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Albany’s Young signs pro contract overseas

In Andre Young’s second game as a pro, Young, right, scored a team-high 23 points and dished out nine assists as Den Bosch beat BC Steinsel Luxembourg, 77-51. (EiffelTowers Den Bosch/Special to The Herald)

In Andre Young’s second game as a pro, Young, right, scored a team-high 23 points and dished out nine assists as Den Bosch beat BC Steinsel Luxembourg, 77-51. (EiffelTowers Den Bosch/Special to The Herald)

ALBANY — NBA scouts apparently didn’t feel Andre Young was ready to play at the highest level of his sport at this point in his career when he was passed over in the draft earlier this year.

But there were plenty of other professional teams that did.

EiffelTowers Den Bosch, a European Dutch Basketball League team based in Holland, won the overseas sweepstakes for Young’s talents on the court recently and signed the 5-foot-9, 175-pound former Clemson and Deerfield-Windsor star point guard to his first pro hoops contract.

Young, whose goal was to make an NBA roster out of college, wasn’t drafted and eventually chose Den Bosch over a list of other suitors, according to Young’s agent, Adam Pensack.

“Andre is currently playing for the top team in Holland called Den Bosch. The team won the league championship last year and is the favorite to win it again this year,” Pensack wrote in an e-mail to The Herald recently, updating Young’s status after he received tryouts with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings but was not signed.

“Andre has been playing great,” Pensack continued. “The team’s head coach and GM love Andre on and off the court and think he is going to be one of the best players in the league. Andre is working hard every day and is adjusting quickly to pro basketball in Europe. He is also enjoying his time off the court and is even making a serious effort to learn the Dutch language.”

On the 15-player roster, Young is listed on the team’s official website as the starting point guard. Den Bosch is seven games into its 2012 preseason schedule and is currently 4-3. Young had a team-high of 23 points and nine assists in Game 2.

“He really likes it over there,” Young’s father, Colie, told The Herald on Tuesday. “He’s been there since mid-August and they just started playing, and he’s really enjoying it. I’m not sure if I’ll get over to see him or not before he comes home for Christmas. It’s a pretty expensive flight over there, but we’re keeping up with him online, or Facebook, and we talk on Skype.”

Colie said Andre, who is six hours ahead of EDT in Holland and was unable to be reached by deadline for this story, has shared a couple tales of what it’s like for a young American to make such a big transition to living away from home in a foreign country.

“He’s a pretty cautious guy, so you won’t find him eating anything he doesn’t know what it is,” Colie said with a laugh. “I do know that since they gave him a car to use while he’s there, he did learn how to drive a stick shift — but he also got lost. He’s like, ‘Dad, that was no fun. You know how hard it is not speaking the language and getting lost at the same time?’ ”

Colie added that Andre’s first regular-season game coming up soon will be against his former teammate at Clemson, Tanner Smith. Smith’s team, Landstede, also plays in the Dutch Basketball League.

“They’re both in Holland at the same time, playing for different teams,” Colie said. “How cool is that?”

Pensack, meanwhile, is just glad Andre not only decided on a team he wanted to play for and live in a country that piqued his interest, but Pensack’s thrilled his client is excelling.

“Several teams were interested in Andre. We had serious interest from teams in Italy, France, and Belgium, among others,” he wrote. “(But) there were a few things that stood out about Den Bosch.”

Andre factored the following into his decision on which team to sign with, according to Pensack:

--- The team won the league championship last year and are the favorites to win it again this year

--- The team has an American assistant coach named Sam Jones from Chicago who was a professional point guard in Europe for many years. Sam provides a unique opportunity for Andre to learn from someone who has been in his exact same shoes and found a lot of success in Europe as a pro.

--- Holland is a relatively easy country for American players to adapt to compared to many other countries in Europe. Many people speak English and there are a lot of familiar restaurants.

--- Pensack Sports Management represents a player named Tai Wesley who was the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year at Utah State in 2011 and he spent his rookie season with Den Bosch last year and had a great experience on and off the court. Andre, via word from Pensack, heard how well things went for Tai, and Andre was, in turn, very comfortable signing there.

--- The GM of the team is a former player for the Dutch national team.

