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Alumni update: the St. John’s players in the pro ranks

From Omar Cook to Phil Greene ex-Johnnies continue their careers in ten countries

Villanova v St John's Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images

In recognition of the Tip Off for the upcoming St. John’s basketball season, the third leading scorer in St. John’s history, D’Angelo Harrison, tweeted, “missed everything about St. John’s basketball. Truly am blessed to be called an alumni. Good luck this season”. So where are Harrison and other basketball stars from St. John’s playing at this time?

Five St. John’s alumni were offered contracts with NBA teams or their affiliates this season. Unfortunately two were waived on the same day, October 15, 2016, by the same NBA team. Another chose to play in Israel with the blessing of the team who drafted him. They are:

Moe Harkless, who signed four year deal with Portland on 7/26/16.

Metta World Peace, who signed with the Lakers with the role of mentoring the many young players on this rebuilding team.

Sir’ Dominic Pointer, drafted by Cavaliers in 2015, signed with Hapoel Eilat in Israel this summer. Cleveland is tracking his progress as he needs to develop a consistent shot.

Jakarr Sampson was drafted by Philadelphia 76ers in 2014. Waived by the 76ers in February 2016, he was picked up by and played with the Denver Nuggets briefly during the 2015-16 season. Sampson was waived by Denver Nuggets on 10/15/16.

D. J. Kennedy was signed and later waived by Denver Nuggets on 10/15/16. Prior to the signing Kennedy played in Russian League in 2015-16, averaging 14.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He joined fellow St John’s 2010 graduate, Paris Horne, on the Oversees Elite team, winning championships in 2015 and in 2016.

Several other St. John’s alumni are playing oversees this coming year.

Omar Cook (2000-01) has been playing in Europe since 2006 after a four year career with NBA teams and their affiliates. During 2007-08 season Cook averaged 15.2 points and 6.1 assists per game for the Crvena Zvesda team in Serbia. He currently plays in Spain with Club Estudiantes, leading the team with 4.0 assists per game.

Marcus Hatten (2001-03) has played with 13 teams in Europe and Israel since graduating from St. John’s. In 2006-07 Hatten led the Israeli League in scoring with a 23.2 points per game average. Currently Hatten is playing for the Mitteldeutscher Basketball Club in Germany. Hatten is a dynamic, explosive 6’1” guard, whose skills appear similar to the reported potential of freshman Shamorie Ponds on the current roster.

Lamont Hamilton (2003-2006) played with seven European teams from 2006 through 2016. He has signed for upcoming season with Ryuka Golden Kings of Japanese B league.

Eugene Lawrence (2004-2008), number three in career assists for St. John’s, has played on five different European teams from 2008 to present. Lawrence signed with CEZ Nymbuch (Czech Republic) in Sept. 2016.

Justin Burrell (2006-10) is currently playing for Nagoya Diamond Dolphins in Japan. Burrell was named the Most Valuable Player of the Japanese league during the 2011-12 season when he averaged 18.7 points per game.

Paris Horne (2006-10) played in Germany for a year after graduation and then for a Turkish and Russian team. Currently Horne is playing in the Finnish Korisliiga League, having signed on September 29, 2016.

Horne joined fellow grad D. J. Kennedy on the Oversees Elite Team in 2015 and in 2016. In both years the team won the championship with a substantial cash payout to the players of the winning team. In this year’s title game both Horne and Kennedy played key roles as Oversees Elite came from 17 points down to win the tournament. Kennedy scored 18 points and Horne scored 9 points in the 77 to 72 win.

Sean Evans (2006-10) played for four years oversees in Europe and South Korea. In the 2015-16 season Evans played for the Sakarya Isik Koleji team in Turkey, averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Dwight Hardy (2008-10), whom coach Steve Lavin described during his senior year as the greatest shooter he ever coached, played in Italy through the 2013-14 season, receiving second division MVP honors. In the 2014-15 season Hardy joined the Trabzonspor team in the Turkish League and currently is the starting shooting guard. In 2016 he was designated an all-star in the Turkish League.

Justin Brownlee (2008-10) recently signed with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team in July 2016. On October 16, 2016 Brownlee scored 29 points to lead Barangay to a three to two lead in the championship series of the Philipines Basketball Governor’s Cup Finals; and he finished that off with the game-winning shot for the championship.

Orlando Sanchez (2013-14), after a trial with the New York Knicks, averaged 10.7 points and 5 rebounds a game for Metros de Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Currently he is signed to play for the Bucaneros de LaGuaira team in Venezuela.

D’Angelo Harrison (2011-15) averaged 13.4 points per game for the Belediyespor Team in Turkey during the 2015-16 season.

Phil Greene (2011-15) starts as the shooting guard on the Tortona Team in Italy. The team began the season 3-0 with Greene averaging 18.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the three games. A great start for Greene and the Tortona team.

Presently St. John’s alumni are playing on teams located in Israel, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, Finland, Turkey, Philippines, Venezuela and Italy. A United Nations of basketball for those who, though not making the NBA, have found a world of opportunity to share their skills, some for as many as 13 years.