Power forward selected for all-star game, 3-point contest
By BRAD KEITH
(March 26, 2016) — While Tarleton State spent the month of March battling its way to a fourth regional championship and spot in the Division II Elite Eight, a past Texan great, Jeremiah Wilson, was busy winning a professional basketball championship overseas.
Wilson, a power forward currently playing in Portugal, helped Benefica (21-1) to the LPB Cup Championship in his first year in the league. He played for Tarleton in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
“This is one of the two biggest championships here in Portugal,” said Wilson, who took the time this week to interview with The Flash by Twitter Direct Messaging. “Basketball here in Portugal is pretty popular and in certain games against certain teams, we have a nice crowd supporting us.
“Portugal is a country where their number one sport is soccer, mainly because some of the biggest players are from Portugal and also because Benefica is one of the biggest teams in Europe. But basketball is growing and our team is the most popular team in the country.”
And Wilson, who turns 28 in April, is one of the league’s top guns, as evidenced by his selection to compete for the LPB Sul (South) Team in the league’s all-star game and the associated 3-point contest. He averages 15.3 points and 7.7 boards for Benefica, and is shooting 55 percent from the floor.
Wilson was a “stretch-4,” or power forward who can stretch defenses to the arc, at Tarleton before the term exploded throughout college basketball. And he says the competition in the Lone Star Conference helped prepare him for a professional career that has taken him to the Czech Republic, Israel and other spots across the globe.
“To me (the LPB) is very similar to the competition in our LSC. We have a rivalry here against a team called Porto, so it reminds me of the times when I would play against Angelo (State) or Midwestern (State),” Wilson messaged. “Some teams are very skilled, though. I’ve played against a lot of ex-NBA players and am currently playing with Daeqaun Cook, an ex-3point champion of the NBA.
“So overseas at the higher level, all teams have talent. It’s about the discipline of the players and that’s where TSU comes in because playing for Coach (Lonn) Reisman and Coach Chris (Reisman), they definitely taught me how to succeed in the cut throat overseas business.”
And its a business that seemingly never ends. Benefica and Wilson have already played a game since claiming the Portugal Cup, with an even bigger title – the Federation Championship – coming into focus. Not that he didn’t enjoy the first title with his team.
“it feels really god to accomplish one of the goals you set for the team in the beginning of the season,” Wilson messaged. “We have one more championship to get, the Federation Championship.”
In FIBA European Cup stats, Wilson averages a double-double with 14.2 points and 10.5 boards along with 2.2 assists. He is the second-leading rebounder in all of FIBA Europe.
At Tarleton, Wilson helped the Texans to a 42-18 record over two seasons and to the semifinals of the 2010 South Central Region Championship. He averaged 11 points and eight rebounds as a senior after recording six points and five boards as a junior. Some of his Tarleton teammates at the time were current TSU assistant coach Marlin Cloudy and Eric Williams, now a pro star in Australia.
Wilson transferred to Tarleton from Casper College (Wyoming), where he averaged 15 points, 10 boards and two assists in 2007-08. He is a native of Chicago.
Fans can keep up with Wilson’s career through his player blog, located here.
This is his most recent entry, on March 16:
Ever since I’ve been in Europe playing basketball I’ve always heard about the big classical games and rivalries. When I was playing in Czech Republic it was Nymburk vs Prostejov, when I was in Greece It was Aris vs POAK and of course Panathinaikos vs Olympiacos, also in Israel it was Tel Aviv vs Hapoel Tel Aviv and Jerusalem! I’ve had a chance to play against all of these team but never in a Derby game UNTIL NOW! Playing now here in Portugal for a GREAT club Benfica, we play in one of the biggest rivalry in Portugal and Europe Benfica vs FC Porto!!
I really enjoy playing in these types of games, it makes me feel like I’m back in college playing in the NCAA tournament March Madness. The atmosphere for these rival games are the best, you have a few thousand fans yelling and supporting their teams! The FANS give that real HOME COURT ADVANTAGE! It’s amazing to see the fans and how passionate they are about their basketball clubs and especially in Portugal which is a country that is known more for their Soccer/Futbal, Also was surprised to see the how basketball has improved in this country from where it was.
Looking forward to the rest of this season and also to see the improvement of this league!!!