What’s up, ballplayers!
I’m Sam Meyerkopf and I handle all things social media here at POINT 3. So if you’ve had a tweet replied to or an Instagram post you liked (or hated), it was probably my doing. But my basketball life extends far beyond the sweat proof fabric at POINT 3, as I coach, write, and scout basketball, and right now I’m doing that from Europe.
I'm 5'7", I'm blind in my left eye so I've worn glasses my whole life, and my leaping ability is on Eddy Curry levels. During my POINT 3 intern summer we were in NYC, deep in Brooklyn, going to courts with our POINT 3 team. A large crowd of kids started wondering who the four-eyed team manager looking like he might play with all these tall ballers was.
"Waterboy, who's the waterboy?" Well we only had a few players that day and so the intern had to step in. BANG! I hit a three. BANG! I hit another three. "Wait, the waterboy can play?" This swarm of kids can't even handle it, and the conversation of this "waterboy" turned into chants, and so my hoops nickname is forever locked in on a Brooklyn court. I am the Waterboy.
Right around when Josh Childress was passing up his 6th man role with the Hawks to make a few million Euros on the Greek coast and Brandon Jennings said no to frat parties at Arizona to play near the original Coliseum, I became infatuated with European hoops and started the blog Slam and Freaknick’s Euroleague Adventures.
It wasn’t just the fact that there were a bunch of my former college favorites plying their jump shots on the old continent; it was everything about Euro Ball. Different countries competing against each other, fans with organized chants, 6'10" forwards playing point guard, teams in cities I always wanted to visit, prospects you always heard of in bits and pieces, and of course the insane, never ending amounts of basketball to research that only the nerdiest of hoops junkies would find fascinating. European basketball was like unlocking a bottomless box of basketball and I could spend days till the end of time and never find out everything. It was and still is awesome.
After studying for a semester in Madrid and going to as many Real Madrid basketball games as I could (yes they have a basketball team too), I found myself sitting at the Euroleague Final Four in Paris in 2010. Sitting and I couldn’t leave my seat. For 40 minutes after their team lost, a couple thousand Partizan Belgrade fans stayed in their seats cheering, chanting, and celebrating their team. FORTY MINUTES after a loss they stayed! I sat mesmerized in my seat for the whole time watching. This kind of devotion was amazing, and I was officially hooked on Euro Ball.
I’ve been to three Euroleague Final Fours in four seasons and witnessed one of the most memorable shots in European Basketball History when Giorgios Printezis hit a game winner and Olympiacos upset Andrei Kirilenko’s CSKA Moscow in Istanbul. Yeah, I was there.
PRINTEZISSSSSSS! (Yes, that's me in the blue shirt)
I’ll be writing here and on my site about some of your favorite college stars who are now makin’ it rain on the old continent; looking at the differences in basketball skills training in Europe vs. the U.S.; as well as doing some scouting and trying to find the next Dirk.