Spanning The Globe
It is that time of year when Fever players have begun traveling overseas with winter seasons on the horizon.
This year, five Fever stars actually will not venture overseas – at least to begin the year. That is the highest count in recent memory, due to many players still rehabbing injuries or just getting back to proper health. Tamika Catchings, Jessica Davenport, Katie Douglas, Briann January and Jeanette Pohlen all are expected to remain in the United States until at least the new year. All were among the Fever’s nine players to miss time in 2013 due to injury.
The remaining six players, though, have all joined their new teams overseas, with Layshia Clarendon, Erin Phillips and Shavonte Zellous already playing games. Karima Christmas and Jasmine Hassell begin play in Israel next week and Erlana Larkins will soon take the floor in China.
Clarendon made her overseas debut last week, scoring five points with four assists for USK Praha in Czech Republic. USK downed BLK Praha 86-43 to run its record to 9-0 to stay atop the Czech league which began in September. The club is an annual Czech power that will begin a EuroLeague schedule in November. A Clarendon teammate is Washington Mystics star Kia Vaughn.
Phillips has made a successful return to Poland, returning to Wisla-Krakow for whom she starred in 2011-12. She has averaged 4.5 points through two appearances to date. The club is 5-0 and hoping to re-claim its status atop the Polish PLKK, which it won in 2011 and 2012. Wisla has been a perennial challenger among top EuroLeague teams, also. Phillips’ teammates include Allie Quigley from the Chicago Sky and Jantel Lavender from the Los Angeles Sparks.
In Turkey, annual power Galatasaray has nabbed the league’s top scorer in Shavonte Zellous. Last year, while playing beside Larkins in Mersin, Zellous topped all Turkish scorers with 22.4 points per game. This year, Zellous inked a deal with one of the top Turkish and EuroLeague powers while Larkins, the Turkish rebounding leader in 2012-13, signed a contract offer in China. Zellous had 11 points and seven rebounds in Galatasaray’s season-opening 66-53 win over Botas last weekend. One of her teammates is New York Liberty rookie Kelsey Bone.
Larkins has connected with the Jiangsu Phoenix in China, a league which features one star foreigner per team and became known last year for its big-money contracts with the world’s top players. Catchings, Maya Moore and Elizabeth Cambage were among the top names in the WCBA last season. Joining them this year are Lauren Jackson and Nneka Ogwumike. The upcoming season in China does not begin until November.
In Israel, Christmas returns to the same team she starred with last year, Maccabi Ramat Hen, which finished fifth in the Israeli League. Hassell joins Elitzur Netanya, eighth in the league last year, for her first venture overseas. Both teams begin play Oct. 28.
Expand your geographical knowledge and follow our overseas updates throughout the year!