Hoop dreams find players with Utah ties globetrotting

By David Driver

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 12 2012 8:19 p.m. MDT

The regular season for Plaisted's team ends later this month, and if they make the playoffs the season could go for another month. The former Cougar plans to head home to Orem after the season and work out in the summer with former BYU players.

Plaisted is one of a handful of Americans who has played for a team in Croatia. And during his time there his team would play in other former Yugoslavian countries such as Serbia, Slovenia and Montenegro.

"Needless to say Croatians and Serbians still share some animosity between the two countries; they are huge rivals in just about everything they do," said Plaisted. "I played in a league called the Adriatic League that featured the best teams from the former Yugoslavia, so we would travel to Serbia multiple times throughout the year and whenever we crossed the border into Serbia we always had a police escort until the time we left. I'm in no way claiming to be some guy who is a big risk taker but when we would visit Serbia, my Croatian teammates and I would go walk to malls and go out and about and in no way did I ever feel threatened."

It is experiences like that which makes playing pro overseas more than just a game for Utah college products. "I would like to play until my son is around 8 years old," said Toolson. "I figure that's enough time for me to have all the fun I want and then it will be time to go home when me and my wife feel it's time for our son to live in one spot like a normal kid so he can have somewhat of a normal childhood."

David Driver is a freelance writer in Maryland. His website is: www.davidsdriver.com.

Beyond the Beehive

Here is a look at players from Division I colleges in Utah who were with pro teams in foreign countries as of April 1, with country and points per game:

BYU

Rashaun Broadus, Lithuania, 10.1

Lee Cummard, Japan, 10.6

Terrell Lyday, Russia, 10.8

Chris Miles, Germany, 12.6

Trent Plaisted, Turkey, 4.7

Jonathan Tavernari, Italy, 9.7

Trent Whiting, Italy, 16.7

Utah

Chris Burgess, Puerto Rico, 5.9

Luka Drca, Serbia, 14.8

Shaun Green, Spain, 13.8

Ricky Johns, Argentina, 4.9

Tyler Kepkay, Germany, 15.6

Bryant Markson, Japan, 6.7

Hanno Mottola, Finland, 12.6

Luke Nevill, Australia, 9.7

Kim Tillie, France, 11.0

Stephen Weigh, Australia, 11.5

Utah State

Curtis Bobb, Austria, 14.7

Jaycee Carroll, Spain, 11.2

Dimitri Jorssen, Belgium, 17.1

Spencer Nelson, Spain, 9.4

Tyler Newbold, New Zealand, 11.4

Desmond Penigar, Lebanon, 28.5

Maurice Spillers, Brazil, 4.7

Tai Wesley, The Netherlands, 15.4

Gary Wilkinson, Australia,16.5

Weber State

Lance Allred, Japan, 13.3

Andrew Arnold, Estonia, 13.8

Jermaine Boyette, Japan, 13.4

Daviin Davis, France, 9.9

Ivan Gatto, Italy, 4.9

Edward Gill, Australia, 13.1

Slobodan Ocokoljic, France, 11.8

Steve Panos, Greece, 4.5

Juan Pablo Silveira, Uruguay, 4.8

Utah Valley

Jordan Baker, Canada, 19.4

Ryan Toolson, Turkey, 16.1

Source: eurobasket.com

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