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Game 5 (Quarter-Finals)

Olympiacos May.2 Anadolu Efes 53%
Malaga's Marcus Williams talks heart surgery, journey to Euroleague stardom - Nov 23, 2012


POSTED BY:
DAVID PICK
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Marcus
Williams
On September 2, 2011, Los Angeles native guard Marcus Williams' basketball career was threatened without warning.

The former UConn stud and first round pick in the 2006 NBA draft was just three days into his new Russian contract when Kazan's physical identified a heart tumor. Williams immediately returned to the United States to undergo surgery, keeping him off the hardwood for over three months.

Williams had just capped a noteworthy season with Russian Enisey, averaging 15.3 points and finishing first in the league in assists with 6.8 per game.

Once receiving his worrying medical results, Williams contemplated the worst and began to reminisce about the highlights of his career, such as winning the 2004 NCAA title, being selected 22nd overall by the New Jersey Nets and playing in the Rookies All-Star Game. He also recalled being chosen to play in the Puerto Rican league's All-Star game, earning both the game's MVP and the Skills Contest awards.

It was on the flight home that Williams told himself "I'm sick of asking 'why' to certain things. I just continue to roll with the punches." He was convinced that it didnt matter where he played basketball, as long as he got one more shot to hoop.

Behind an encouraging 25-game comeback in China, Williams pursued a deal that would resurrect his career. The NBA, by the way, wasn't in the cards.

"There was some NBA talk over the summer. I had some camp invites but I never thought about going because I didn't want to do the NBA thing this year. I wanted to play more than anything," Williams told Eurobasket from his luxury patio overlooking the Mediterranean in Malaga, Spain. "Going to the NBA, I would have maybe been a second guard, for sure a third guard on some team and I know I can play basketball -- doing so at a high level was my ultimate goal," he added.

Throughout his rehab process, Williams gained 20-plus pounds of body fat, increasing his weight to 230 pounds, resembling a somewhat taller, non-muscular version of free agent NBA guard Derek Fisher.

Last summer, Williams was determined to get back into shape and like any other off-season, he played for the "L.A. Unified" squad in Los Angeles' famous pro-am Drew League. In July, he participated in a number of vigorous private workouts for European teams.

"It's funny," Williams recalled while looking back on how he was scouted by Spanish Unicaja Malaga. "Our General Manager told someone from my agency that they were on the lookout for a point guard and that they would stop through L.A. on their way to the NBA Summer League. They came to a few workouts, saw me play, and that was it. They were the first team to approach me," the 26-year-old guard said.

Later that month, Malaga's Croatian coach Jasmin Repesa left Williams with a very detailed to-do list before giving team officials the green light to sign the 6-foot-3 guard to a two-year contract.

" (Repesa) has been on my case before I even signed with Malaga. We spoke on the phone many times and he was strict about wanting me to lose my body fat, lose weight, and get into game shape early," the 211-pound healthy Williams revealed.

"I told him I'm willing to do whatever it takes, and though (Repesa) rarely allows us to get comfortable, (Repesa)'s very open minded and trusts us to make the right plays. I'm glad I was able to step in up."

With seven weeks into the Euroleague season, Williams, a Euroleague rookie, is fully recovered and is playing the best ball of his career. He's averaging 11.1 points shooting 41% from beyond the arc and is ranked third in the competition in made 3-pointers (18), leading his team to the Top 16 round with six consecutive victories. Williams also records 3.3 rebounds and 3.6 dimes in just 21 minutes of action.

Between 2006-2010, Williams collected 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 203-NBA games for the New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.
  




Vassilis
Spanoulis
Olympiacos silence Anadolu Efes in Istanbul, force decider - 9 hours ago
Anadolu Efes - Olympiacos 62:74 Olympiacos stayed alive in the EuroLeague Final Four chase. They overcame Anadolu Efes in Istanbul to even the quarterfinal series at 2-2. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) recorded 18 points to pace the Piraeus team. Anadolu Efes secured the strong start to the game. The hosts built a 21:14 lead after the first ten minutes. Olympiacos picked up the tempo in the second term. The visitors poured in 21 points to pull within three points 35:3...   [read more]

