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.
Byblos are one game away from reaching the Final Four, the 3rd game in the series between Byblos and Tadamon saw the home team controlling the game from the first minutes . Byblos started the game with a very big concentration to seal a win , the first quarter finished on the score of 21-17. The second quarter Byblos through the trio of Jay Youngblood , Clay Tucker and Ali Traoure managed to increased the dominance on the tempo of the game they finished the half leading 38-29.In the third... [read more]
Byblos are one game away from reaching the Final Four, the 3rd game in the series between Byblos and Tadamon saw the home team controlling the game from the first minutes . Byblos started the game with a very big concentration to seal a win , the first quarter finished on the score of 21-17. The second quarter Byblos through the trio of Jay Youngblood , Clay Tucker and Ali Traoure managed to increased the dominance on the tempo of the game they finished the half leading 38-29.In the third quarter Byblos continued from where they stopped in Q2 , they increased the tempo and managed to have a 20 points lead , the 3rd quarter finished on the score of 64-47. The last ten minutes of the game saw the same scenario of the 3rd Byblos trying to increase the lead and Tadamon trying to come back. The game finished on the score of 81-65. Jay Youngblood led all scorers with 25 points , followed by Maurice Kemp with 22 and Clay Tucker with 20.
Best Scorers : Byblos : Jay Youngblood (25) , Clay Tucker (20) , Ali Traoure (19) Tadamon : Maurice Kemp (22) , Mile Illic (16)
Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (Pepsi LBL) inked 32-year old Senegalese forward Mouhammad Faye (208-85, college: SMU). He started the season at Promitheas in Greek A1 league. In 23 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 6.1rpg and 1.1apg this season. The last season Faye played at Openjobmetis VA in Italian Serie A where in 21 games he had 9.3ppg, 7.9rpg and 1.0apg. He also played 13 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 9.5ppg, 7.0rpg and 1.2apg. In 2010 Faye was drafted by Rio Grande Valley Vipers... [read more]
Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (Pepsi LBL) inked 32-year old Senegalese forward Mouhammad Faye (208-85, college: SMU). He started the season at Promitheas in Greek A1 league. In 23 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 6.1rpg and 1.1apg this season. The last season Faye played at Openjobmetis VA in Italian Serie A where in 21 games he had 9.3ppg, 7.9rpg and 1.0apg. He also played 13 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 9.5ppg, 7.0rpg and 1.2apg. In 2010 Faye was drafted by Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League) in third round (7th overall). The former Southern Methodist University standoutis in his seventh season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Faye played in the final of D-League in 2011. He received also USBasket.com All-D-League Import Player of the Year award back in 2011. Faye was also a member of Senegalese international program for some years. He played for Senegalese Senior National Team between 2007 and 2015 and previously for U18 National Team between 2002 and 2004. Faye also represented Senegal at the Afrobasket Championships in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) four years ago. His team won Bronze and his stats at that event were 7 games: 9.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 12.5%, FT: 56.0%. Faye has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to three different continents (Europe, Africa and of course North America). Faye has played previously professionally in France (Hyeres-Toulon) and Senegal (JA Dakar and Rail). His game is described as:
True height is probably around 6-9. A lanky forward, with great wingspan, good ball handling skills and long range shooting ability. He's very active on the court, loves to attack the basket, can grab lots of rebounds. Very active in defense. Can play in the two forward positions, but his future is at the SF, thanks to his good perimetral skills.
