Welcome to the fourteenth edition of the International Basketball League's weekly newsletter for our 9th season!
The IBL This Week
2013 Season

Check out an NBA D-League game

Chehales Tapscott, NBA D-League Maine Red Claws


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IBL Instagram News Feed


Hosh Tarver, Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Bryson MacKenzie at the D-League Showcase

Blake Poole, Bellingham Slam: IBL Championship MVP

Evan Matteson, Bellingham Slam

Kenta Nakashima

Garrett Sim with the Portland Trailblazers this summer in Vegas

The IBL in the D-League

Darren Cooper, NBA D-League

The most recent IBL talent picked up in the NBA’s official farm league was reigning MVP and IBL All Star 6’6” F Chehales Tapscott who was chosen by the Maine Red Claws, and 6’6” F Joevan Catron to the Springfield Armor, but athletes have been taking their IBL experience into the NBA Development League for many years.

In 2007 6’3 G
Darren ”Coop” Cooper came out of Portland Community College and stepped on the to court to make the transition to pro basketball with the Vancouver Volcanoes. Averaging 18.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in eight games during the late spring summer season in the IBL, Cooper picked up the faster pace of the game and was ready to take the next step. In the winter of 2007 he was selected in the sixth round of the NBA Development League draft by the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he spent the next two seasons.

“We would play back-to-back-to-back-to-back games. Sometimes we would play two or three in one day. That is what this profession is about though. It is part of the job description. We have to suck it up, sleep when we can and prepare ourselves to get out on the court and win,” Cooper shared in an interview when with the D-Fenders. 

In the
2009 NBA D-League Draft Cooper was selected by the Dakota Wizards in the sixth round, now known as the Santa Cruz Warriors, where he spent the next two seasons.  Then in 2011-12 season, Coop called the Maine Red Claws his team in the D-League, returning to the Portland Chinooks in the IBL each summer, then into the Idaho Stampede workout in the fall.

When asked about time in the IBL, which fits just after the D-League season is complete and before NBA Summer League begins, Cooper said “I just wanted to hoop, if there is somewhere that I can go to get  (professional) experience and work on my game, I’m all for it.”

The most notable recent draftee since the IBL changed their look and leadership is the reigning MVP, who joins one of Coopers past teams, the Red Claws. Selected in the fourth round (61st overall) in the
2013 NBA D-League Draft Tapscott went from the 2012 IBL Rookie of the Year to MVP and now achieved one of his goals, a chance in the D-League. “The IBL possesses some really good talent including D-League players and has helped me transition my game that can translate to success in the D-League. All I needed was a team to give me a chance, I’ve got that now and I am excited to make something of it.”  Tapscott shared as he looks to make the final roster for the Red Claws.  “From Portland to Portland, I’m going to take advantage of this great opportunity,” the MVP added.

Catron was also selected in round four of the 2013 D-League draft by the
Springfield Armor (54th overall) after playing with the Portland Chinooks this summer. A product of the University of Oregon graduating in 2011 Catron signed in the Australian National Basketball League and moved on to Levanga Hokkaido in Japan in 2012 for the winter. Both Tapscott and Catron are currently in training camp, looking to hold roster spots as the regular season tips off November 22, with a look ahead to the D-League Showcase.

Another IBL/D-League product
6’3 G Josh Tarver, from the Vancouver Volcanoes, spent 2011-12 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers returning to the IBL, with 2013 being one of his strongest seasons becoming an All Star and leading the league in assists at 7.4apg. With fellow Volcano before him, 6’10” C Bryson Mckenzie spending time in the D-League dating back to the Anaheim Arsenal and Idaho Stampede, as well as NBA Summer League with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007 and Dallas Mavericks in 2009.

6’10” F Evan Matteson who spent time as a 2013 IBL Champion in the Jamal Crawford Seattle Pro Am this summer, and became an All Star, was drafted into the D-League in 2012 to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. While Matteson is currently overseas with Gimle BBK in Bergen, Norway, fellow former Slam team member 6’2” G Ryan Diggs followed a reverse path, spending time in Holland and Cyprus before landing in the D-League with the 2009 Utah Flash, now the Delaware 87ers. This year the Slam’s stand out rookie 5’11” G Rico Wilkins made it through the first round of cuts with the Dallas Mavericks development team, the Texas Legends, and is currently weighing options from overseas and the Harlem Globetrotters.

Two time IBL All Star
6’9” F Jared Cunningham was with the Portland Trail Blazers development team, the Idaho Stampede for a workout again this winter, but did not make the training camp roster as he did in 2012 and is now looking at overseas options as other players in the IBL and D-League commonly do. The path to the NBA is through the NBA’s D-League, and the IBL is a place for that talent to get noticed.

Overseas success for players, coaches and off the court operations

Joe Burton, Salem Sabres to Aalborg in Denmark

Newcomer to the IBL, with the Vancouver Volcanoes, 6’2” G Garrett Sim spent time with the Portland Trailbalzers in NBA Summer League camp, considered the D-League but moved back to his overseas career and is at the top of his game. Currently in Germany Pro-A with Jena, Sim is ranked number one in scoring averaging 21.6ppg, with his team in fifth place the former Duck plans to return to the Volcanoes after the playoffs overseas which is common in the IBL. League rules allow and encourage teams to add returning players to their rosters, making exceptions for those who find success overseas or in the D-League.

2013 IBL Champion and MVP of the final game of the season, Bellingham Slam’s 6’5” C Blake Poole has returned to Germany Pro-B with Hertener Loewen, a team located in northwest Germany which competes in the country's third-division. Currently averaging a double double with 17ppg and 10rpg, Poole has spent three season in the IBL which helps him stay in shape against top competition with a mix of players including athletes right out of college, D-League talent and those returning from overseas as he does each April. Meanwhile former Slam player 6’6” F Michael Duty is off to Spain and has crossed the globe to play professional basketball, signing with a team in Spain recently, while Slam alumni 6’8” F Michael Parker is on the court in Japan with the Wakayama Trians in the NBL, after being a bj-League star for six seasons.

IBL Rookie of the Year this season averaging a double double at 13.9ppg and 14.8rpg, was the Sabres standout from the Oregon State Beavers, big man 6’7” C Joe Burton, who is looking better than ever. In his first stint overseas, Burton is putting in work on and off the court with Aalborg in Denmark. Recently receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award, he is averaging a double double with 17.2ppg and 11.8rpg and his team in the eighth spot but on the way up with his contributions.

6’9” F Kevin Ford, who has improved each of his three seasons with the Portland Chinooks, is in Colombia playing for Aguilas de Tunja averaging 17.4ppg and 12.7rpg and enjoying being a part of the community there. Discovered at the Court-Side camp the IBL partnered with in Las Vegas this summer, Olympic and professional men’s basketball Coach Vecchio Guillermo took a special liking to Ford and added him to his roster.

From on the court to on the bench, sidelines and in the front office, the IBL provides opportunities for those who want to get in the game.  From players who make the transition like Kenta Nakashima, now President of the Hiroshima team, competing in the new bj-Challenge League, to his new Head Coach, also  Volcanoes Head Coach Joe Navarro getting the opportunity to develop Japanese talent, while providing imports with opportunities overseas. With many Volcanoes Dancers going on to the Portland Trail Blazers, front office staff moving on to positions with colleges and other professional teams, the league continues to develop international relationships and opportunities for their talent on and off the court.

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