Martin Hermannsson signs to play pro ball in France, forgoes final two years of eligibility


Martin Hermannsson is forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility at LIU Brooklyn to play professionally in France in 2016-17. (Photo: Bob Dea – BHJ)

And then, there were none. The last of the two Icelandic guards who arrived at LIU Brooklyn two seasons ago has departed.

Today, it was officially announced that guard Martin Hermannsson, who had completed his sophomore year at LIU this past season, has officially signed a deal to play professional basketball in France next season with French club Etoile de Charleville-Mézières Ardennes Basket, who play in the French Basketball Pro B, France’s second division league.

Apparently, Hermannsson signed with a new basketball sporting agency called Tangram Sports Management back in early June as it was first reported by Guido Guida from Spicchi d’Arancia in Italy. This agency was just founded back in May.

With Hermannsson’s departure, LIU has lost both their Icelandic guards in the last two seasons. Point guard Elvar Fridriksson transferred from LIU last summer and played at the Division II level this past season. More importantly, LIU loses one of their two All-NEC first team players and a player who started every game for LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri in his two seasons in Downtown Brooklyn.

Hermannsson had a great sophomore season for the Blackbirds in which he averaged 16.2 points per game which was second-best on the team and fourth-best in the NEC. He also averaged 4.7 assists per game (tied for 2nd in NEC) and shot 45.8 percent from the field, 36 percent from three and finished with a NEC second-best 88.2 percent free throw percentage. He also led the NEC with a 2.15 assist-to-turnover ratio and led LIU in minutes played at over 36 minutes per game.

The news of Hermannsson turning pro leaves LIU with three returning starters in seniors Jerome Frink and Joel Hernandez and redshirt junior Nura Zanna. Point guard Aakim Saintil transferred from LIU after the season ended. He has since landed at Iona where he will sit out next season.

Hermannsson going pro and heading back to Europe probably shouldn’t have come as a huge shock although it is a bit surprising he decided to leave after his sophomore season and not want to return for his junior season in which LIU has a lot of experience returning and would have been among the pre-season favorites to compete for an NEC championship next season.

Yet, it is understandable why he felt now was the time for him to head back to Europe and turn pro. One, he will be 22 years old at the start of next season which is usually the age most college players graduate. Two, he is coming off his best season at LIU in which he finished as an All-NEC first team selection. Even though he probably would have been among the short list of players that have been considered for preseason NEC Player of the Year, there is obviously no guarantee he will put up similar numbers next season although most including myself would feel he would have surpassed them. Three, his international experience playing back home in his native Iceland and his time with the Icelandic national team over the last few summers and especially playing last summer in the FIBA Eurobasket against mostly NBA and European professionals, gave him a gauge whether or not he could hold his own against top level players. He is also likely to play in the EuroBasket 2017 qualifers for Iceland which begins in the end of August. All that plus the money and just worrying about playing basketball full-time were all likely factors that led to his decision.

There is actually precedence in the LIU program of players leaving early to play professionally overseas. The two that come to mind are Aurimas Adomaitis and Lucas Faggiano. Adomaitis was a Lithuanian forward who left LIU after his junior season back in 2009 to play professionally in Europe. Faggiano was a point guard from Argentina who played just one semester at LIU his freshman season back in 2008-09 before heading back home to play professionally. Both players are still playing professionally.

With Hermannsson now gone, this leaves Perri and LIU with two open scholarships remaining according to Verbal Commits. This also takes away a outstanding ball handler and passer as well as a smart decision maker.

I felt going into next season, there was a good chance he would become the team’s starting point guard and free up the shooting guard position for an open competition in the fall. Now, it looks like competition will be open for both the point and shooting guard spots.

With four of five starters returning, LIU looked like a lock for no worse than third in the preseason NEC polling but now with the loss of Hermannsson, they could likely drop a peg or two in the eyes of some of those who follow the NEC going into next season.


  1. Nelson–It looks like Juilan Batts might be our PG(over Iverson Fleming)?

    Will Van Sauers start(he looked promising until he got hurt)?

    What is the status of Kwi Askew?

