Today we have to analyze the two players who arrived at the Levitec Huesca from foreign leagues and without experience in Gold. After their agreement with Basket Zaragoza, from where the coach Sergio Lamúa and the players Aitor Etxeguren, Jaime Fernández and Ander Urdiain (already present in the 20/21) have arrived, the peñista team signed the Devon van Oostrum returned and also acquired the interesting point guard Ayoze Alonso, having under contract Captain Jorge Lafuente. All of them will be joined by the Nigerian international abroad Keith Omoerah and the Congolese pivot Thank you Bakumanya.
I will be honest. Like what happened to me Charles barton (GBC), the arrival of Keith Omoerah to the LEB Gold fulfills an old wish of a player who has been burning stages in the professionalism.
The Canadian abroad with a cotonou passport (international for Nigeria, where his parents are from) grew up in Canadian university basketball (Manitoba), where he stood out for his versatility and his multipurpose reputation (socks in 16/17, last university campaign: 13.6 pt, 9.4 re, 3.1 ace). However, he had a hard time finding equipment like rookie and ended up in Norway on 17/18, in Bærum (18.7 pt, 10.0 re, 4.8 as). The summer of 2018 was a change for him, as he began to be part of the Nigerian national team, in which he became a regular, and his international exposure increased.
In this way, Mykolaiv, a Ukrainian team that did not usually have foreigners, bet on him on 18/19 and did not fail, giving a good performance (13.6 pts, 5.6 re, 2.7 as) and being All-star. The 19/20 went to Iran for a few months (Exxon) and in February 2020, before the coronavirus, he returned to Ukraine to sign for Odessa, where he could barely play three games before the break. Last year he returned to Mykolaiv, playing for the third year in Ukraine and serving again (29 mi, 12.9 pt, 4.8 re, 4.1 as); After the end of the competition he was recruited in France for the final sprint of the ProB, playing with Poitiers a total of eight games (27 mi, 9.6 pt, 4.5 re, 2.0 aces) before leaving the team to head to the USA and join the training camp of the Nigerian national team.
If you sign up Omoerah, it’s clear what you’re looking for: muscle. We are also talking about a versatile player who can play in various positions, although the benchmarks are guard and forward. Glued and powerful player in the 1 × 1 and in the game without the ball, he knows how to play the direct block and can get up from medium-long distance. Able to play in the post against physically inferior opponents, he helps a lot on the rebound and is very comfortable in the open field, where he is lethal and creates a lot of danger (his ability to generate a basket or for his open teammates is appreciated). Back, it helps and gives intensity. His biggest handicap is the inconsistency of his outside shot, something that takes its toll.
His arrival at the Peñas will provide a privileged physique that always comes in handy. With Lafuente in that role as a multipurpose player, it seems clear that the Alto-Aragonese team wants to create their strength from behind, run into the open field with players like Ayoze Alonso and look for their generators, such as Van Oostrum and Omoerah himself, while making strong in the field. post. It is clear that the Nigerian international can make a career in Gold, but it remains to be seen his level of impact and if his outside shooting and speed of execution do not take their toll, as has happened with other good European players who arrived new to this league. That style and that Nigerian passport evoke players from the recent past (despite the differences) and lead us to emit a malicious smile …
Gracin Bakumaya returns to Spain, a country where it all began back in 2011, when he arrived at a Torrelodones Campus as a child and without experience in his native Congo at club level, but with a height that already attracted attention. He got a scholarship from Torrelodones and began to stand out in training categories, as these players from the African continent usually do in training levels. Not only did he stand out at the level of his team, but he also did so in the Madrid regional team in a team with Yusta, Víctor Moreno, Andy Ramírez and De la Rúa, among others. His good time in the cadets, where in the 2013 Spanish Championship he went to 14.5 points and 11.0 rebounds, made the rumor mill place him in Baskonia, but he finally undertook the American adventure to play in High School. However, he was not comfortable and was returning to Europe to visit France, after passing through Belgium, and continue his training with the legendary Antibes team. There, he played in the reserve team, where he exploded in 15/16 in the Espoirs championship (14.3 pt, 5.3 re), but with a remote presence in the first team.
He appeared in the draft, in one of these marketing operations that occur with tall men with unknown projection, and began the American tour, managing to sneak into the NBA Summer League with the Houston Rockets, drawing the attention of the Phoenix Suns to the training camp, having him monitored in the G-League on 16/17 (Northern Arizona: 35 dc, 2.9 pt, 3.5 re). With those socks, his height stopped attracting attention, but even so in the expansion draft Wisconsin Herd took over his services, playing only 4 games (15 mi, 5.3 pt, 3.5 re). And he returned to Europe again on 18/19, now being Serbia the chosen place, signing for a club from the middle zone like Spartak Subotica (the last one I followed). After a course fulfilling his role and having continuity, the 19/20 signs for Croatian Osijek, but leaves without making his debut and goes to Iran after changing agent (Toufarghan: 14.5 pt, 8.7 re, 1.5 ta). That 19/20 was going to end in Mozambique, but the pandemic stopped everything. Now, after a year without a team, he returns to the group dynamics hand in hand with the Huesca team.
Far from those NBA dreams that sometimes achieve this profile of players due to their height, Bakumanya has not managed to evolve in his game and, by extension, has not adequately consolidated in European territory nor has he found regularity. The player’s recruitment by a Spanish agency made me think about his arrival in Spain or France, as it has been. We are talking about a large ‘five’ profile, with a good size, mobile for its size to run the transition and with coordination at first sight, daring to lower the ball. He stands out as a rebounder because of his size rather than his rejection carp instinct. In addition, he handles well as a finisher, is comfortable in block-and-roll play, and dares (surprisingly) from medium-long range.
He is not a player who generates or a virtuoso in the low post, even despite his physique he lacks some strength and explosiveness to be more forceful, being able to suffer against strong pivots. Nor is he a player with great tactical background, something that can take its toll in a competition like LEB Oro, but let’s not fool ourselves, because he comes with a very specific profile: giving breaks to the starting pivot, providing rebound and intimidation behind, work of blocks and take advantage of the few options you have in attack to finish. It depends on him to find regularity in Spain again and to acquire a fame as a second unit or, on the other hand, to be one more player like others anecdotally passing through the competition.