I think the saying goes, “Champions know no vacation.”
The last several weeks saw a host of college players take a champion’s mindset overseas, making the most of their respective off-seasons, and successfully representing the Global Sports Academy East Regional squad in a number of contests against select professional teams throughout Europe.
These mid-major players, a combination of youth and experience, made a mark and seem poised to make positive contributions to their teams this season.
Eric Laster G/F, 6’6, So, Loyola-MD:
Earning Gatorade Player of the Year honors for the state of Delaware as a senior at Polytechnic High School in 2011-2012, Laster contributed to the Greyhounds’ backcourt rotation as a true freshman last season, tallying significant playing time in 27 contests. He played a season-high 21 minutes in Loyola’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over Saint Peter’s University at the IZOD Center, posting four rebounds against the Peacocks.
Laster is a lanky, above average athlete, who rebounds out of his area. His ability to anticipate the flight of the ball and either close out defensive possessions or create second shot opportunities on offense was impressive to watch, especially against the more seasoned professionals he competed against.
With his feet set, Laster has shooting potential to about 17 feet; however, it will be his activity around the glass along with an ability to face-up and drive smaller defenders that will cause fellow Patriot League foes fits.
Pat Moore G, 6’5, Sr., Colgate:
Speaking of Patriot League foes, Moore played in 31 of the Raiders’ 32 games; starting 30. Moore ended last season second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.8 points, and finished 41 percent from beyond the arc.
After a sluggish shooting start during the first of a five game tour in Europe, Colgate’s sharpshooter sparked the Global Sports Academy squad with his rangy release – shooting nearly 55 percent throughout the remaining contests.
Moore has excellent range with an ability to read and effectively use screening actions to free himself for an open look. If he stays consistent and plays within himself during his senior campaign, anticipate many “gamer” shots and key scoring contributions from this big wing.
Donivine Stewart G, 6’2, So, SIU-Edwardsville:
Appeared in 11 games at Bradley as a freshman, and did not compete last season with the Cougars due to NCAA Division I transfer rules.
Stewart comes to Edwardsville with signs of college experience and a host of accomplishments from high school. A four-time all-state selection while at Limestone High in Peoria, Stewart set the Limestone and Mid-Illini Conference career scoring record with 2,295 points.
In Europe, Stewart shared point guard responsibilities with Villanova senior guard, Tony Chennault. Stewart is not overly explosive, but more than makes up for it with his strength and defensive tenacity, a steadiness with the basketball, high IQ, and shooting capability.
He was consistent all five games for the Global Sports Academy, dishing out a team high eight assists on two separate occasions. It became clear why the SIU-Edwardsville coaching staff has tabbed this tough minded underclassman a prospective captain.
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