Sergio Llull
Real Madrid claim second straight win in Istanbul, enter Final Four - 11 hours ago
Darussafaka - Real Madrid 78:89 Real Madrid entered EuroLeague Final Four. They celebrated the second consecutive victory over Darussafaka in Istanbul to win the quarterfinal series 3-1. Sergio Llull (190-SG-87) produced 17 points to pace the visitors. Real jumped to an early lead. The Madrid team ensured a 24:21 lead after ten minutes. Real stayed in front throughout the second frame. The Spanish team ensured a 45:38 halftime advantage. Real stayed red hot offensively in the third quar...   [read more]

Janis Timma
Baskonia could land Janis Timma - 1 day ago
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Liga Endesa) is close to sign 25-year old Latvian international small forward Janis Timma (201-102kg-92) who currently plays forZenit Saint Petersburg in Russia. In 20 VTB games he recorded 13.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.6apg and 1.3spg this season. Great year indeed as he was voted to VTB United League All-Star Game. The last season Timma played also at Zenit in Russian league where in 16 Eurocup games he averaged 12.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.4apg and 1.3spg. He also played 36 games...   [read more]


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Euroleague Standings
 1 Real Madrid 23-7 
 2 CSKA 22-8 
 3 Olympiacos 19-11 
 4 Panathinaikos 19-11 
 5 Fenerbahce 18-12 
 6 Anadolu Efes 17-13 
 7 Baskonia 17-13 
 8 Darussafaka 16-14 
 9 Crvena Zvezda 16-14 
 10 Zalgiris 14-16 
 11 FC Barcelona 12-18 
 12 Galatasaray 11-19 
 13 Brose Bask. 10-20 
 14 Maccabi T-A 10-20 
 15 EA7 Armani 8-22 
 16 Unics 8-22 
Full Standings
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Keith LANGFORD
  Unics
  (193-SG-83)
  Avg: 21.8
 1. Langford, Unics21.8 
 2. De-Colo, CS.19.4 
 3. Goudelock, Maccabi .17.3 
 4. Wanamaker, Darussaf.16.7 
 5. Llull, Real Madrid16.4 
 6. Teodosic, CSKA16.2 
 7. Bogdanovic, Fener.14.5 
 8. Larkin, Baskonia13.1 
 9. James, Panathin.13.1 
 10. Rice, FC Barcelona13.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Ekpe UDOH
  Fenerbahce
  (208-F/C-87)
  Avg: 7.6
 1. Udoh, Fenerbahce7.6 
 2. Melli, Brose Bask.7.4 
 3. Honeycutt, Anadolu .7.2 
 4. Kuzmic, Crvena Z.7.0 
 5. Voigtmann, Basko.7.0 
 6. Zizic, Darussafaka6.7 
 7. Dunston, Anadolu .6.4 
 8. Dorsey, FC Barce.6.3 
 9. Jankunas, Zalgiris6.1 
 10. Singleton, Panathin.5.9 
Assists Per Game
 Milos TEODOSIC
  CSKA
  (195-PG-87)
  Avg: 7
 1. Teodosic, CSKA7.0 
 2. Spanoulis, Olympiacos6.0 
 3. Llull, Real Madrid5.9 
 4. Larkin, Baskonia5.7 
 5. Colom, Unics5.7 
 6. Jovic, Crvena Z.5.7 
 7. Guler, Galatasaray5.6 
 8. Heurtel, Anadolu .5.6 
 9. Westermann, Zalgiris5.5 
 10. Calathes, Panathin.5.5 
Steals Per Game
 Charles JENKINS
  Crvena Z.
  (191-SG-89)
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Jenkins, Crvena Z.2.1 
 2. Calathes, Panathin.1.5 
 3. Wanamaker, Darussaf.1.5 
 4. Wilbekin, Darussafaka1.4 
 5. Lazic, Crvena Z.1.4 
 6. Larkin, Baskonia1.3 
 7. Jovic, Crvena Z.1.3 
 8. Hanga, Baskonia1.3 
 9. Guler, Galatasaray1.3 
 10. Fernandez, Real M.1.2 
Blocks Per Game
 Ekpe UDOH
  Fenerbahce
  (208-F/C-87)
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Udoh, Fenerbahce2.1 
 2. Tyus, Galatasaray1.5 
 3. Parakhouski, Unics1.2 
 4. Pleiss, Galatasaray1.2 
 5. Randolph, Real Madrid1.1 
 6. Dunston, Anadolu .1.1 
 7. Singleton, Panathin.1.0 
 8. Birch, Olympiacos1.0 
 9. Theis, Brose Bask.0.9 
 10. Honeycutt, Anadolu .0.9 
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