Brian Beshara, a smooth transition to coaching - Apr 12, 2012
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Brian Beshara-Feghali (204-F-77, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: LSU), a name that hasn't been on the Lebanese basketball table for quite some time since he was pushed out of Sagesse in very strange conditions in 2010 while playing for free. Since then the former National Team Player (34 years), who scored 26 points in the 2004 Final win of Sagesse in the Asian Clubs Championships, has started a major shift in his career, preparing in the NCAA for a coaching future, while keeping in the possibilities a return to play in the Lebanese League in the right conditions.
Q- Hello Brian, its been well over a year and a half since you left Lebanon. What have you been doing?
A- Well I was offered an assistant coaching position at the University of New Orleans last year and I have always been interested in coaching so I decided to get my coaching career started. Our Head Coach moved to the University of Arizona, which is one of the very best colleges in the NCAA and I got a chance to move up a level also and go to Tulane University as their director of Player Development and Video. We just finished our first season last month and are busy as the host school for the Final Four which is going on this weekend in New Orleans as Im sure you know...so all in all it's been a fun great experience the last couple of seasons.
Q- What did you benefit from the College coaching experience?
A- The experience has been unbelievable...from reconnecting with all of my friend and contact in the NCAA and NBA basketball over here to the actual day to day experience of learning from some of the very best in the business. My head coach last year worked under Bob Knight at Indiana who is a Hall of Fame coach and coaching legend here in America and this year was another great experience watching and learning from our coach who had been an assistant at North Carolina St and Tennessee previously. It's really allowed me to evolve from the player I always was to start becoming the coach I think I am meant to be. Technically speaking, I have been consumed with the strategic side of the game and spent 1000's of hours watching and dissecting other teams and players so I just have an even deeper comfort level with the game to compliment my experiences and feel for the game I had as a player.
Q- Have you been practicing or playing any kind of basketball?
A- I have played in friendly leagues and pickup games just for fun and to stay in shape but coaching has been my priority and coaching here really dominates your time if you want to do it well. I still beat our players in shooting games and short games of 1 on 1 though from time to time just to not let them get too satisfied with themselves haha...
Q- Are you still following the Lebanese basketball news and teams?
A- I am actually...my experience playing in Lebanon was a real blessing and I will always follow how things go over there. It looks like things have not changed too much at the top of the league with Riyadi and Champville still apart from the rest but it's nice to see the some new teams show some ambition and positive results this year...it would be great to see Sagesse and Moutahed get back to where they have been in the past and where I was fortunate to be a part of some very good teams.
Q- How do you think can Lebanese basketball improve in the short term
A- In the short term I would just say to focus on the best interests of the game and only the game. No individual or group or team is more important than the game and I think some short sightedness and maybe greed has caused basketball to fall from where it was during the late 90's and early 2000's. We need to have an abundance mentality rather than a scarcity or zero-sum mentality...there is enough success to go around for everyone and the better and more marketable basketball becomes in general the better it will be for everyone.
I think it's a shame to be honest to see what happened with the national team for instance. As everyone knows, we almost beat China in my last time playing for Lebanon and I had not injured my knee severely in the beginning of the tournament we would have had a great great chance to win the whole tournament. We really had some high level talent playing together and the entire core of the team Jackson, Matt, Jean, Fadi, Ali, myself and others were all still capable of playing at a high level along with some nice young developing talent to draw from. We were on the verge of becoming dominant in Asian basketball if we had stayed the course and put the game of basketball before any other issue. Now nobody is afraid of Lebanese Basketball unfortunately
On the bright side I do see some positive things happening with the local league so I hope this can continue while we suffer through a difficult time on the National Team side. Basketball in Lebanon has an incredible potential and I hope it realizes this potential locally and on the world level.
Q- Any chances of seeing you again as a Player in Lebanon?
