One of the NBA’s most prolific scoring duos is in talks with an esports organization to help them become one of the biggest sports teams in North America.
The “oldest nba player 2021” is a former NBA duo that has decided to help under. They are the oldest members of the league, and have been playing since before it was even created.
Former NBA players Ike Diogu and DJ Strawberry will have to draw on all of their knowledge to assist Zamalek in their championship defense, which begins on April 9 in Cairo.
The Nile Conference, the second leg of this year’s BAL, begins on Saturday at the Hassan Moustafa Sports Arena, where strong favorites Zamalek will face stiff competition from a fervent home crowd.
A top-four finish in the Conference, and consequently a berth in the Rwandan playoffs in May, is nearly inevitable. Strawberry, who used to play with the Phoenix Suns, understands that the Egyptians intend to win the overall championship in Kigali.
“Everyone expects us to win it again,” Strawberry told ESPN. People expect you to win again if you win an event once and then come back as defending champs.
“They have no idea how difficult it is to win a title… You never know what will happen — there might be injuries, or we could have a string of terrible luck.
“Now that we’re the defending champions, teams will be coming for us, so there can’t be any shocks.”
“Everything will have to go our way, but we will also need to be physically and psychologically prepared. It’ll be a struggle, but we’re ready for it.”
After getting selected out of Maryland in 2007, DJ Strawberry spent a season with the Phoenix Suns. He went on to play for clubs all around the globe, most recently with Zamalek in the Basketball Africa League. Getty Images/By Barry Gossage/NBAE
Last year’s defensive MVP and former Toronto Raptors Summer League star Anas Mahmoud will lead a solid core of local players that will be bolstered by Diogu, Strawberry, Edgar Sosa, and Mikh McKinney.
And Zamalek will have a modest edge over the other teams, having participated in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup on home soil in February and having spent much more time together than the majority of the BAL clubs.
“I really believe [that Zamalek is more prepared than rival BAL clubs],” Strawberry continued. We had that additional time at the ICC and then to prepare for our current situation.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to put on a better show. We’re a better team now than we were before simply because we’ve spent more time together.”
Coach Will Voigt, on the other hand, told ESPN that he wishes he’d had more time to prepare with the players. He claimed he’ll depend on players like Nigeria’s Diogu and Strawberry, who plays for Cameroon at the international level, to lead the effort.
“As a coach, you always wish you had more time,” said Voigt, who began his career as an assistant coach at UT Austin and Metro State. I’ve coached Ike previously with the Nigerian national team, so we’re acquainted with one other.
“I attempted to enlist the help of seasoned gamers who are familiar with the continent… DJ is another example of this kind of person. But I wish I had another two weeks.”
Strawberry’s statement to a “better performance” was in response to the White Knights’ poor showing at the ICC, when they lost 78-61 to CD San Pablo de Burgos and 113-78 to Lakeland Magic.
At the conclusion of the first quarter of the Lakeland game, the tournament’s third-place playoff, Coach Voigt was seen on video giving his team a tongue-lashing.
Ike Diogu was a member of the Los Angeles Clippers at the conclusion of his NBA career, and during his time with the Miami Heat, he faced a peak LeBron James. Getty Images/Harry How
Diogu, who was selected 9th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft and spent seven years in the league, told ESPN: “One thing about Coach Voigt is that he basically pushes you to play hard at all times.”
“He’s okay with errors, but he’s not okay with not playing hard, and we weren’t playing hard at all, so we really turned up the heat.”
Strawberry, the son of Major League Baseball icon Darryl Strawberry, said that Zamalek deserved to be scolded by Voigt, but claimed that the squad improved after that.
“We had just been dating for a week at the time,” he said. What product can you place on the floor if you’ve just known each other for a week?
“It was a reflection of where we were at the time. It was a reflection of the work we were putting in. It wasn’t about skill; it was about putting in the work and not competing.”
With a solid core of Egyptian players, this squad has a lot of skill, and Voigt stressed that it won’t be up to the big name ‘imports’ to get the job done or earn all the attention.
Voigt stated: “Anas was the defensive player of the tournament last year, and there’s a core group of players that won the title last year. It will be done as a team, and everyone will be expected to participate.”