Recap of Pepsi LBL Round 2 of Quarter-Finals - 3 days ago
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Sagesse - Al Riyadi 81-78 Sagesse held off Al Riyadi to even the series at 1-1. Al Riyadi was trailing by 8 points at halftime but managed to get 2-point lead after three quarters before a 29-24 charge of Sagesse, which allowed them to win the game. The best player for the winners was American-Ukrainian guard Steven Burtt (189-84, college: Iona) who scored 34 points (!!!) and 5 assists. American forward Calvin Godfrey (206-90, college: Memphis) chipped in a double-double by scoring 17 po... [read more]
Sagesse held off Al Riyadi to even the series at 1-1. Al Riyadi was trailing by 8 points at halftime but managed to get 2-point lead after three quarters before a 29-24 charge of Sagesse, which allowed them to win the game. The best player for the winners was American-Ukrainian guard Steven Burtt (189-84, college: Iona) who scored 34 points (!!!) and 5 assists. American forward Calvin Godfrey (206-90, college: Memphis) chipped in a double-double by scoring 17 points and 18 rebounds. Nigerian power forward Alade Aminu (210-87, college: Georgia Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) produced 19 points and 7 rebounds and Dominican-American point guard Edgar Sosa (190-88, college: Louisville) added 12 points and 10 assists respectively for the guests. Four Sagesse and five Al Riyadi players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Sagesse: S.Burtt 34+3reb+5ast, C.Godfrey 17+18reb, B.Ammoury 11+6reb+4ast, P.Bou Abboud 11+7reb, C.Raines 5+4reb+1ast, M.Ibrahim 3+7reb+9ast Al Riyadi: A.Aminu 19+7reb+2ast, A.Saoud 18+1ast, O.Johnson 13+7reb, E.Sosa 12+2reb+10ast, M.Haidar 11+10reb+2ast, A.Ismail 3+1reb+2ast
Tadamon beat Byblos to tie things up at 1-1 in the series. Tadamon knocked down Byblos Byblos were ahead by 2 points after three quarters before a 26-16 charge of Tadamon, which allowed them to win the game. They outrebounded Byblos 48-30 including a 36-19 advantage in defensive rebounds. It was a great shooting night for Tadamon especially from behind the arc, where they had solid 57.1 percentage. American guard Courtney Pigram (185-85, college: E.Tenn.St.) orchestrated the victory by scoring 23 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. The other American import forward Maurice Kemp (203-91, college: E.Carolina, agency: Duran International) contributed with 23 points and 7 rebounds for the winners. Four Tadamon players scored in double figures. American guard Clay Tucker (196-80, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee) replied with 21 points and 7 assists and the former international Jasmon Youngblood (195-84, college: Kent St.) added 27 points in the effort for Byblos. Top scorers: Tadamon: M.Kemp 23+7reb+2ast, C.Pigram 23+9reb+6ast, M.Ilic 10+18reb+2ast, J.Khalil 10+2reb+3ast, G.Hadidian 7+3reb, R.Fahed 6+2reb+3ast Byblos: J.Youngblood 27+3reb, C.Tucker 21+3reb+7ast, A.Traore 16+8reb+2ast, A.Kanaan 8+7reb+1ast, A.Mahmoud 5+4reb+4ast, R.Akl 3+2reb+2ast
Homenetmen outgunned Champville for 2-0 lead. The guests trailed by 2 points after three quarters before their 31-22 charge, which allowed them to win the game. Homenetmen dominated down low during the game scoring 64 of its points in the paint compared to Champville's 42. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Homenetmen made 7 blocks. The former international swingman Fadi El-Khatib (198-79) scored 33 points (!!!) to lead the charge for the winners and American-Iraqi point guard Kevin Galloway (200-88, college: Texas Southern) chipped in 19 points and 10 assists during the contest. Homenetmen's coach Joe Nebhan used a ten-player rotation which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. American forward Daniel Orton (208-90, college: Kentucky) responded with a double-double by scoring 19 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists and his fellow American import point guard Patrick Rembert (185-89, college: Cal-Irvine) scored 21 points and 6 assists (was perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line). Four Homenetmen and five Champville players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Homenetmen: F.El Khatib 33+4reb+1ast, K.Galloway 19+2reb+10ast, A.Majok 13+9reb+1ast, D.Jackson 11+9reb+4ast, N.Souaid 4+2reb+1ast, N.Hawi 4+4reb Champville: P.Rembert 21+3reb+6ast, D.Orton 19+10reb+5ast, B.Thomas 12+3reb+1ast, A.Farhat 11+4reb+2ast, B.Bawji 10+15reb+2ast, J.Assi 5+4reb
Louaize rallied past Moutahed for the first win. International guard Geron Johnson (190-92, college: Memphis) notched 22 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists to lead the effort and American forward Alandise Harris (198-90, college: Arkansas, agency: Diamond Sports) supported him with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Four Louaize players scored in double figures. Even a double-double of 27 points and 14 rebounds by American forward Cleveland Melvin (203-91, college: De Paul) did not help to save the game for Al Moutahed. His fellow American import guard Ramel Curry (191-80, college: CSU Bakersfield) added 14 points and 7 assists for the guests. Top scorers: Louaize: G.Johnson 22+5reb+9ast, A.Harris 18+6reb+1ast, E.Stephan 18+1reb, W.Lewis 12+8reb, M.Martinez 4+2reb+4ast, J.Salem 3+6reb+1ast Moutahed: C.Melvin 27+14reb+3ast, D.Spencer 17+4reb+2ast, R.Curry 14+2reb+7ast, C.Tabet 9+10reb+1ast, E.Rustom 4+4reb+2ast, M.Ziadeh 2+2reb
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