A- I would never say never...ive only just turned 34 and my body has been able to stay fresh from not playing 60-80 games a year for the past few years. But that said, my last year there was difficult after passing up a big contract to try and help Sagesse through the issues they were and still seem to be going through so it would just have to feel like a really good situation with a management that had the resources, ambition, and professional mentality to be champions. I dont feel like I have anything left to prove as a player but the challenge of helping to build a champion is definitely the next focus of my career wherever I am...as a player or a coach.
Q- What are you future plans for this coming season?
A- Right now, I really enjoy my situation at Tulane but this is the time of year a lot of movement happens in college basketball...pretty much every coach in the country is in New Orleans for the final four so I am looking forward to touching base with all of my friends in the business and seeing what everyone is up to and if any other interesting opportunities open up here at Tulane or maybe somewhere else.
Q- Any wish list you might have for yourself basketball wise?
A- Well I am looking forward to being a head coach one day as soon as possible...the last two years have given me confidence that I am ready to take this challenge. Im also definitely looking forward to coming back to Lebanon soon for vacation or professionally...either one is fine with me as long as I get to visit soon!
Tadamon Zouk (Pepsi LBL) added to their roster 33-year old Serbian ex-international center Mile Ilic (215-104kg-84). He is a dual citizen owning also Bosnia and Herzegovina passport. Ilic He started the season at Nuwaidrat in Bahrain Premier League. Ilic helped them to make it to the cup final. The last season he played at Lietkabelis in Lithuanian LKL where in 33 games he had 9.1ppg, 4.0rpg and 1.2apg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Lithuani... [read more]
Tadamon Zouk (Pepsi LBL) added to their roster 33-year old Serbian ex-international center Mile Ilic (215-104kg-84). He is a dual citizen owning also Bosnia and Herzegovina passport. Ilic He started the season at Nuwaidrat in Bahrain Premier League. Ilic helped them to make it to the cup final. The last season he played at Lietkabelis in Lithuanian LKL where in 33 games he had 9.1ppg, 4.0rpg and 1.2apg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Lithuanian LKL Honorable Mention. Ilic also played 17 games in Baltic League where he recorded 10.8ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.2apg and 1.1bpg. He contributed to his team making it to the semifinals. Great season indeed as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Baltic League 2nd Team. Ilic also spent pre-season at Monaco (ProA) in French league earlier that year. In 2005 he was drafted by New Jersey Nets (NBA) in second round (43rd overall). Ilic played in the final of Serbian League in 2012. He was a member of Serbian Senior National Team back in 2012. Ilic is quite experienced player. His career allowed him to visit three different continents, while he played in seven different countries. Ilic tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia and of course North America. He has played previously professionally in Georgia (MIA), Iran (Mahram), Italy, Russia (Lokomotiv), Spain (Sevilla and RETAbet Bilbao Basket), NBA (Brooklyn Nets) and Serbia (Metalac, Vojvodina, Crvena Zvezda and FMP II Beograd).