Pensack’s brother, Ben, who is a managing partner of Pensack Sports Management, added that Andre chose the overseas route, rather than play in the NBA’s D-League this upcoming season, because getting a chance to travel and broaden his horizons — all while playing pro ball — was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“The D-League was always an option and there is no question Andre could have played there and likely would have done very well,” Ben wrote. “Ultimately, though, Andre preferred the opportunity to see the world a bit and experience European basketball first hand. The money is also better in Europe, which doesn’t hurt.

“The regular season (of the Dutch Basketball League) begins in two weeks and if the team goes to the finals in the playoffs, the season will end around the end of May. We will be keeping NBA teams informed of his progress all year long with the goal of getting onto a summer league team next summer.”

Comments

jglass 2 years ago

Andre Young, you keep up the good work!!! You are a great basketball player!!!

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dominiquedamac 2 years ago

If he was great, he would be playing in the NBA! Now wouldn't he?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

DominiqueDumbass, "great" is a relative term. He is great compared to you and me. He is not great compared to Lebron James. Don't be upset that he went to a private school and you were in the DCSS.

I never had the chance to watch him at DWS, but I did see him playing for Clemson on tv. He isn't NBA talent yet, but with more time in the gym and weight room he has a chance.

Best of luck to you, Andre.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

Very eloquently put. You have confirmed my suspicions that you are a product of the DCSS.

First off, how dare you list LBJ in front of MJ when listing the greatest NBA players of this generation and arguably of all time. Second, basketball is not 1:1 but 5:5, so whether or not you can "take him" in a 1:1 games irrelevant to his "great" status. Third, he is great compared to all of the talent that has come out of Albany. Please work on your reading comprehension skills and try again, kid.

Is it still cool to consider oneself a "Mac?" I thought that was cool in the 90's.

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mrcvsjr 2 years ago

Upgrade your athletic department and stop riding the success of Deerfield. For all the failures of the DCSS, they have produced a lot of athletes to Division I and II as of late. How many has Sherwood sent?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

Well I guess as long as the DCSS can produce some mediocre talent for FBS and FCS schools then it makes up for the academic shortcomings. By showing support for a DWS athlete I am somehow "riding the success" of Deerfield?

With your logic I think it is safe to assume that you too are a product (or maybe a byproduct) of the DCSS. Now run along and get back to Madden '13 and leave things like reading and writing to the adults.

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mrcvsjr 2 years ago

Reading and writing to adults? I am a product of the DCSS, and I am also a product of the U.S. Marine Corps, with an Associate and Bachelor's Degree. I guess you wouldn't know any of that is possible with your cynical stereotype. With the avatar that you're using, I am trying to figure out did you really attend Sherwood or did you possibly attend Riverview Academy? Knowing that no one possibly remembers Riverview, you're riding the Sherwood coattail. An yes I am about to play Madden 13, and I am guessing you have the game because you seem to be quite familiar with it.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

I'm sure your degrees are from well respected colleges or universities. Not all degrees are created equal, and after seeing your logic from the earlier post it has never been more apparent.

I can assure you I did not graduate from or attend Riverview. I made the assumption that you played video games because you come off as being relatively young and simple-minded. I have played Madden in the past, however it has been a few years to say the least. I will take it as a compliment that my responses make you feel like I could be old enough to have graduated from Riverview. Many believe intellect and logic improve with age.

I do want to tell you that I am appreciative of your sacrifice in serving our great nation. That does not let you off the hook in an intellectual debate, however. Good luck in your future endeavors.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

Oh, I do agree with you on one thing. SCA desperately needs to change it's stance on the value of athletics on the school as a whole. The administration sets the athletic program up to fail year in and year out.

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mrcvsjr 2 years ago

No, it wasn't your intellect that gave me that assumption.

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mrcvsjr 2 years ago

If you read the entire post, I clearly stated that it was the avatar that you were using for your profile. I guess being a Sherwood alumnus doesn't give you commmon sense. Good luck to your future endeavors also.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

I thought you were brighter than that. The avatar is "the most interesting man in the world." "Stay thirsty my friends."

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jglass 2 years ago

He is a great basketball player!! Maybe he will have his chance in the NBA one day!!

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dominiquedamac 2 years ago

Great players get drafted in the NBA. Nuff said!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

No not really. A great player can get hurt and not drafted. How many players who play in the NBA were never drafted? Jeremy Lin wasn't drafted and yet well all know his story.

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