Blackbirds Playing Professionally Overseas

Every offseason, I like to look back and see how some former Blackbirds have faired after their playing days at LIU Brooklyn. I decided to take a look at some of the former players who either graduated from LIU Brooklyn or left LIU early and went on to play professionally outside the United States in the last few years. Let’s take a look on how things have gone for some of these guys as the years have passed starting with some of the most graduates.

Michael Culpo – Class of 2012 – Last Professional Club: Oshawa Power (NBL-Canada) 2012

Lets’s begin with the most recent graduate in Class of 2012 graduate Michael Culpo. Culpo who graduated with two straight NEC championships rings with LIU (’10-’11 & ’11-’12), got to play some professional ball in Canada playing for the Oshawa Power of National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada. Culpo appeared in eight games for the Power last November before getting released. Culpo scored 6.4 ppg in 18.8 mpg. He shot just 19 for 51 (37.2%) from the field and 5 for 23 (21.7%) from three. Culpo scored a season-high nine points three times.

David Hicks – Class of 2011 – Last Professional Club: UBC Münster (Germany) 2012-13

David Hicks played for UBC Müenster last season.

David Hicks (Photo Credit: wmtvsport/YouTube

Hicks was a four-year starter for the Blackbirds and was part of the first of the three straight NEC championship teams back in 2010-11. Hicks finally got his chance to play professional basketball this past season for UBC Münster in Germany. Hicks who played primarily at the shooting guard spot at LIU, was the starting point guard for his German club. Unfortunately, his season stats were not available.

Kyle Johnson – Class of 2011 – Last Professional Club: Sutor Montegranaro (Italy – Serie A) 2012-13

Johnson was another four-year starter for the Blackbirds and like Hicks played on the first of the three straight NEC championship teams in 2010-11. Last summer, we got to see Johnson play for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Johnson started his professional career playing in Cyprus in 2011 before briefly playing in Greece in 2012. Last season, he played for Sutor Montergranaro in Italy. He was primarily their starting shooting guard. He played in 29 games and averaged 8.1 ppg in 20.7 mpg. He shot 86 for 196 (43.8%) from the field and 27 for 82 (32.9%) from beyond the arc.

Jaytornah Wisseh – Class of 2010 – Last Professional Club: Rovinari (Romania) 2012-13

Jaytornah Wisseh (Photo Credit: dabaschet.net)

Wisseh played for LIU Brooklyn from 2006-10. He was the starting point guard for most of his college career at LIU, starting in 94 of 118 career games and all but two games his last three seasons. Wisseh was one of the best LIU players in the pre-NEC championship era and was unfortunate not to win an NEC title in his career. Since his LIU days, Wisseh has been playing in Europe. He played briefly in Croatia in 2011 before moving on to Romania where he played 28 games for CSU Sibiu in 2011-12. Last season, he played 17 games for a club in Romania called Rovinari. He had a great season for them. He averaged 17.9 ppg in 34.7 mpg. He shot 108 for 223 (48.4%) from the field and 34 of 77 (44.2%) from three. He scored 20+ points seven times including a season-high 29-point effort.

Aurimas Adomaitis – Played at LIU from 2006-09 – Last Professional Club: Science City Jena (Germany) 2012-13

Aurimas Adomaitis (Photo Credit: baskets-jena.de)

Adomaitis was a 6’9″ center for three seasons for LIU Brooklyn from 2006-09. He played in 83 career games for LIU, starting in all but three. He only averaged 4.8 ppg and 3.1 rpg in 14.7 mpg in his LIU career which made it a surprise that he left LIU after his junior year to pursue a professional career in his native Lithuania. He seemingly made the right choice as he has been playing professionally every year since he left Downtown Brooklyn. Adomaitis spent the first three seasons of his pro career playing for various teams in Lithuania. He played in 120 pro games in his three seasons in Lithuania before playing in Germany for a team named Science City Jena last season. He played in 37 games for Jena this past season, averaging 9.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg in 21.7 mpg. He went 102 for 203 (59.1%) for the floor, all two-point shots and shot 67.2% from the free throw line (119/177).

Lucas Faggiano – Played at LIU in 2008-09 – Last Professional Club: Weber Bahía Estudiantes (Argentina) 2012-13; Next Professional Club: Boca Juniors (Argentina) 2013-14

Lucas Faggiano (Photo Credit: infoliga.com.ar)

Faggiano was a curious case. He only played one season for LIU. In fact, he only played in the final 15 games for LIU after getting his eligibility after the first semester. Faggiano left LIU after the one season for personal reasons and returned to his native Argentina to play professionally. Even though, Faggiano’s time at LIU was brief, he showed flashes of what he could do at the point guard position. He averaged 6.1 ppg and 3.0 apg in 24.3 mpg off the bench that one year at LIU. Since leaving LIU, he has made himself a nice professional career playing in Argentina. Last season for Weber Bahía Estudiantes, he played in 46 games, averaging 10.3 ppg and 3.1 apg in 29.6 mpg. He shot 171 for 366 (48.3%) from the floor and 54 for 138 (39.1%) from three as well as 71.4% from the free throw line. According to some online reports, Faggiano will be headed to Argentine super club Boca Juniors to play for them in the upcoming 2013-14 season.

Antawn Dobie – Class of 2003 – Played at LIU from 1999-2003  – Last Professional Club: Trabzonspor (Turkey) 2012-13

Antawn Dobie (Photo Credit: trabzonbasket.com)

Antawn Dobie (Photo Credit: trabzonbasket. com)

If you followed the blog this past season, you’ve seen this name pop up a few times. Antawn Dobie was one of the best players on some pretty bad LIU teams. He played during the lean Ray Martin years and was a senior in Jim Ferry’s first year at LIU. Dobie was one of the most underrated point guards in NEC history due to the fact he played on some bad LIU teams. In his LIU career, Dobie played in 92 games and averaged 17.7 ppg and 5.4 apg in 34.0 mpg. Since his LIU career ended, he has had an interesting pro career. He played for the Brooklyn Kings of the now-defenct USBL who played their home games at the old Schwartz Center at LIU. Dobie has also played all over Europe and South America, from France to Argentina to Turkey to Isreal and then back to Turkey. Last season, Dobie was still going strong. He was playing for a Turkish club called Trabzonspor and he played in 20 games for them. He averaged 14.7 ppg in 28.5 mpg. He shot 102 for 217 (47%) from the floor and 15 for 44 (34%) from three. He also averaged 5.8 apg. He dropped a season-high 31 points in 35 minutes in a game last season.

Others LIU players who didn’t play last season but have appeared in professional games overseas in the past few years include: Esa Maki-Tulokas (Class of 2007, last played in Finland in 2011-12), Mike Campbell (Class of 1998, last played in Belgium in 2010), and Charles Jones (Class of 1998, last played in Argentina and Bulgaria in 2008-2009)

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