Some weeks ago as I asked Roger Powell if he would return as a Fraport Skyliner this season, he answered with silence.Perhaps he didnt hear me with the music blaring from the speakers at the Skyliner season ending party, but for Powell not to return and join an ACB team or attempt another shot at an NBA roster would have been the sure bet, but to hang up his sneakers and go into coaching would have been as far from my thoughts as the Minnesota Timberwolves winning the 20i2 NBA title, 2011 NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki playing for Phoenix Hagen if an NBA lockout happens or Hollywood actor George Clooney getting married sometime before 2040. According to http://www.valpoathletics.com, Roger Powell (198-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: Illinois) will join the Valparaiso Crusaders coaching staff for the 2011-2012 NCAA season as an assistant coach. ‘I am extremly excited to start my college coaching career at Valparaiso University. The Drew family have built a successful and competitive program that prizes integrity and charachter. I am truly blessed to join the Valpo Family’, stated Roger Powell (198-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: Illinois). Valparaiso head coach Bryce Drew is thrilled that the ex NBA player Roger Powell (198-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: Illinois) will be able to give his knowledge and basketball experience to the young kids. ‘Roger will be a fantastic asset to our staff. He brings a tremendous basketball resume with him along with the same charachter and values that our university and program represent. We are excited to get him here and on the road to recruit where he should be agreat asset for us’, commented Valparaiso head coach Bryce Drew .
Powell who is a native from Joliet, Illionois started his basketball career at Illinois in 2001 where he was able to share the basketball with future NBA players Deron Williams (191-PG-84, college: Illinois) Luther Head (191-G-82, agency: Interperformances, college: Illinois) and Dee Brown (185-G-68, college: Jacksonville). He helped lead the team to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002 and 2004 and Final in 2005. He also was a Big 10 Conf. Tournament Winner -03, Big 10 Conf. Regular Season Champion -04, 05, Big 10 Conf. Tournament Finalist -04, All-Big 10 Conf. Honorable Mention -04, 05, and Big Ten Tournament Champion -05. In his senior season, he played 39 games: 12.0ppg, 5.7rpg, FGPConf-8 (54.9%), 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 72.9%: He finished his career at Illinois ranked fifth in Illinois history in career field goal percentage (.572) and ranked 26th all-time in scoring (1,178 points). Powell started his professional basketball career in 2005 with the Seattle Supersonics (NBA) preseason campand was drafted by Rockford Lightning (CBA,4rd (30). He then joined the Rockford Lightning in the CBA playing 48 games: 21.1ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.5apg, FG: 57%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 73.5%. In 2006-2007, his NBA dream came true as he played for the Utah Jazz getting into 3 games: 0.7ppg; left in Jan.’07, then joined Arkansas RimRockers (D-League): 28 games: 22.3ppg, 6.5rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 77%. In 2007-2008, he made the trek ove rth epond and tried his luck in Europe playing for the Siviglia Wear Teramo (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 33 games: 13.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.0spg, 2FGP:55.8%, 3PT:31.3%, FT:73.1%. In 2008-2009, he was close again to breathing NBA air as he was with the Chicago Bulls, but only in pre-season. In Nov.’08 moved to Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem (Israel-Premier League): EuroChallenge: 5 games: 8.6ppg, 4.6rpg; Israeli League: 25 games: 8.6ppg, 3.6rpg, FGP: 67.3%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 62.5%. In 2009-2010, he was back in Europe playing in Spain and France for C.B. Murcia playing 15 games: 8.3ppg, 3.4rpg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 71.9%; in Feb.’10 moved to JDA Dijon Bourgogne (France-ProA, starting five): 2 games: 14.0ppg, 4.0rpg. Last season, he was very close again to reaching the NBA as he was one of the last cuts for Chicago Bulls. He then came back to Europe as he played in the beko BBL for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners. The Ordained minister played 28 games averaging 13.2ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 70.4%; EuroChallenge: 1 game: 18pts, 8reb, 2ast, 1steal. Every one always spoke about DaShaun Wood (185-G-85, college: Wright St.) as being the player that carried the team throughout the season, but the Skyliners wouldnt have been as successful without the day to day relentless effort that Powell gave on the court in practice and in games. Powell was the second scoring option in the Gordon Herbert offense scoring in double figurers in 20 games. Even though, he could score on a regular basis, he was a huge force on defense and pounding his way to grabbing rebounds. Who will forget his crushing one handed slam dunk in his first game in Germany on the road against The Artland Dragons where one had a very brief thought of the real legend Michael Jordan back on the floor. His resemblance to Michael Jordan/Dennis Rodman gave the name Roger Jordman Powell a new meaning. Powell will always be remembered as a very friendly and focused guy who just wanted the best for his team and never gave up on the court.