Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Samuels eyes NBA return

Published:Thursday | January 30, 2020 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
In this December 2011 file photo, Samardo Samuels (right), then of the Cleveland Cavaliers, grabs a rebound while challenged by Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace during an NBA game in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

National basketballer Samardo Samuels has set his sights on making a return to the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States.

The 31-year-old Samuels is no stranger to the NBA, having played three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers between 2010 to 2013, where he averaged 5.9 points per game.

Samuels, who is now plying his trade for Panionios in the Greek Basketball League, where he is averaging 18 points per game as a centre, told The Gleaner that he has not given hope of returning to the top basketball league in the world.

“I think that at this point anything is possible, once you put your mind to it then you will achieve it,” he said. “I think that the NBA is attainable for me and I think that it is something that I can do.”

“Right now, I am playing great, I am getting better, I am in great shape, and I am in a good mental state to where my game is improving. I am doing 18 points a game, which is not bad, so anything is possible right now.

Keeping options open

“I am in contact with multiple NBA guys and I trained with NBA guys in the summer, so it is a matter of when the opportunity presents itself, so you never know.”

The former University of Louisville star, who signed with Panionios in November last year, believes he has made an impact in the Greek league since his arrival.

“It has been successful so far, because the team is now in sixth position in the league which is not bad,” he said. “Hopefully in the next week or so when they announce the All-Star game, I will make the All-Star team here in Greece. This will be a big achievement for me at this point in my career.

“Greece is the fourth best league in the world and things have been great because this is my 10th season playing professional basketball and I want to play professional basketball until I am 35.”

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com