Anthony Clemmons(Turk Telekom Ankara) Continues to Grind And Prove That He Deserves A Euroleague Shot Soon

When your on the court overseas you can come across very exceptional players at any time, but when you play Euroleague you compete against world class guys. During the 17-19 seasons Anthony Clemmons (187-PG-94, college: Iowa, agency: Inception Sports) who can fill up the stat sheet the way Pete Sampras could have racked up ace’s in his sleep had the opportunity to lace up his sneakers and compete against top Euroleague heavy weight team CSKA Moscow four times with BC Astana. There he could have felt like a kid in a candy store or get know the feeling of a man walking down Miami Beach and straining the neck muscles because of too much turning back and forth studying the many bikini’s strolling around. He could have had neck problems seeing all the amazing talent that Moscow had with the likes of incredible players like Sergio Rodriguez, Nando de Colo, Cory Higgins, Othello Hunter and Kyle Hines just to name a few. He was never able to beat CSKA Moscow, but he always left a very lasting impression with his game. He is 27 years old and has produced very consistent stats where-ever he has played in various countries and leagues and won 4 titles. That is Euroleague material if you ask me. Ex teammate Michael Jenkins who retired in 2019 and was one of the last cuts of the Oklahoma Thunder in 2014 remembers Clemmons with a lot of joy. ‘Anthony was a very poised player. He always dictated his own pace and could score on all three levels. He was a great backcourt mate and amazing teammate to be so young. He really cared about winning and was very un selfish to be so young in his career when we were teammates. It showed by us having the best season in Astana’s VTB history. I definitely believe he is a future Euroleague player. His talent speaks for itself. It’s all political though so hopefully he’ll get his shot as he deserves’, warned Michael Jenkins. His other ex teammate Ken Horton who also knows what it means to win rings having won back to back Basketball Champion League titles. ‘Anthony is a true point guard. He can do everything on the court, score, pass, defend. Definitely brings all the right things to any team he plays for. He constantly came through in the clutch for us when we were in Astana. He is already an Euroleague player. He just needs the opportunity’, stressed Ken Horton. The Euroleague also has crossed Clemmons mind. ‘Euroleague is for sure a step I want to take. I believe I can be effective on that level and win with whoever I’m with. It’s definitely something I have thought about so I’m working every year to fulfill that’. Anthony Clemmons is a highly talented player that continues to grind and proves that he deserves a Euroleague shot.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and ex Anthony Clemmons teammate Ken Horton in Germany in 2016

Anthony Clemmons who believes ex Iowa (NCAA) teammate Mike Gesell were even then in 1-1 games, but would have no chance against him today was born on August 15, 1994 in Lansing, Michigan and attended Sexton high school. He then played at Iowa (NCAA) from 2012-2016. He didn’t play a huge role in his first three years at Iowa where he played 102 games, but never averaged more than 4,6ppg. In his freshman year he helped defeat arch rival Iowa State netting 14 points in the 80-71 victory. Getting a huge win like that so early in his NCAA career was very memorable. ‘That win I believe was my only win. Super surreal. My first experience in that rival. And to play good with a win was super exciting’, remembered Anthony Clemmons. Those three tough years that he endured also gave him an early chip on his shoulder that has remained with him until now. ‘The thing is I had a impressive freshman year according to the outsider. I had a very unexpected start to the season which placed me in the starting line up going into the big ten season. Then year two took a toll on me which allowed to me to regroup and focus back on the reason for why I choose Iowa. So that chip has helped me my whole career. Don’t take anything for granted’, warned Anthony Clemmons. In his last NCAA tournament as a senior he helped defeat Temple with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in the nail bitter win to reach the round of 32. ‘My senior year was amazing. We had an amazing run and had an iconic moment with a buzzer beater’, said Anthony Clemmons. He was saved by teammate Adam Woodbury who won the game in overtime. Clemmons made a big mistake fouling Quentin Decosey behind the three point line. He drained all three sending the game to overtime. But overall the American had a great senior year making huge strides in his game averaging 9.2ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 60.5%. ‘The strides were made with confidence and experience. I don’t believe I made a big stride until I became a pro. Iowa helped me in other areas outside of basketball. I grew more with my friends at Michigan State throughout the summers and they were who pushed me to become who I am today’, stressed Anthony Clemmons. In his senior year he scored in double figures in 17 games including 20 points against Rutgers and 13 points against Michigan State. Head coach Fran McCaffery was instrumental in him being able to develop his game to the professional level. ‘Mccaffery helped me gain mental toughness and understanding the other ways to play basketball outside of pick and roll. I believe I was just a PNR player and defensive guy. But he helped me slow the game down and become a better thinker on the court. Seeing plays before they happen and reacting to different situation. Things you don’t really learn in HS. But he helped me become a better thinker’, commented Anthony Clemmons.

