Corey Williams: we can surprise a lot of teams and Sagesse would only lose to Sagesse - Dec 15, 2012
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One of the top guards to play in Lebanon and the middle east in the past couple of years, Corey Williams had the following to the Lebanese basketball fans:
1- What's the difference between playing for Byblos and Bejjeh? First I'd like to begin by saying thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. So far, the biggest difference between playing for Byblos and Bejje is Byblos was a temporary contract (injury replacement), while here at Bejje is guaranteed for the whole season.
2- Bejjeh has a limited budget and while starting late compared to other teams you were able to mark a good start specially with the great win over Byblos what is the reason for that good start? Every team began their pre-season a couple months in advance. We began 10 days prior to the season tip-off, so in reality the beginning of our regular season is basically preseason for us. Were still learning each other. For us, Byblos on our home court was a must win for us. We were very upset losing vs Antranik. The next team we played (Byblos) our team felt we needed this win badly. No one likes to lose and we were losing to the toughest teams in the league. Our team gave a great effort, as a result we got our 1st win against my former team lol.
3- Where do you rank the lebanese league compared to other leagues you played in? The Lebanese league is very strong but unpredictable this year. One team could possibly go undefeated this year, an that club is Sagesse. Sagesse is a very good club. outside of them and Riyadi, the league is wide open, on any given day anyone can beat anyone. Im happy to be playing here for Bejje, the underdog exactly like myself. And Byblos won't be our only suprise win this year.
4- what does Bejjeh need to be able to compete for a top 5 spot this season? Our primary focus right now is to make top 8. From there, we assess the top 8 teams and see which team we need to beat to get top 6, so on and so forth. We know we aren't the strongest team and assembled late, however we will get it together and begin to gel sooner than later, once that happens WATCH OUT...
5- Player you enjoyed playing next to in these couple of seasons you had in lebanon? I enjoyed playing actually with my whole team last season in Byblos. I thanked my good friend Chudney Gray for telling coach Joe to have me replace him. He and I both are from the Bronx NY and played High School Basketball together at legendary Rice High School in Harlem. The NBA lockout slowed me up from heading to Europe. I emailed to tell him happy holidays and he reached out to me to see if I was available because he hurt his ankle. That's how i got to Byblos.
6- Player from the league this year or last year you would like to play next to? One Lebanese player I like to play with is Fadi El Khatib. Simply because not only is he an Elite player here, he has big game experience, plus he attracts soo much attention on the court, double teams, and sometimes triple teams. Imagine being on the other wing when he skip passes it, Id have a field day on the other wing (laughing).
7- You can play both the Point Guard and the Shooting Guard positions Which one do you prefer the most? I love playing point guard!! I love to create for others as well as myself. It's just certain teams I play for, scoring is needed more by your import players an that's what I have to do. Now even though my nickname is "Homicide" on the NYC street ball circuit and I usually don't pass when I'm playing street ball in the summer time, I do like to pass. If you look at last years stats with Byblos, my 7 games I avg. 7apg (1st in league) #Passer.
8- Top 2 teams so far in the league? Top 2 teams are Sagesse and Sagese! Yes that's what I said Sagesse will only lose if they play against themselves.
9- Name one thing you like about Lebanon and one thing you don't. Lebanon is intriguing to me, for the simple fact that it's in the Middle East. As an American, when you tell people your playing in the middle east they say things like "your crazy" "don't get blown up" "it's a war zone" etc. (as if i'm not from the Bronx NY). I have an opportunity to come here to see with my own eyes and learn from my own experiences, not from the political propaganda that american television would only show you. So far it has been very good. I've met new friends and shared new fun experiences already. It's been nothing but a positive experience for me. Over christmas break we will only have a few days off so I am planning on going to Dubai with friends and see what new experiences the U.A.E. has to offer.
10- You are in a late stage of your career with almost 13 years of pro basketball, what keeps you motivated to go out every night and play with the energy of a 20 years old player who wants to prove himself although your big profile can do all the talking about you? I'm living a fantasy life doing what I absololutely love to do. I play with a chip on my shoulder. I play as if I have something to prove everytime I step on the court, it's because I do. I gotta let you know I belong here! I love this game. I adore this game and I wont disrespect it. I only know how to play this game one way. I go all out. 100 percent!! I don't take drugs, I take vitamins. I work out and take care of my body. I pray and do what I can to ensure that I stay healthy. I stretch, ice and rest. I play as if my life depends on it....#Blueprint
11- Any words to Lebanese Basketball fans and specially Bejjeh fans? Bejjeh continue to support your team and we will continue to play hard for you. Thank you for the opportunity to play for your club.. Yalla.
Corey is in a NYC BASKETBALL Film/Documentary called DOIN IT IN THE PARK... For more info Watch the trailor here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73BJlPn7W4c
And he also has a sneaker endorsement deal with ABOVE THE RIM, with Martell Webster and Detroit Pistons Will Bynum. Check the commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQIvnOStLUk
Corey Williams (191-G-77, college: Alabama St.)
