GW Men's Basketball Alumni Shining Around the World
Taylor Helps Tulsa to NBA D-League Semifinals, Monroe Leads Russian Club to League Title
Updated June 3, 2013
George Washington men's basketball alumni are finding success in the professional ranks across the globe, including the United States, Europe and South America.
GW all-time leading scorer and 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Chris Monroe ('03) helped lead Ural Ekaterinburg to the championship of Russia's second-tier SuperLeague on May 26. His team's leading scorer on the season at 14.9 points per game, Monroe averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists to lead Ural Ekaterinburg to a 3-games-to-1 triumph over top-seeded Universitet Yugra in the championship series. After losing the opening game of the championship series, Monroe responded with a 27-point, 10-rebound double-double in Game 2 to spark Ural Ekaterinburg to a sweep of the final three games.
Damian Hollis ('10) captured his first European championship as he helped Albacomp to a 3-games-to-2 series victory over Szolnok to claim Hungary's A Division title. Needing a victory in the decisive Game 5, Hollis had 13 points and six rebounds as Albacomp posted a 75-66 triumph. Hollis averaged 13.2 points and 6.0 rebounds over 45 games for Albacomp this season, including 13.0 points and 6.0 boards in the championship series. He also helped Albacomp to a league-best 25-7 mark during the regular season.
Closer to Foggy Bottom, Tony Taylor ('12) helped the Tulsa 66ers reach the semifinals of the 2013 NBA Development League playoffs. Taylor started 24 of 50 regular-season games and averaged 7.0 points and 3.2 assists in 22.6 minutes. In five playoff starts against the Canton Charge and Rio Grande Valley Vipers though, Taylor increased his contributions to 11.2 points on 54 percent shooting, 5.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 32 minutes per game.
Taylor recorded his first double-double in the 66ers' finale against the Vipers in Game 2, scoring 12 points and dishing out an NBA D-League playoff-high 12 assists.
Alumnus and Olympian Pops Mensah-Bonsu ('06) signed with Italian Serie A-leader Cimberio Varese in April before moving to rival club EA7 Armani for the close of the regular season and Serie A playoffs. Mensah-Bonsu played in the final two regular-season games and all of EA7 Armani's seven games in a quarterfinal series loss against Montepaschi Siena. Montepaschi is the same club that the GW men's basketball team visited during its Summer 2012 tour of Italy.
Mensah-Bonsu had played six games with Cajasol Sevilla of Spain's top-flight ACB during March/April 2013 in his first action since injuring his knee while playing for his native Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
In 2011-12, Mensah-Bonsu led Turkish club Besiktas Milangaz to a trio of championships - the Turkish Cup, Turkish League and EuroChallenge titles.
Several other former Colonials are leading their professional teams to the top of their respective leagues:
Carl Elliott ('07) - Cocodrilos de Caracas - 2nd in Venezuela LPB (top league)
Hermann Opoku ('10) - Kapfenburg - 3rd in regular season, playoff semifinals in Austria A Bundesliga (top league)
Danilo Pinnock - Indios de Mayaguez - 4th in Puerto Rico BSN (top league)
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