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East Coast All Stars help NCAA players experience basketball in Europe

 


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| Aug. 23, 2012

East Coast All Stars Europe basketball tour with Coach Guy RancourtFor the past seven years, Coach Guy Rancourt, head coach at Lycoming College (D3), has assembled a team of top-level college players for a European basketball experience that aims to prepare student-athletes for possible professional careers overseas. Competing against some elite-level national teams from Europe, Rancourt’s goal is to educate players in foreign cultures and provide an introduction to international hoops.

Rancourt founded The East Coast All Stars in the summer of 2006 while working as an assistant coach at Stony Brook University (D1) in New York. Since then the team has visited and competed in Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, France, and Switzerland. Abroad, the ECAS get the opportunity to study the international game and its subtle rule changes.

This summer they departed to Estonia for the Four Nations Cup – a four-team event held in Tallinn, Estonia. The competition field included the Republic of Georgia, the Czech Republic, led by Jan Vesely (#6 pick by Washington Wizards in 2011 NBA Draft) and the host country, Estonia. The Republic of Georgia alone had three players drafted into the NBA. On top of that, the Republic of Georgia’s lineup included college stars Jacob Pullen from Kansas State and former Villanova guard Corey Fisher.

The size and speed of the Europeans shocked some of the East Coast All Stars, who featured some undersized players. Jerald Williams is a 5-foot-8 point guard, who starts for Coach Rancourt at Lycoming College and is among the leaders in several statistical categories, including assists and steals.

“Our players were surprised of the size and physicality of the game,” Rancourt said of Williams’ experience overseas. “The speed of the game took him by surprise... A shooting guard Jerald is going up against would be 6-foot-7 and be just as fast as him.”

Some of the players who stood out for the E.C.A.S were Duke teammates Quinn Cook and Marshall Plumlee; Juwan Staten, who led the Atlantic 10 in assists and then transferred to West Virginia, and Nick Faust from Maryland who led the team in scoring.

Having to deal with some last minute roster changes due to academics, the ECAS struggled against the competition for a fourth place finish. In a double-overtime win over the Republic of Georgia, Quinn Cook from Duke University, had 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals, including the buzzer-beating floater that sent the game into a second overtime. Cook – who will be a sophomore for Coach K’s Blue Devils – was also named to the All Cup Team.

Although the ECAS came in fourth place, the players got some valuable experience playing against grown men and were offered a taste of what professional basketball overseas might be like. Which is the main goal of the entire experience.

“Brad Redford in particular stood out to me, as he summed it up, as for someone who has the desire to play after college and the NBA not being accessible,” Rancourt said. “He gained valuable experience of playing overseas and knowing what areas of his game he has to work on.”

The All Stars are invited back to compete next year in the Four Nations Cup.

FOR MORE INFO:
Twitter: @East_Coast_BBC
Website: http://www.guyrancourt.com/eastcoast.htm

East Coast All Stars Europe basketball tour with Coach Guy Rancourt
Photos by An Rong Xu







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