    Stu 68

    • Hi Stu,

      I have to imagine Fleming gets the first crack once again as the team’s starting point guard. He played his best basketball late last season especially in the NEC quarterfinals vs Sacred Heart. He is a senior so he is deserving of the first opportunity. But by no means it’ll be a job he keeps if Batts can show he can lead the team better than Fleming can. Early word is Batts can play but we shall see when the times comes.

      Right now, I would have to think the LIU starting five is Fleming-Bradley-Hernandez-Frink-Zanna. Although I can see a starting five where Van Sauers could be a starter at the 3 which would put Hernandez at the 2. Perri likes Hernandez at the 3 and I think that is his best position. Hernandez thrived last season mostly at the 3 which would mean Van Sauers will have to come off the bench. Van Sauers showed some potential in the short time he played last season. I think if he shows early on he is going to be a major contributor this season, I think could eventually force himself into the starting five but I wouldn’t look for that at the start of the season.

      As far as Kwe Askew goes, we know he didn’t get into a season game last season. I know there was talk about possibly redshirting him before last season because they felt a redshirt year would help build strength and work on his game. I’m not sure if he gets credit for a redshirt for last year since he was dressed for nearly every game even though he didn’t play at all.

      By the way, I’ve read all the earlier comments regarding Perri and transfers and all that other “stuff”. First of all, Perri doesn’t have a problem holding on to players that they want to hold on to and wants to stay. The guys who transferred out this summer as we saw this past season, were not good fits. Now losing Hermannsson hurts for next season, but let’s not lose sight that he didn’t transfer, he is going to play professionally. He is turning 22 this fall and he felt now was his time to go play professionally in Europe where he is most comfortable. It would have been great for LIU if he could have stay one more season and help try to get LIU another NEC championship but I totally understand his decision to go pro now. I always felt he was never going to stick around for all four years due to the fact he got to LIU at age 20 and was already one of the best players in his native Iceland and has been a part of their senior national team for some time now. I truly wish him all the best in his pro career.

      Another thing, if there was that much dissent in the LIU locker room then why wasn’t their a full blown exodus like other programs who have had real issues have had where basically nearly every player that has some sort of eligibility remaining gets the hell out of there. LIU hasn’t suffered the rash of transfers like Robert Morris, nowhere even close. Mount has had transfers. So has Wagner, Sacred Heart, pretty much every NEC team. In the last two years, the NEC Player of the Year has transferred out and up to a bigger program. You can’t go overly crazy about transfers. I think there have been over 700 transfers this summer and the number grows it seems every summer. Like Michael said in the comments, it is what it is.

  2. Michael Hernandez says:

    It is what it is. Hermannsson is 22 and had the opportunity to play pro ball in Europe, under international rules, which he’s used to playing. It’s probably closer to his home. To me, I don’t think Martin was upset at his experience at LIU. He has an opportunity. You take it. Akim Santil was a nice ballplayer at his THIRD college. What did him in was his poor decision making and shot selection. The Twins–must’ve been great practice players but what you do in practice is one thing and what you do on the court in game conditions is quite the other. With the exception of the Niagara game and Sacred Heart game late in the season, they didn’t live up to expectations. One goes, the other follows. Move on. Jamil Hood needed junior college to develop and strengthen his skill set for the D1 level. Players transfer up or move on all the time. They’re not under contract to stay for four years of eligibility. Just look at the power programs–like Kentucky, Kansas, and the rest of the NBA minor league college programs.
    Michael Hernandez ’71

    • COachPerriFullof Shit says:

      Stop makin excuses this teamed mutinied on sorry ass Perri who lead kids to this program with lies and the only reason you didnt find out about the mutiny was Perri and the assistant coaches threatened to take away scholarships .No matter how you slice it any coach losing 6 recruits in 2yrs needs to be FIRED !! PLUS A MUTINY , if this was you you’d be fired

  3. A big loss ,coach Perri seems to have a problem holding onto student athletes.

  4. COachPerriFullof Shit says:

    Coach Perri has loss the last 5 recruits in the last 2 years hasnt won anything in 4yrs ,team had a mutiny on him until he and his staff threatened the kids their scholarships will be taking away ,and he still has a Job WOW !!!

    • COachPerriFullof Shit says:

      Sorry he has loss the 6 players the two Iceland guards , the two twins , Akim Santil and Jamil Hood and again he still has a JOB !!!

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