much more complete player in terms of taking advantage of my strengths,” Bullock said.

Problem is he’s the only bright spot on a rebuilding team that has lost 12 of 16 games. Management gutted the veteran squad that finished second last season and replaced them with younger Norwegian stars.

As a result, winning has taken a back seat.

“I take pride in being able to help develop the younger players in hopes of having this season be a major benefit for my club both now and in the future,” Bullock said.

He is also a full-time Masters student at Norway’s top economics school, so he juggles his time between the court and the classroom. Just like old times.

Speaking of UAA, Bullock still follows the progress of his alma mater as the Seawolves march to another NCAA bid.

“I know everything about everyone who passes through the program,” said Bullock, who graduated in 2004. “I am so proud of Coach Rusty and the rest of the coaching staff along with all the great players that wear the Seawolf jersey. This season has been great and there is no reason we shouldn’t go far into the tournament again as we have done in the recent past.”