When Jon Scheyer finished his career at Duke back in 2010, many had predicted he might end up playing in Israel thanks to his Jewish heritage. Well, after a long, tough year Scheyer is indeed headed to the State of Israel to play some hoops.
Scheyer will be taking his talents to Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.
For those of you not up-to-date on their Israeli basketball, Maccabi T-A is sort of the godfather of Israeli basketball. They’re the current two-time champ of the Israeli cup. This past season, they went 26-1, beating Galil Gilboa 91-64 in the title game.
Of course this is nothing new for Israeli’s greatest achievement outside of Bar Refaeli.
Maccabi T-A has won 48 Israeli Championships (including a run of 23 titles in a row between 1970-1992). They’ve also won 37 State Cups and 5 European Cups.
Note: Before you say, damn Big Duke Balls, you sure know your Euro/Israeli basketball…I had to look all this crap up.
What I do know is that it has been a tough year for the man who led Duke back to the promise land just over a year ago.
Despite being a solid shooter, a smart ball-handler and a tough competitor, his lack of athleticism was hurting his draft stock. Then, whatever stock he did have, sank when he came down with mononucleosis. He was not drafted.
He did get a shot in the Miami Heat’s summer league. Duke fans knew it was only a matter of time before he joined in as the “Big Four” (kidding).
However, he suffered a devastating eye injury that tore his retina (yummy), which needed to be reattached surgically. The last time I checked that wasn’t a good way to start one’s basketball career.
Later Scheyer would bounce around from the L.A. Clippers summer league to the Houston Rockets D-League. Once with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers though, Scheyer slowly found some of his old spark. In eight games, he averaged 11 points, four assists and four rebounds per game. Not bad, although his shooting percentages were well below his college average (.372 from the field, .340 from three, and shockingly .765 from the FT line).
Now can Jon Scheyer turn this trip to Israel into a NBA career? Obviously time will tell.
It’s been done before, although most players start in the NBA and then eventually end up overseas. The biggest name to finish his career at Maccabi T-A would probably be Tom Chambers, who played most notably with the Seattle Supersonics and the Phoenix Suns.
Will Solomon, remember him from Clemson? He played some ball at Maccabi T-A then left to go play for the Toronto Raptors in 2008.
For Scheyer, the first thing he needs to do is stay healthy. Next he needs to get some playing time. To get that, he’s going to need to beat out this guy.