If Joe Asberry gives an unproven American player toiling in the German Oberliga (6th division) Named Abe Valentine the magical words that he has a plan for him, then there is a good chance that his aim could become reality. The plan for Valentine is to get him up the basketball ladder and playing in a higher league. Joe Asbery isn’t a house hold name in the United States, but in Germany he is a legend. He is a guy that has seen it all from crime to drugs, but also playing against legends like Gary Payton, Jason Kidd and Brian Shaw and being teammates with German legendary player Christian Welp. He could easily write a best seller combined with all his experiences around the globe and his unique and comical personality that is infectious on every one he has dealings with. He had a 11 year professional career that saw him toil in the lower leagues of Germany and off the court has been a special kind of spokesperson for young kids and drug prevention, guest speaker, worked in the Alba Berlin organization, been a master of ceremonies for UBC Hannover and been a mentor for young Americans coming overseas trying to live the dream of being a professional basketball player. Joe Asberry dominated the German Regionalliga back in the day and definitely could of played in a higher league, but as usual politics got in the way. He knows what is going through the heads of these American players and has made it a massive priority to help them get better jobs. He has helped great players like Chris Frazier, Elijah Allen, Darren Galloway, Alieu Cesay, Kevin Yebo and Pierre Bland get jobs in higher leagues. Talented guards are as wide spread in Europe as are the Lebron haters globally and Abe Valentine is one of those many gifted players. Currently he is dominating the German Oberliga for the BC Lions under the guidance of head coach Joe Asberry. It is no surprise that Asberry has had a huge effect on the American. ‘Coach Joe was the main reason why I came and he is a great guy. He has helped me market myself better as well as give me good insight on the German market and how I can move myself up quickly like he did. He’s a legend out here and I need to take all the knowledge I can from him’, stressed Abe Valentine (185-G-1992, college: Clark Summit) Even if Valentine is living in Berlin, he will never be bored. Even if he can’t get out, all he needs is to hang out with coach Joe, because an evening with him will never be tedious. ‘I can’t narrow one down because coach has a lot of great stories but I will say my favorite thing about his stories is how high he jumped back in the day and he really used to put everyone on a poster which to me is incredible’, added Abe Valentine
Joe Asberry and Miles Schmidt-Scheuber in Koblenz in 2015
Abe Valentine who remembers the toughest players that he ever faced in his life were Brandon Knight (AAU) CJ McCollum (played in the same state of Ohio) and Anderson Varejo (worked out with him for years and gave me a lot of knowledge) is a 185cm 30 year old guard from Elyria, Ohio that began his basketball career at Open Door Christian High School. He then played at Baptist Bible PA (NCAA3) and in his senior year the school changed it’s name to Clark Summit University (NCAA3). He showed that he was able to be a consistent player averaging 17/3/3 stats in his last 3 years. He remembers having Evan Dougoud’s number in practice 1-1 games and spent 4 unforgettable years there. ‘After my first year there was a name change because we switched over to a university and it helped a lot as far as people noticing the team. The best moment there was probably beating the number 2 team in division 3 (Cabrini u 24-0) where we gave them their first loss of the season after I had a 36 point game. Another moment I can’t forget there is that I scored over 1500 points there which is very difficult to put up numbers like that (1854 points)’, remembered Abe Valentine In his senior year he averaged 17.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 81.1% and had a big advantage of being able to showcase his abilities against well known teams. ‘My game grew a lot my senior year because we got to play 2 division 1 schools my senior year with Liberty University and Delaware State University where both games I had 20 plus points’, remembered Abe Valentine He also couldn’t have made that great leap as a player in school without the suitable coaching staff that pushed him. ‘Mike Show helped me develop my confidence as well as giving me workouts with high level players. Coach Nietz was his assistant for those years as well before he took the head coaching job so he was also a part of my growth in a different way’, remembered Abe Valentine
