NY-Area Schools Attracting Canary Islands Players | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / August 11.
  • NY-Area Schools Attracting Canary Islands Players

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    In the last week both Seton Hall and Rider have taken verbal commitments from players out of the Canarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands.

    Seton Hall got a pledge from 6-foot-6 shooting guard Haralds Karlis and Rider landed 7-1, 225-pound center Nerijus Anglickis (pictured).

    Seton Hall already has two players on its roster — Patrik Auda and Aaron Geramipoor — from the CBA and Rider has one — Tommy Pereira.

    All told, there are 11 Division 1 players in the New York-metropolitan area from the academy on the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa.

    According to CBA head coach Rob Orellana, Seton Hall, Monmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson have two CBA players apiece and Rutgers, Rider, Fordham, Marist and St. Francis (N.Y.) each have one.

    Orellana brings his club to New York and New Jersey for a series of games Jan. 29-Feb. 2 so Seton Hall and Rider fans can check out their future players for themselves.

    “Rob has done an extraordinary job of bringing talented players to the Academy and getting them the exposure they need to earn college scholarships here in the United States,” said current Iona assistant Jared Grasso, the former interim head coach at Fordham. “CBA is definitely a place for college coaches to keep on their radar every year.”

    In Anglickis, a native of Lithuania, Rider coach Tommy Dempsey has landed a huge man who could do some serious damage in the MAAC.

    “He’s a skilled big man,” Orellana said. “He’s all of 7-1, he’s long. He’s got a back-to-the basket game and nice touch from 17-18 feet. I think in Coach Dempsey’s system he will flourish because of the pace of the game and how their bigs need to be skilled.

    “He should have good success in a league that doesn’t have a whole lot of size.”

    Both Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard and Rider associate head coach Kevin Baggett have been to the academy in recent weeks to scout prospects.

    Willard, in his first year at the Big East school, said he learned the importance of overseas scouting from former Seton Hall standouts Andrew Gaze and Arturas Karnisovas, a mentor to Rutgers freshman Gilvydas Biruta, who himself spent a year at the CBA.

    “I’ve looked back at the history of Seton Hall and two people have been very influential since I’ve been here, Andrew Gaze and Arturas have been terrific,” Willard said. “They’ve been supportive and they’ve gone out of their way to help us as a staff to try to understand to not just look in this area, that you’re going to have to be resourceful in this area.

    “With the help of Andrew and Arturas, they’ve helped us expand our horizons a little bit and help us reach out past the States.”

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    (Photo courtesy CBA)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.