LAT: What was your first reaction when you heard about the chance to play in Chile ? Did you know anything about the country or the league ?
J.W: When I first heard of the opportunity to come and play in Chile I was very anxious and excited, One of my old teammates from College played in this league 3 years ago and informed me on the style of play, but other than that I had not heard much about the Dimayor league in Chile but I was motivated for the challenge.
LAT: Union Espanola Santiago was an undervalued team at the beggining of the season, because it was a new team without experience in pro-basketball. What was the key to success in your opinion ?
J.W: Our teams success comes from the dedication that the players and coaches put in everyday in Practice and in Games, We also have a lot of young players including myself that are willing to Listen and Learn from the coaches, Also the leadership of our captain Willians Bustos (188-G-83), and the Coaching staff.
LAT: How about the relationship with your teammates, specially with Decorey Young (your fellow american), in terms of adjusting to a new place, a new language and a new culture.
J.W: The relationship with my team is great, our team has a great bond on and off the basketball court which helps a lot when it comes to trust on the court. Our teammates really helped DeCorey and I adjust to the country, language, etc, because they understand our struggle so I am thankful for them. Decorey Young (201-F-85, college: Cumberland) and I played in Argentina last year against each other we are familiar with each others games, it is good to have another American on your team that is dedicated to be successful.
LAT: After your first season playing abroad, (Argentina and Chile) what do you expect for the upcoming season. An opportunity in Europe or gain more confidence with a new chance in SouthAmerica ?
J.W: After last year in Argentina and this year in Chile where I have been able to show my basketball skill by being 1st in rebounding and 3rd in Scoring not to mention top 5 in multiple other categories in the Dimayor I hope that this opens unlimited doors for my basketball Career. I would Love to play in Europe, or back in the USA, but I am willing and ready to play for whatever Club that chooses me.
LAT: Now that you have experience playing overseas, what aspects of your game do you need to improve ?
J.W: The experience in Argentina and Chile really showed me that I need to improve my upper body strength, because I am more of a finesse player, also to work on my guard skills so I can give teams more minutes at the small forward position. These will be my main objectives for the off-season.
LAT: Finally, as a young player with long career ahead. What are your main goals as a proffesional basketball player ?
J.W: My main goal is towork hard to reach my full potential as a professional basketball player, win multiple championships, and be mentioned as the one of the top players, mainly to be very successful and take advantage of every opportunity that is given to me.
Penarol Mar del Plata (LigaA) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old Chilean international guard Sebastian Suarez (193-95kg-91, college: Portland State). He played last season at CD Valdivia in Chilean LIBSUR. In 33 games he recorded very impressive stats: 22.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 1 [read more]
Penarol Mar del Plata (LigaA) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old Chilean international guard Sebastian Suarez (193-95kg-91, college: Portland State). He played last season at CD Valdivia in Chilean LIBSUR. In 33 games he recorded very impressive stats: 22.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.6apg and 1.2spg. Suarez helped them to win the Liga Nacional title despite they ended the regular season at the second place. Great season indeed as he was voted to Latinbasket.com All-Chilean Liga Nacional 2nd Team and All-Domestic Players Team. He has been also a member of Chilean international program for some years. Suarez has regularly played for Chilean senior team since 2012 and previously for U16 National Team between 2005 and 2006. He also represented Chile at the South American Championships in Caracas (Venezuela) this year. Suarez has played also professionally for other Chilean teams like Osorno and Dep.Ancud. He attended Portland State until 2015 and it will be his second season as a professional player.
Instituto Atletico Central Cordoba lands John DeGroat, ex CDU Concepcion - 6 days ago
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Instituto Atletico Central Cordoba (LigaA) tabbed 31-year old American power forward John DeGroat (201-100kg-85, college: Pittsburgh). DeGroat managed to play in three leagues in three countries last year (!!!). He played most recently at CDU Concepcion in Chilean Libcentro Pro. In only one game he had 3 points and 3 rebounds. His team won Chilean Liga Nacional Regular Season. Among other achievements DeGroat received Latinbasket.com All-Argentinian LigaA Honorable Mention award in 2015.... [read more]
Instituto Atletico Central Cordoba (LigaA) tabbed 31-year old American power forward John DeGroat (201-100kg-85, college: Pittsburgh). DeGroat managed to play in three leagues in three countries last year (!!!). He played most recently at CDU Concepcion in Chilean Libcentro Pro. In only one game he had 3 points and 3 rebounds. His team won Chilean Liga Nacional Regular Season. Among other achievements DeGroat received Latinbasket.com All-Argentinian LigaA Honorable Mention award in 2015. He is a very experienced player. And here thanks to pro basketball DeGroat experienced life in eight different countries plaing on three different continents. He is familiar with European, Latin American and of course North American leagues. DeGroat has played previously professionally in Finland (UU-Korihait), Hungary (Dombovar), Ireland (Killester), Italy, Mexico (Fuerza Regia), Ukraine (Budivelnyk and BC Odessa), Uruguay, Argentina (Boca Juniors, La Union and Olimpico de La Banda) and CBA (Pittsburgh X.). He attended University of Pittsburgh until 2006 and it will be his eleventh (!!!) season in pro basketball. Let's have closer look into DeGroat's outlook:
A physical, athletic, active defender, good shooter and tough, aggressive rebounder. Gives his best offensively in 1-vs-1 situations front to the basket.
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