The American who remembers current Dallas Maverick and ex Michigan (NCAA) guard Trey Burke as being his toughest opponent in the NCAA began his professional career overseas with BC Hallmann Vienna (Austria-A Bundesliga) averaging (17.9ppg), 4.7rpg, 4.5apg, Steals-2 (2.0spg), FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 37.4%, FT: 69.1%. Despite making a huge impact on the court, he does remember the first weeks as being difficult getting used to a new environment and what his wake up call was to being a rookie overseas. ‘The first week when I had to go without wifi. It was hard to communicate with family. Your first year is always the hardest because you don’t know what to expect. But once I got adjusted I was fine’, remembered Anthony Clemmons. He scored in double figures in 30 of 35 games and scored 20 points or more 17 times including 31 points against Furstenfeld and Kapfenberg. He was very fortunate in having supreme veteran Shawn Ray as a teammate who is still playing today at age 41 and is in his 18th season in Austria. ‘Shawn was great. It’s a reason why he’s still playing. He showed me what it was like to be a pro. No matter what level you’re at, if you don’t know how to be a pro then you won’t survive. And that is what he is’, expressed Anthony Clemmons. He had his most successful time as a professional between 2017-2019 with BK Astana (Kazakhstan) where he won 3 titles. He put up very consistent stats in the country national league, but also in the VTB league which is very respected and has great teams and players. In his first season he averaged 11.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 47.4%, FT: 69.0%; and in his second season averaged 13.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 5.5apg, Steals-5 (1.5spg), FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 66.4% in the VTB. His time there was massive for his basketball development. ‘Playing there was definitely a confidence builder. It helped and allowed me to prove to myself that I was a high level player’, said Anthony Clemmons. He was very consistent scoring in double figures in 39 of 52 VTB games including 30 points against Lok Kuban where he was the best man on the court as he battled ex NBA guys like current teammate Jajuan Johnson, Dorell Wright and Isaiah Whithead and had Zenit’s number scoring 26 points where guys like ex NBA players Gal Mekel, Jarrod Uthoff and Brandon Jennings had to tip their hat to him. He wouldn’t have been able to have all of his success had he not had the prefect teammates that helped make him look good like ex German BBL players Larry Gordon, Michael Jenkins and Ken Horton. ‘Those 3 guys were great. And they were the guys I talked to most on the court. They brought a competitive spirit that helped me when I lacked. They reminded me of myself for being a competitor so it was great playing along side of them’, remembered Anthony Clemmons.

After two very successful years in Kazakhstan, the ex Iowa (NCAA) player who believes that Jordan and Lebron are the two greatest to ever play the game decided to make another step and experience something new playing with AS Monaco Basket (France-Jeep ELITE ProA, averaging 10.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 73.8%; and in the Eurocup averaged 10.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.4apg, Steals-5 (1.8spg), FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 72.1%. Who couldn’t fall in love with the flair of Monte Caro and the beauty of the Mediterranean sea? ‘Monaco is easily one of the nicest cities to live in over here. To be able to live in that city was a true blessing and an experience I will never forget’, stated Anthony Clemmons. He had big games against Dijon netting 22 points, had 19 against Boulazac and 18 points against Bourg. It really doesn’t matter where he has played, he has always had amazing teammates and guys that helped enrich his stay as well as making him bring his best in practices. One of those guys was ex NBA champion Norris Cole of the Miami Heat who was teammates with Lebron James. ‘Norris is my guy. He was a guy that helped bring you confidence because you know he was going to bring it every night. So I prepared myself not to let him or any of my teammates down. We had high goals that season so every game was important from a growth standpoint. It was exciting to play with him. He was a great teammate and a even better person’, expressed Anthony Clemmons. Last season during Covid, the Kazakhstan national player played with BC Igokea Aleksandrovac (Bosnia-Division I) averaging 11.2ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 77.9%;and averaged 13.3ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 47.9%, FT: 89.7% in the BCL. He helped the team win the cup title and reached the final against top team Crvena Zvezda where they were swept. As usual he battled against the best guards and as always held his own against top guards Jordan Loyd, Langston Hall and Corey Walden. ‘That series was exciting. We fought and gave ourselves a chance. We played 3 really good games. And those 3 guards are respected around Europe so it was great to compete vs them’, said Anthony Clemmons. He played very well in the Basketball Champions League scoring in double figures in 9 games including netting 23 points against VEF Riga and 20 points against Spanish ACB club Burgos.

