By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
When Khalif Wyatt decided to turn pro and travel to Israel back in 2014, he probably didn’t expect such a wild ride. However four years later he is becoming a household name in the Basketball Champions League, despite adversity.
Wyatt is currently the top scorer of the competition with an average of 22.8 ppg, while AEK’s Vince Hunter who is second on the list averages 17.7 points per game. Considering his pedigree, this is not a surprise.
He was the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year as a college basketball senior in the 2012–13 season, after leading the Temple Owls to the Round of 32 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Wyatt led Temple in scoring in his final college season, with 20.5 points per game.
His latest feat was leading his team, UNET Holon over Nanterre 92 on the road (82-70) with 28 points, seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals. His +35 efficiency rating is the third best performance of the season in the Basketball Champions League.
Not bad at all, considering the fact that on the 17th of October Wyatt recorded a career-high 35 points, making eight out of 16 threes, along with five rebounds and five assists in a 104–111 overtime loss to Reyer Venezia.
A natural born scorer that went undrafted and started his pro career on July 17, 2014, by signing in Israel with Hapoel Eilat. From his first season, Wyatt became a household name in Israel and a part of the local league’s first team.
He was ready for the next chapter of his career on the 2016-17 season when he left Eilat for Holon but on the 4th of February 2017, he suffered a major blow. A knee injury in the game against Maccabi Rishon LeZion left him out of action for almost a year. The medical report was devastating: “torn ACL and torn meniscus”.
Nobody knew if Wyatt would be the same player when he returned to action and that’s why when he signed last January with Ironi Nes Ziona, his deal included a one month trial period, before the extension of his contract until the end of the season.
However, just in his second game with his new team, he scored 25 points and one month later, he led his team to the 85-76 over Maccabi Tel Aviv with 23 points and four assists.
The door to Hapoel Holon opened again and the best is yet to come. Holon is tied with Umana Reyer Venezia in the second place of Group B with a 5-2 record, Wyatt is having his best season so far and the sky is the limit both for him and his club.
Photo credit: Basketball Champions League