Lebanon getting ready for WABA Championship - 5 hours ago
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182-PG-94) filling in for Rodrigue Akl(187-PG-88), the Lebanese Basketball National Team is all set to conquer WABA 2017. From January 29th and until February 2nd, six national teams will compete for gold in Jordan at Club Fuheis. Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria and Iran. Back in 2015, our team emerged as WABA Champions. Let's hope they can repeat it once more this year. The draw for the tournament will be held on February 28th, at 6:00 P.M Beirut time. It is also... [read more]
With Ali Mezher (182-PG-94) filling in for Rodrigue Akl (187-PG-88), the Lebanese Basketball National Team is all set to conquer WABA 2017. From January 29th and until February 2nd, six national teams will compete for gold in Jordan at Club Fuheis. Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria and Iran. Back in 2015, our team emerged as WABA Champions. Let's hope they can repeat it once more this year. The draw for the tournament will be held on February 28th, at 6:00 P.M Beirut time. It is also worth noting that Yemen is the only missing team from West Asia. Courtesy of: sports-961.com
Banijas Abu Dhabi (D1) strengthened their roster with addition of 30-year old American (has also Nigerian passport) forward Alex Okafor (202-102kg-87, college: Princeton). He played last season at Louaize in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. In 26 games he recorded very impressive stats: 17.0ppg, 8.2rpg and 2.6apg. The previous (14-15) season Okafor played at Vendee Challans in French NM1 where in 16 games he averaged 10.5ppg, 4.3rpg and 1.1apg. He was voted Defensive Player of the Year back in 2011 at... [read more]
Banijas Abu Dhabi (D1) strengthened their roster with addition of 30-year old American (has also Nigerian passport) forward Alex Okafor (202-102kg-87, college: Princeton). He played last season at Louaize in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. In 26 games he recorded very impressive stats: 17.0ppg, 8.2rpg and 2.6apg. The previous (14-15) season Okafor played at Vendee Challans in French NM1 where in 16 games he averaged 10.5ppg, 4.3rpg and 1.1apg. He was voted Defensive Player of the Year back in 2011 at his college time. Okafor is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Luxembourg (Basket Esch), France (Union Rennes), Germany (Wuerzburg) and ABA (Bay Area M.). Okafor attended Princeton University until 2012 and it will be his fifth season as a professional player. The scouts decsribe him following way:
Okafor is an extremely versatile player capable of playing multiple positions.
His unique skill set and his combination of size, strength, length and athleticism makes for a tough matchup on offense and allows him to wreak havoc on the defensive end.
Okafor is a down hill player who is fond of attacking the rim and putting pressure on the defense. His aggressive style often results in him taking regular trips to the foul line.
Alex is capable of attacking from the wings and top of the key or posting up/ turning and facing from the low block short corner areas. Okafor's unique abilities, particularly his advanced ball handling skills and explosive first step, allow him to create for himself and others. Okafor has also proven himself as a reliable ball handler often advancing the ball off the board, pushing the ball on the break and/or relieving lead guards of management duties.
Alex possesses equal dexterity with both hands, and his repertoire includes a full assortment of floaters, hooks, and pull-ups, stepbacks among other finishes. Because he is equally capable of handling, passing and finishing with either hand he presents a difficult matchup for the opposition. Moreover, his vision and willingness to share allows him to deliver balls to open teammates on time and on target.
Most recently he has developed a stronger back to the basket game to compliment his natural face up and attack game from the perimeter. He has complimented his attacking style with a much improved shooting touch particularly in the midrange and has also evolved as a viable threat from deep.
Not to mention, he is tenacious rebounder with an explosive second jump. Along the same lines he does not shy away from contact and embraces the chance to mix it up with other physical players.
As a professional, Alex is held in high regard by all his past coaches and teammates because of his tenacity, respectful nature, devotion to team above all else and his unwavering commitment to improving.
Okafor sometimes over-thinks the game instead of relying on instinct. Because of his insistence on making the correct read Okafor may sometime wait before attacking, which can disrupt the flow of offense. He continues to improve upon this.
Okafor is still working to be a consistent deep ball threat yet, where has greatly improved over the last year. As he continues to evolve Alex has become more confident and more decisive when putting his many skills to use.
Tadamon Zouk (Pepsi LBL) signed 25-year old American (has also Dominican passport) power forward M.J. Rhett (206-107kg-92, college: Mississippi). He started the season at Sigal Prishtina in Kosovan SuperLeague. Rhett managed to play in three leagues this year [read more]
Tadamon Zouk (Pepsi LBL) signed 25-year old American (has also Dominican passport) power forward M.J. Rhett (206-107kg-92, college: Mississippi). He started the season at Sigal Prishtina in Kosovan SuperLeague and chose the option to execute a buyout from his contract at Sigal Prishtina. Rhett managed to play in three leagues this year. In 10 SuperLeague games he had 14.9ppg, 9.6rpg, 1.8apg and 1.0spg. Rhett also played 6 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 14.5ppg, 7.0rpg and 1.5apg. And finally he contributed to 6 games in Balkan League where he averaged impressive 17.0ppg, 9.7rpg and 1.8apg. He attended University of Mississippi until 2015 and it is his second season as a professional player.
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