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Fournier Shines as France Falls to Serbia; Evan to Make World Cup Roster

2014 August 10
by Adam Papageorgiou

fournierserbia

The French men’s national basketball team concluded their 3-day exhibition tourney in Pau, France with a 69-79 loss to Serbia on Sunday. Orlando Magic wing Evan Fournier finished with 11 points and 2 rebounds on 4-for-6 shooting (2-of-3 on three-pointers) in sixteen minutes of action. Milwaukee Buck Miroslav Raduljica paced Serbia with 14 points.

Fournier saw only a few minutes in the first half, as France trailed 39-41 at the break. Coach Vincent Collet started Evan in the 3rd quarter and leaned heavily on the 21-year-old to try and spark a comeback. Despite a few sweet triples and athletic takes to the rim from Evan, the French team as a whole couldn’t get enough stops. Evan is clearly at his best when he has the ball in his hands. His talent and athleticism is wasted whenever he’s asked to just camp out in a 3-point corner.

The more important news comes from this tweet following the contest:

David Cozette works for Canal+, a French television station that is very tight with the French Basketball Federation. The tweet basically translates as ‘Fournier to World Cup’. Coach Collet is making some roster cuts and the 21-year-old will be remaining on the roster as Edwin Jackson may be on the way off the team. Before FIBA World Cup action begins on August 30th, the French team will need to be finalized down to 12 players. Evan’s displayed his versatility nicely. Fournier was the final player to be cut last summer as he missed out on being with the French team that won EuroBasket last September in Slovenia.

France will have some days off to prepare for another exhibition tournament that will occur August 15th through the 17th and will take place in Antibes, France which is a short drive from Cannes. Their opponents will be Australia, Ukraine, and the Philippines.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Andrew Nicholson Tallies 12 Points as Canada Defeats Turkey

2014 August 10
by Adam Papageorgiou

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After having a few days off, Canada continued their European exhibition tour in Seville, Spain by claiming a 72-66 victory against Turkey on Sunday. The Orlando Magic’s Andrew Nicholson started the contest and put together a decent stat line. 12 points and 3 rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting (2-of-5 on 3-pointers) in 26 minutes for the 24-year-old. Nicholson had five of his points in fifteen first half minutes.

Robert Sacre started at center for Coach Jay Triano’s squad and notched 13 points and 11 rebounds. Cory Joseph continues to have a solid summer as he poured in 19 points. Canada shot 48.3 FG%.

For Turkey, Omer Asik had 12 points and 6 rebounds. Turkey’s big men were a nice test for Andrew because they do a lot of screen movements and switches.

Canada departs Seville and will head to Granada, Spain where they will conclude their 11-game tour on Tuesday against Angola before flying back to Toronto.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Fournier Scores 10 Points as France Beats Greece

2014 August 9
by Adam Papageorgiou

FournierBus

Orlando Magic wing player Evan Fournier needed a bounce back performance on Saturday, and the 21-year-old did just that in France’s 81-73 victory over Greece in an exhibition that occurred in Pau, France. Fournier came off Vincent Collet’s bench and tallied 10 points on 3-of-7 FGs and 2-for-5 three-point shooting in 14 minutes of action. He added a rebound, a block, an assist, and a steal. Evan was very aggressive handling the ball early on, scoring seven of France’s first fifteen points in the first period that also included splitting defenders to earn free throws and bolting past Greeks for a nifty curling lay-up.

FournierGreece

Evan was confident in his jump shot from the get-go, which ended up hurting Evan in the second period after he got pulled for chucking a few unnecessarily long 3-balls. Still, great day for Evan. Fournier had tough matchups against larger opponents in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and new Houston Rockets signing Kostas Papanikolaou. Evan handled their length and athleticism very nicely thanks to his swift usage of screens both on and off the ball. Fournier also displayed his defensive prowess on quite a few occasions.

After two periods, France led 40-35. Rudy Gobert had 8 points and 9 rebounds at halftime in what would end up being a fantastic 13 & 10 (plus 2 blocks) double-double outing for the center. The difference in the contest was France’s superior third quarter as the Greeks found themselves down sixteen points entering the last ten-minute session. Papanikolaou led Greece in scoring with 18 points. Antetokounmpo tallied 11 points and 7 rebounds.

