IBL All-Stars set for Sumer Pro League debut
Vancouver, Wash.: With the NBA Summer League complete, now the original Summer Pro League (SPL), in it’s 39th season, takes center court with the International Basketball League All-Stars ready for competition.
IBL Rookie of the Year Chehales Tapscott, who will headline the roster, is making an impressive transition to the pro game right out of Portland State this spring, and sees the value in following in many NBA players footsteps. "It’s an honor to play in the SPL knowing that there have been so much NBA talent that has competed in this league. I just want to be able to play the game I love for as long as possible while being able to provide for my family,” he shared.
Head Coach Joe Navarro, an IBL Champion in 2011, is very familiar with Los Angeles having been a scout for the L.A. Clippers for years. He is ready to lead the team to an SPL Championship in their first appearance. "Attending the NBA Summer League I saw a lot of young talent and have been scouting in the NBA for some time,” stated Navarro. “I know we have top level talent in our IBL All-Stars and they are ready to compete in the SPL. This is a place for them to showcase their abilities.”
“My strategy early is to keep things simple, we'll only have one basic set. These guys are all very unselfish and very good passers, I hope they're not too unselfish. Managing minutes and finding players they are comfortable with is the biggest challenge with all-star teams. We have a lot of different types of scorers so finding some chemistry early will be important,” Coach Navarro stated with transparency.
Looking at the averages for players on the IBL All-Star roster, they sure do have some scorers. The roster features five of the IBL’s top 10 scorers from the 2012 season, led by Tapscott, who averaged 28.5 points per game for the Salem Soldiers. Joining Tapscott on the roster are two of his Soldier teammates, forward Cory Largent and guard Jeremiah Dominguez. Guard Paul Hafford and center Blake Poole will also grace the roster fresh off a championship with the Bellingham Slam. Vancouver Volcanoes guard Andre Murray, the IBL's Player of the Year, will likely play an important role on the team as will forward Jared Cunningham, who will be eager to win an SPL championship after coming a win shy of an IBL title with the Portland Chinooks. Olympia Reign teammates Mike Ward and Gjio Bain will also have roster spots after leading the Reign to the semi-finals of the IBL playoffs.
The IBL’s Nippon Tornadoes already completed their set of games in the SPL featuring 6-foot-2 guard Masa Kataoka, the #1 draft pick in the BJ League, the premier professional basketball league in Japan. Masa will also be joining the IBL All-Stars to round out their roster. Although they did not win any of their five games in the premier Summer League outside of the NBA Summer League, the team gained great experience and exposure.
BJ League executives and coaches sat on the sidelines enjoying the competition, talent and exposure to continue developing players, gain the best four imports for their 21 teams as well as build relationships in the basketball community.
"We plan to expand our relationship with the SPL through the partnership we have with the IBL, this is very good for the BJ League and Japanese players," comments Mr Abe, BJ League Office Executive Director.
Several IBL All-Stars have already signed on with teams overseas heading into the winter season. Bellingham’s Blake Poole will join BG Leitershofsen in Germany’s ProB league, while Daniel Ferguson will be heading from Edmonton to Switzerland to suit up for BC Boncourt.
The IBL All-Stars tip-off their busy five game SPL schedule on Tuesday, July 24 at 7 p.m. against the AND1 Select Team. The SPL Championship game is set for Monday, July 30 at 7 p.m. All games are taking place at the Roybal Center in Los Angeles.
About International Basketball League (IBL)
The International Basketball League (IBL) is a professional sports association based in Vancouver, Wash., that engages high level basketball talent. The league is dedicated to fostering international basketball talent and focuses on providing family friendly events as well as helping players find positions in international leagues such as the BJ League, Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), and the Portuguese Basketball League (LCB). The IBL is in its eighth year of operation with teams across the United States and Canada. To learn more about the International Basketball League visit: www.IBL.com.
About the Summer Pro League (SPL)
The Southern California Summer Pro League (SPL) is entering its 39th year as the premier summer showcase for basketball's greatest teams and showmen. The League is the summer stage where undiscovered players perform. It is the medium through which both raw and experienced basketball talent can maintain and hone their skills through competitive league play. Every NBA team has participated in the SPL throughout its unprecedented history and it has served as a launching pad for many great NBA careers. Over 800 current and former NBA players have participated in the League. No basketball organization in the world possesses the quality and diversity of great competitors that the League has enjoyed for over three decades.
Resources to Extend Your Knowledge and Understanding of this story visit: www.ibl.com and www.summerproleague.com.