The American who lists Justin Carter Denzel Valentine Bryn Forbes JJ O’Brien and Peter Jok as his best teammates of all-time started the season with Banco di Sardegna Sassari (Italy-Serie A) averaging 11.8ppg, 1.4rpg, 3.0apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 52.0%, 3FGP: 41.2%, FT: 92.3%. Even if it was a short stay, there he had the pleasure and fortune to again not only have another incredible teammate but probably one of the 50 best and most consistent players Europe has seen in the last 20 years with David Logan. ‘David Logan was a great guy and player. The things he would do at that age is something I hope I can be able to do when I’m there. He’s one of the guys when I had concerns I would ask him about his previous experience on how things were. Definitely was a pleasure competing with him during the short time I had in Sassari’, remembered Anthony Clemmons. Now let’s fast forward to 2022 as he has found a new home in Turkey with Turk Telekom Ankara. He like every one else in the basketball world has been affected by COVID as not playing in front of full gyms was a gigantic challenge. It hasn’t been a great season yet for Turk Telekom in the Turkish league as they are only in 12th place with a record of 5-11 despite having a very deep and talented roster with ex NBA guys Tyler Enis, Jajuan Johnson and Aaron Harrison. ‘If you tracked our season, even before I arrived you know that the roster we have is easily one of the best in the league. Unfortunately we’ve experienced a lot of injuries which allow us not to be full strength in certain areas. Not taking away any credit on how strong the league is but our record doesn’t explain the circumstances and adversity we’ve had to battle through. And every team we play knows it’s not going to be an easy game’, stressed Anthony Clemmons. Despite the slow start, he is enjoying Turkey as he can experience many things there he wouldn’t back in the states and sharing the back court with Tyler Ennis has been wonderful. ‘Tyler’s been great. He’s helped welcome me and has helped me adjust to everything here. Great player and competitor’, said Anthony Clemmons. He is back in Germany again to play Eurocup against the Hamburg Towers. He was in Germany the first time two years ago where he swept ratiopharm Ulm with AS Monaco. ‘I remember they had a very talented group. Although they didn’t fulfill what they wanted out of the group they were a team you couldn’t sleep on. They had the lefty guard (plays for the Pistons) Killian I believe which was one of the best prospects, and Dragic which everyone knows around Europe. Their backcourt was very talented so you had to be ready to play’, stated Anthony Clemmons.

He is a 187cm point guard that has been compared to NBA guys like Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Beverly and Kyle Lowery as a guy that displays toughness and has the winner mentality and has the ability to drop big shots and plays. Two huge weapons in his arsenal is his versatility and shooting, but the first outweighs the latter. ‘Being versatile I believe is the biggest positive in my game. It allows me to take pressure of players. Scoring, playmaking and defending are my top 3 but I like the role because it allows me to focus on 2-3 things. Vs if I was just placed to do 1 thing then my game would be limited because I can impact the game in a lot of ways other than just scoring the basketball’, warned Anthony Clemmons. Being successful and consistent playing basketball doesn’t only have to do with punishing yourself in the lab, but also with just being intelligent. ‘My secret is staying within myself. Don’t go outside of what I’ve worked on all summer. The game is very simple and when you’re not efficient that usually comes from doing things outside of what you’re good at’, stressed Anthony Clemmons. He is 27 years old and not in his prime yet. The sky is still the limit for him as developing further with his straight ahead work ethic is a must. ‘I think I’m going into my best years. A lot of people evaluated my game and can’t really capture what I truly am. But anybody that has had the opportunity to work with me (coach or players) they will tell you I play to win and do what it takes. Sometimes it gets overlooked in the stats but that’s been throughout my career I have been able to sustain being consistent and effective on both sides of the ball’, added Anthony Clemmons. Every new game where he is the best player on the court or outlasts an ex NBA player is just another step in getting him closer to the Euroleague. ‘It has never been about confirmation, it’s been about what I wanted out of myself. To be the best you have to play the best. And when you play the best you have to do well against the best. So every game I play against those caliber of players at the end of it I evaluate what I could do better. It’s a reason why they are million dollar players. They dominate every game. So I don’t give myself flowers because I already know what type of player I am and that I can compete at that level. It’s more about improving and being better’, warned Anthony Clemmons. It will be interesting to see where his journey will go in the next two years. He definitely has the right attitude and correct work ethic to allow him to fullfill his goals.

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