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Living the Dream Pt. 1

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Playing ball, not arrested
Throughout the summer we'll keep your mind on all things Xavier with a few series about players past and present. From the occasional look back to the lesser lights of Xavier (remember Churchill Odia?), to in depth looks and possibly an interview or two with former players, to a look at our guys still playing abroad, we'll have it covered. Concepts like the Ohio Cup and an NCAA wide tournament will also come and go to keep your mind off the Reds waning playoff hopes.

With the announcement week that CJ Anderson has joined the Dayton Air Strikers of the IBL,it has been confirmed that yet another Xavier Musketeer is now playing his trade as a professional basketball player. While names like James Posey and David West jump immediately to mind when thinking of Musketeers who have gone on to play professionally, the list certainly doesn't end with those in the NBA. Gary Lumpkin, Aaron Williams,and Lenny Brown are among those who continued to play elsewhere.

The recent success of the Xavier program has led to even more of an influx of XU players into leagues around the world. Not all are stars in their respective leagues, not all even play a lot. All of them, though, are still playing basketball for a living. The first part of the series starts with some of the more recognizable names from recent history that didn't make the NBA.

Stan in the paint
Stanley Burrell - Aalstar (Belgium) PG 8.5/1.4/2.7 57% FG Stan was the reason for the invention of the Stanley Burrell Corollary amongst our family (If a shot I hate was taken by a player I love, it must have been Stanley Burrell) and evolved from a pure scorer in his first season at X into a lockdown defender his senior year. Burrell has become a point guard in Belgium and seems to be thriving in that role. His Okapi team is currently in the Belgian league final.

BJ Raymond - Helios (Slovenia) SG 17.7/7.4/1.4 46% 3PT BJ's post Xavier career has taken him from Belguim (where he was briefly reunited with Burrell) to Lebanon and now Slovenia. A lot of people say they would do anything to follow what they loved. BJ apparently is actually willing to do so. Raymond led his team in scoring in the semifinals this year, but they crashed out anyway. His scoring knack has already garnered him a good deal of attention in Europe.
JC, where he belongs

Justin Cage - Mons-Hainaut (Belgium) G/F 10.2/4.1/1.4 49% 3PT 
Cage was always a crowd favorite at the Cintas Center for his hardnosed play and willingness to pound inside despite being slightly undersized. Apparently, his game has adapted a bit in Belgium. Cage took 53 threes in only 38 games for Hainaut this year, but made an absurdly high percentage of them. Facing off against Burrell in the semi-finals, Cage took and missed four threes in the deciding game. He did make that one against St. Joe's though.


A POTY does his thing
Justin Doellman - Meridiano Alicante (Spain) F 13.1/6.2/1.4 51% FG
Doellman was named the player of the year for his Meridiano squad this year by the largest margin ever. Doellman's reliability has made him just as vital across the pond as it did for XU. Rumors are already swirling that Justin may be the target of a large transfer this summer. He also updates his Twitter account with a admirable regularity.

Josh Duncan - Maccabi Ashdod (Israel) F/C 15.3/7.3/1.6 38% 3PT
Duncan was briefly a member of the same Belgian league where Burrell and Cage ply their trade, but has since landed in Israel. Duncan led his team to the quarter-finals of the Lottery League this year where they eventually lost. Duncan still stuffs the stat sheet with a block and a steal per game as well. Also, he's a complete beast in the weight room.


That caps the first part of our look into Xavier players abroad. Still to come will be another look at the European leagues, including which Xavier player is a European champion, and a quick rundown on the more well known stars who have gone on to the NBA.