By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Demetris Nichols has been on a unique ride from the beginning of his career. After Syracuse and NCAA, he got 53rd place of the 2007 NBA Draft, went on to play 18 NBA games with three different teams. Since December of 2009, when he began path in Europe, he lifted his career to new heights and is still improving his game.
His European trip has taken him to France, Russia, Greece and Croatia, but this is his first season in Italy. It’s also his debut season in the Basketball Champions League. The 34-year-old American’s forward lengthy European experience is something you could easily see in Avellino‘s BCL games.
Nichols is the only BCL player that has an efficiency rating over 15 in all of the current season’s matches. An impressive display of his all-around attributes has gotten this streak started. As of Wednesday and after his double-double in the Round 6 game with Le Mans, he is averaging 19.5 efficiency per match leading his team to five victories in six Group A games.
On this achievement, he told Eurohoops: “I try to be active, try to have the most energy on the court on both ends and try to make the right plays. I just try to play my heart out in every single possession. That’s one thing I learned being here all these years playing for big teams. I try to treasure every possession. I try to set that example for my teammates, for them to play every possession like it’s their last”.
Avellino has gotten off to a hot start with 5-1 in the BCL and 4-2 in LBA Serie A, but there is still room for improvement according to the experienced forward: “We are learning how to take our time in every possession. We’re trying to get into our rhythm, to find our identity as a team. We know we could score against the best of them, but we’re trying to figure out our defense identity. A strong defense can make us an even better team. These past couple of games we have been getting stops when we needed them, especially in the fourth quarter. We just want to continue to build on that and find ways to improve”.
Against Le Mans in France, he had 13 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a 18 efficiency rating. Talking about the Day 6 Basketball Champions League match he noted: “Last night Basketball Champions League game was a very important one. It’s tough to win on the road. Our road win kinda brings us together as a group, because all we had was us. It’s just whoever is on the court. On the road we must have the “us against the world” mentality. So far we’ve been doing well. We got to continue to grow, to learn and figure out ways to win”.
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League