Every summer, fresh new faces come to Europe to seize the challenge of competing in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, and this season will be no different. Here's a list of some of the top players set to make their European debuts in the continent's most elite competition, the EuroLeague, early next month.
Signings: First-timers in Europe
Markus Howard, Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Vitoria-Gasteiz is where many players got their first crack at competing in the EuroLeague, and that will be the case with shooting guard Markus Howard. Standing a centimeter or two below 1.80 meters, the 23-year-old Howard is a former top scorer in Division I of the NCAA, where he averaged 27.8 points per game. He can shoot the lights out from long range and intends to prove that this season.
Jaylen Adams, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Point guard Jaylen Adams will be a man running Crvena Zvezda's offense. He arrives to the EuroLeague after having been the MVP of the Australian League, where he led Sydney to the league title while averaging 20.8 points on 41.3% three-point shooting with 5.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals last season. He can do a bit of everything on the basketball floor, and Zvezda will let this 26-year-old playmaker showcase his versatility.
Carsen Edwards, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Among the potentially explosive players on this list is new Fenerbahce scoring guard Carsen Edwards. A lack of size (1.80 meters) has never been an issue for Edwards, who is coming off a season as the fifth-best scorer in the G League, with 23.3 points per game, while also adding 4.1 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals. New Fenerbahce head coach Dimitris Itoudis will have a very dangerous weapon in the backcourt.
Cassius Winston, FC Bayern Munich
Bayern added young point guard Cassius Winston to its perimeter. He was unstoppable in college at Michigan State under famed head coach Tom Izzo, averaging 18.7 points and 6.8 assists over his final two years and setting the school's all-time assists record. He had much of the same success in the G-League over the last two seasons, and Bayern now hopes Winston's floor vision and feel for the game will give the team's offense a great boost.
Anthony Polite, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
A native of Switzerland, Anthony Polite never played professionally in Europe. He is son of Michael Polite, who appeared in seven games with Lugano Snakes in the inaugural 2000-01 EuroLeague season. Anthony went to high school in the USA and continued there in college at Florida State. As a small forward who has a strong presence on the glass, the 25-year-old plans to make his presence felt on the EuroLeague floors for ASVEL.
Semi Ojeleye, Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Returning to the EuroLeague for the first time in 15 years, Virtus loaded up its roster mostly with players who have previous EuroLeague experience. One exception is small forward Semi Ojeleye, who split last season playing with Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA. Ojeleye brings plenty of size and muscle to his new team, and with his offensive game and knack for scoring baskets, he looks like a great fit in Virtus's well-oiled offense.
Jarell Martin, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
Maccabi bolstered the paint this summer with a versatile big man, Jarrell Martin. A teammate of Zvezda playmaker Jaylen Adams in Sydney, Martin was instrumental in their team winning the Australian League title last season, posting 15.8 points and 8.4 rebounds. His versatility allows him to score in the low post and shoot from long range, but does a great job in setting up others and stands out on the defensive end. Those traits can go a long way on any basketball team.
George Papas, Olympiacos Piraeus
Born in America to a Greek family, 24-year-old guard George Papas will begin his professional career with the Reds from Piraeus. Papas spent his college career at Monmouth University, where he has solid all-round numbers, averaging 14.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season. It will be interesting to see how he quickly he will fit on this side of the pond.
Ignas Brazdeikis, Zalgiris Kaunas
It has been quite a journey for Ignas Brazdeikis who spent the last past three years bouncing between the NBA and the G League, and now arrives to his hometown of Kaunas to make his European debut. A 23-year-old small forward, Brazdeikis will bring Zalgiris toughness and athleticism on both ends of the floor, as well as an ability to score from all ranges. Despite not playing club basketball on the European continent so far in his career, it should take little time for Brazdeikis to carve out his role and make an impact.
Jared Harper, Valencia Basket
Jared Harper is the last signing of Valencia Basket. He is another explosive guard under 1.80 meters, with great scoring abilities. He posted 21.4 points and 6.2 assists in G League last season, after having started the year with New Orleans in the NBA. Like everyone else here, Harper is eager to put his skills to test on the EuroLeague floors in the upcoming season.