Donald Cole (ex Al Ain) agreed terms with Hoops - 3 days ago
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Hoops Club (Pepsi LBL) inked experienced 36-year old American forward Donald Cole (203-81, college: Sam Houston State). He played most recently at Al Ain in UAE D1 league. In 26 games he recorded very impressive stats: 28.7ppg, 11.3rpg and 3.4apg last season. Among other achievements Cole's team made it to the Kuwait Federation Cup final in 2013. He received also Eurobasket.com Balkan League All-Imports Team award back in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Cole is a very experienced player. He has quit... [read more]
Hoops Club (Pepsi LBL) inked experienced 36-year old American forward Donald Cole (203-81, college: Sam Houston State). He played most recently at Al Ain in UAE D1 league. In 26 games he recorded very impressive stats: 28.7ppg, 11.3rpg and 3.4apg last season. Among other achievements Cole's team made it to the Kuwait Federation Cup final in 2013. He received also Eurobasket.com Balkan League All-Imports Team award back in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Cole is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to thirteen different countries on four different continents (Europe, Asia, Latin America and of course North America). Cole has played previously professionally in Bulgaria (Levski), France, Hungary (Zalakeramia-ZTE KK and Atomeromu), Luxembourg (Musel Pikes), Oman (Al Nizwa), Poland, Saudi Arabia (Al Ittihad), United Kingdom (Glasgow Rocks), Venezuela (Gaiteros), Entertainment team (Harlem Globetrotters), FYR Macedonia (Feni Industries), Lebanon (Sagesse) and Kuwait (Kazma). He is close to retirement age as a player. It may be one of last seasons in his extensive career, which he may end at Hoops. Cole attended Sam Houston State until 2003 and it will be his 14th (!!!) season in pro basketball. His game is described as:
Donald is a left handed triple threat offensively in the paint. He can score with his back to the bucket - face up and shoot - face up and drive with strong finish. Has a deadly mid range shot including off the dribble. He thrives in a fast paced tempo and runs the flor fast in transition. Great footwork offensively and defensively. Aggressive rebounder. Plays the Pick and Roll and Pick and Pop and can shoot the 3 point shot. Great character on and off the court.
Lebanese Pepsi LBL round 17 best performance: Geron Johnson - 3 days ago
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Naturalized American Guard Geron Johnson (190-G-92) put on an amazing game in the last round for Louaize, receiving a Usbasket.com Player of the Week award for round 17. The 24-year old player was the main contributor (35 points, five rebounds and nine assists) to as his team Louaize maintains the 5th position in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Louaize will need to avoid more loses keep or improve their 10-8 record.... [read more]
Naturalized American Guard Geron Johnson (190-G-92) put on an amazing game in the last round for Louaize, receiving a Usbasket.com Player of the Week award for round 17. The 24-year old player was the main contributor (35 points, five rebounds and nine assists) to as his team Louaize maintains the 5th position in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Louaize will need to avoid more loses keep or improve their 10-8 record. Johnson turned to be Louaize's top player in his first season with the team. Former University of Memphis star has very solid stats this year. Johnson is in league's top in points (3rd best: 24.8ppg), assists (5th best: 6.6apg) and averages impressive 1.1bpg,2.6spg and 51.5% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 32-year old Nigerian Michael Efevberha (193-G-84) of Sagesse. Efevberha had a very good evening with 33 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. It was enough for Sagesse to edge the higher-ranked Moutahed (#4, 10-8) 77-76. This victory allowed Sagesse to move up to 7th position in the standings. His team is not often considered as one of the league's best with a mere 6-11 record. Efevberha is one of the most experienced players at Sagesse and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 24.1ppg (#5). His other stats are also decent: 8.3rpg and 5.3apg.
Third on the list of top players last round was American center Robert Upshaw (213-C-94) of Mayrouba (#10). Upshaw scored 22 points and grabbed eighteen rebounds (!!!). Despite Upshaw's great performance Mayrouba lost 80-85 to slightly higher-ranked Tadamon (#8, 6-11). But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates. Mayrouba can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have extremely bad season and 3-15 record places them at the very bottom of the standings. Too bad for Upshaw he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. Upshaw has individually a great season in Lebanon. After 17 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in rebounds with 12.1rpg (5th best). He also has 3.8bpg and FGP: 52.4%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Maurice Kemp (203-F-91) of Tadamon - 32 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists 5. Calvin Godfrey (206-F-90) of Sagesse - 28 points and 6 rebounds 6. Clay Tucker (196-G-80) of Byblos - 26 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists 7. Ali Traore (207-C/F-85) of Byblos - 21 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists 8. Ramel Curry (191-G-80) of Moutahed - 27 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists 9. Emmanuel Jones (200-F-85) of Mayrouba - 24 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists 10. Darian Townes (208-F/C-84) of Champville - 11 points, 19 rebounds and 4 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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