Laws glad to be in Brazil (Basketball)

August 6, 2011
Andre Laws

With his stock rising in Latin America, Andre Laws decided to cash in.

The 30-year-old professional basketball player from Anchorage tested the free agent market this summer and struck gold after a bidding war ensued between two teams in Brazil. He ultimately signed a contract with Sao Jose dos Campos.

“The deal came very quickly,” Laws told me. “There were rumors spreading about me signing with another powerhouse team in Brazil called Flamengo, and when word caught on about them this situation with Sao Jose picked up fairly quickly.”

Laws, of East High fame, will join a Sao Jose squad that last season finished eighth out of 15 teams in the country’s top league.

Last season in Argentina the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 12.2 points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals in 46 games for Olimpico de La Banda.

Since turning pro in 2003, Laws has made stops in Argentina, Mexico, Jordan, Bosnia and Israel. But he’s thrived most in Latin America, where he made all-star teams, won MVP honors and claimed the only title of his high school, college and pro career.

The best stretch of his career has come recently in Argentina’s Liga A, where he has been an all-star in each of his three seasons. Before Olimpico de La Banda he played for Atenas Cordoba, where he won a league championship in 2009 and reached the league finals in 2010.

“I spent three wonderful seasons there and really enjoyed myself off the court,” Laws said. “I wasn’t necessarily looking to leave Argentina, but my agent and I were very specific on which teams we would be targeting. I’m at a point in my career where I want to be with a team that has a chance to contend for a championship.”

He wanted to stay in South America.

“I’ve built a name for myself,” he said. “I’m accustomed to the language, the culture and food, so those are things that always are taken into consideration. With each situation I go into, I talk to a lot of players who have been down that path. The feedback on the league, situation and lifestyle in Brazil was very appealing to me.”

His new home in Sao Jose is a city of about 1 million people. Of course soccer is the first love, but basketball is gaining popularity.

“I know they have extremely passionate fans,” Laws said. “It should be an exciting year.”