The American who lists Kevin Douglas (d1 college/ pro) Michael Terry (d2 college) Eric Mann (d3 college and Hs) Dan Decker (d3 college ranked best shooter in d3) and Adam Brinkley (d3 college defensive player of the year) as his best teammates of all-time has had professional experience in Spain playing for Martinez Valls help leading the team to a 23-2 regular season record and also played for CB Aridane on the Canary Islands. ‘Living on the Canary Islands of Spain, it was always hot and there was a lot of things to do outside of basketball to keep the high stress down of playing professionally and it was great living there’, remembered Abe Valentine The game of the guard who lists Kobe, Mike, Kareem, Lebron, and Wilt on his NBA Mount Rushmore is a player where his game reflects a defensive minded Devin Booker who has been overlooked in his career just like Valentine. If you think just lighting up the score board is his biggest strength, it actually isn’t. ‘I won first team all defense in Spain and I pride myself on the defensive end and I always want to guard the team’s best player no matter the position because it’s a mindset! Another strength I have is bringing a team together not just on the court but off the court as well because this is needed to win’, warned Abe Valentine He may already be 30, but still sees many more years to go in his career and is constantly grinding in the lab to get better. ‘I’m still working on my floater right now and getting that better as well as working on my high post footwork as a guard is really good for me because no guard will ever expect having to guard another guard at the high post with moves’, expressed Abe Valentine
The Ohio native who believes like many other that Michael Jordan is the GOAT because he dominated his era more than anyone else is playing his first season in Germany in the sixth division Oberliga for the BC Lions despite easily being able to play in the third division called Pro B. He is averaging 30/10/5 stats while shooting 40% from down town. The money is less than peanuts, but he is sly enough to know that if he explodes on the court, then people will notice. ‘They offer a lot better conditions than any other team in this league as well as teams above this league so I thought to myself why not, let’s get the German market to know my name and see where that can take me after this year’, said Abe Valentine It remains tough going to work every day for little pay and recognition especially after having played at a higher level in Spain, but he knows that Germany could be his ticket up the ladder. Seeing how so many guys in higher leagues like ex opponent Caleb Homesley are being treated so well is another driving force for him to go the extra mile in the lab. Just knowing that he not only held his own against Homesley who played in Germany last season in the first division and currently is in one of Europe’s top leagues VTB with Russian team Zenit in a college basketball game, but was actually the best player on the court that night continues to drive him forward. ‘Actually in my conference there was over 10 guys to play overseas from my senior year class so yes you can say the chip on my shoulder is very large. I also got to play against Liberty university which is a division1 school and gave them 20 and their whole starting 5 is now playing at a high level over here in Europe, but I have never been the type to quit so that’s what keeps me going’, warned Abe Valentine
The explosive scorer who like so many believes that the classic Coming To America movie should have been left alone recently gave fans of the BC Lions so much joy with an incredible buzzer beater. Like so many other guys around the globe who have hit buzzer beaters, there was doubt about the outcome when it left his hands. ‘There were 2 seconds left and I always feel if there is time on the clock that there is a chance to win the game! After they went up they had to shoot a free throw after a and one play and he missed it on purpose so I got the rebound and took one dribble and just let it fly! As soon as it left my hands I thought man that is a great shot to go in and then it banked in for game! Then the whole crowd and my teammates rushed me and started cheering’, remembered Abe Valentine The gym didn’t have more than a few hundred fans, but the fans are so passionate and dedicated that the joy and excitement after the long heave went in felt like a mini Madison Square Garden. ‘It felt really good because the goal this year is to move up and we are on pace to do that! Now everyone believes that we have a good shot to win it all and there’s no better feeling than that’, explained Abe Valentine His head coach Joe Asbery has massive aspirations to move his team up to the second Regionalliga and with the drive and leadership of Abe Valentine that could be possible. He knows that he doesn’t have so many more years left, so he has to make the most of it now. But the passion he has won’t make him stop until he continues to move up the basketball ladder. ‘I would say my love for the game will never fade because anyone that has seen me play knows that I play on both sides with a lot of passion and a lot of heart and this is why all my teammates really respect me’, stated Abe Valentine At the moment he and Joe Asbery are a match made in basketball heaven, because they both love the game so much and have a huge chip on their shoulders. With their combined zeal and drive, success isn’t bound to be faraway.
Tags : ABE VALENTINE, TEAM MILWAUKEE, GERMAN BASKETBALL