France will conclude their 3-day exhibition mini-tournament in Pau, France on Sunday against Serbia.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

France Wins as Evan Fournier Doesn’t Impress Against Croatia

2014 August 8
by Adam Papageorgiou

Fournieranthem

After sitting out France’s first friendly of its FIBA World Cup preparation against Belgium with a slightly pulled groin, new Orlando Magic acquisition Evan Fournier saw his first national team action of the year on Friday. In what was the first of a 3-day exhibition tourney that the French Basketball Federation is hosting apart of its Blue-White Tour in Pau, France, they defeated Croatia 81-71. France needed a 22-2 run in the fourth period to take the victory.

Fournier came off the bench and played just under 12 minutes, the majority of which came in the first half as he saw no crunch time minutes. Evan tallied 2 points on 1-for-5 shooting and 2 rebounds. Below is his shot chart.

FournierCroatiashotchart Orlando’s 12th overall Draft selection Dario Saric – who the Magic traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Elfrid Payton – was a huge reason for why Croatia stormed back after trailing 24-10 following the completion of the first period. Saric had 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 5 rebounds. Luka Zoric led all scorers with 20 points.  France was led by Thomas Heurtel who had 14 points and Nando De Colo who tallied 13 points.

It was a not a good first impression left by Evan who is by no means a shoe-in for a World Cup roster spot. He’s competing against guys like Edwin Jackson, and Coach Vincent Collet already left Fournier off the 12-man roster last year before France went on to win EuroBasket.

The 21-year-old Fournier just did not appear comfortable playing off-the-ball so much. In Fournier’s defense, Heurtel and De Colo did not display steady ball handling. I’m stating the obvious, but this squad is going to deeply miss Tony Parker at the helm. The few open looks Evan did have he short-rimmed. Evan can’t afford to miss 3-pointers when no defenders present themselves within ten feet of him. In the first half, Evan did show off his transition game by out-running 3 Croatians down the court and making a potentially difficult lay-up appear easy. It’s early in preparation and there are plenty of games ahead, so there’s no need to panic yet.

The French Basketball Federation also released Part 2 of their very nicely done team series:


Bleu Blanc Tour – La Série – Épisode 2 by FFBB

France continues this mini-tourney that they’re hosting in Pau, France on Saturday as they will take on Greece.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Victor Oladipo Hosting Charity Weekend in D.C.

2014 August 8
by Adam Papageorgiou

DipoLawsonDC

Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo along with the Denver Nuggets’ Ty Lawson are hosting a celebrity charity weekend at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. this upcoming Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are on sale for Saturday’s 5-hour bowling party. Special guests will include fellow Magic men Kyle O’Quinn and Maurice Harkless, as well as Hornet players Cody Zeller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cleveland’s Dion Waiters, Detroit’s Greg Monroe, Milwaukee’s Kendall Marshall, and more. Partial proceeds will go to the Team Takeover Inc. mentoring program.

On Sunday there will be a celebrity basketball game held at Georgetown McDonough Arena that will include some of the names previously mentioned and others.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Magic Rookies Conclude NBA Transition Program

2014 August 8
by Adam Papageorgiou

 

Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Orlando Magic rookies Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, and Devyn Marble concluded their 5-day NBA Transition Program on Thursday. Their time in the northeast began with a photo shoot. It then progressed to presentations about health, money managing, charity obligations, adapting to life not on a college campus, and more. Numerous playing and life lessons were learned.

We also found out that Elfrid can give some solid advice for Joel Embiid and that Aaron is quite good at NBA trivia.

There also was the very popular 2014-2015 NBA Rookie Poll. Devyn, Aaron, Elfrid, and 35 other players from the 2014 Draft class got to vote on a variety of questions. Over half off the rooks polled believe the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jabari Parker will win Rookie of the Year, but Elfrid did garner 5.6% of the votes. Last year, Victor Oladipo and C.J. McCollum tied at 24.2 FG%. Oladipo and Kelly Olynyk also tied for first in the ‘which rookie will have the best career’ question. Michael Carter-Williams was no where to be found.

The ’14 rookie class overall views Payton as a better player than Gordon currently. Gordon did get 10.5% of the votes when the rooks were asked who was most athletic, below Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins. Payton and Gordon polled well when their peers were asked who was the best defender. Elfrid got 10.8% while Aaron received 8.1% of the vote. Victor Oladipo won that question last year with a resounding 62.9%. Kevin Durant is the 2014 class’ favorite NBA player by 25.0% of the voters. It seems like Orlando’s first round rookies are not being over-hyped, but also not underrated.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

VIDEO: Ben Gordon Faces Tough Scrimmage Competition

2014 August 7
by Adam Papageorgiou

bgcroak

The folks over at Home Team Hoops have provided some intriguing video of a recent private scrimmage that occurred in the Central Florida area. Orlando Magic fans can get a look at recently signed 31-year-old Ben Gordon going up against 20-year-old Damarcus Croaker. The local product is entering his second season with the Texas Longhorns.

Take the lack of defense with a huge grain of salt since this contest obviously did not matter. At least Ben is drilling a plethora of 3-pointers at the tail end of the clip. Actually, the best part of the video isn’t even the two main guys it’s focused on. It’s all about Marcin Gortat being the ultimate hype man and camera director. However you interpret the clip, no one should expect Gordon to be much of a defensive beast this season.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

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Magic and Dedmon Host Private Movie Screening for Youth

2014 August 7
by Adam Papageorgiou

tnmt poster

In the Orlando Magic’s continuing efforts to get kids excited and ready for the upcoming school year, the Magic organization along with Dewayne Dedmon hosted youth at a private screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Thursday at the AMC Altamonte Mall 18 Theater. The youth met Dedmon, Magic Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw, and STUFF. Along with enjoying the movie, the children were treated to popcorn and drinks as well as a Magic goody bag.

There were approximately 250 kids that attended from the Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ), BETA Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Eatonville.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Magic Continue Back to School Efforts with Hoops for Health Challenge

2014 August 7
by Adam Papageorgiou

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As part of the Orlando Magic’s Back to School efforts and getting local youth ready to start the school year, the Orlando Magic on Thursday are hosting the Hoops for Health Challenge presented by UnitedHealthcare for approximately 800 youth from Orange County Parks and Recreation Summer Program at Barnett Park & Gym (4801 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, 32808) from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The event is not open to the public, the participants have been previously selected.

The event will be broken down into health and wellness activity stations in which young people will participate throughout the day. Activities for the kids include a basketball clinic, a dance clinic, video game trucks, inflatables, obstacle courses and water games. Levy Restaurants will teach the kids about healthy eating habits and how to prepare healthy snacks. Levy will also provide those in attendance with a healthy lunch, and at the end of the day will host a farmer’s market for young people to fill bags with fruits and vegetables to take home with them.

Participating children will be divided into six teams and rotate through multiple activity stations throughout the day. Activity stations include: an Orlando Magic basketball clinic presented by UnitedHealthcare, a dance clinic, Nutrition & Healthy Eating session presented by Levy Restaurants, water activities, and inflatables.

Event Schedule:

Opening Ceremony: 9:50 – 10:20 a.m.

Activity Stations: 10:30 – Noon

Lunch provided by Levy Restaurants: Noon – 12:30 p.m.

Activity Stations: 12:40 – 3:30 p.m.

Closing Ceremony & Farmer’s Market: 3:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Throughout the year, the Orlando Magic and UnitedHealthcare have partnered to engage Central Florida youth in approximately 53,000 hours of healthy, physical activity.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

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Nicholson Drops 13 Points as Canada Loses in Spain

2014 August 6
by Adam Papageorgiou

CANSpain

In what will surely be the Canadian national team’s toughest contest of their European exhibition tour, Spain’s size proved to be too much for Canada to handle. In Coruna, Spain the FIBA World Cup hosts defeated their North American visitors 82-70 on Wednesday. It’s not an awful result considering it was Canada’s sixth game in as many days. Orlando Magic big man Andrew Nicholson came off the bench and scored 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting (3-for-9 on 3-pointers; that’s a lot) and nabbed 5 rebounds in just under 24 minutes of action.

New Chicago Bull Pau Gasol tallied 20 points while his brother Marc Gasol as well as Serge Ibaka each poured in 15 points. San Antonio Spur Cory Joseph led Canada with 19 points. Nicholson had the team’s second-highest scoring total. Spain was blowing out their opponent for much of the second and third quarters as Canada shot 39.0 FG% for the contest. Spain’s largest lead was 22 points as a tired Canada side trailed the entire game.

Coach Jay Triano’s squad will stay in Coruna on Thursday for a much needed off day before heading to Granada, Spain for practice sessions on August 8th and 9th. Canada’s tenth contest of their 11-game tour will be on Sunday August 10th against Turkey. The game will be played in Seville, Spain.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek