After spending last season playing in the NBA’s Developmental League for the Rio Grande Vipers, former Duke guard Jon Scheyer will spend atleast the next two seasons in the Israeli League playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Scheyer averaged 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists for Rio Grande this past season and was a big reason why they made it to the League Finals.
Head coach David Blatt is happy to have added the former Blue Devil to his roster:
“I wanted Jon already last season and I’m very happy that we managed to sign him. Jon is a very talented and smart player, he is a true winner although his young age, not less importantly he is a Jewish who is coming to Israel and I wish he will stay here for many more years.”
Scheyer is equally as excited to begin a new chapter in his professional career:
“I am really excited to take the next step in my basketball career and go play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. I am looking forward to the opportunity to play for a team with such great tradition.”
While at Duke Scheyer was the ACC Tournament MVP in 2009, Second Team All-American and All ACC First Team in 2009-2010, and a member of the 2010 All Final Four Team. In his senior season he averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. He set an ACC single season record for minutes played, with 1,470, that season as well. Scheyer also led the ACC in free-throw percentage (88%), and three-point field goals made (2.8 per game). He left Duke as the only player in school history with 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 250 three-pointers, and 200 steals in their career.
Scheyer played for the Miami Heat’s 2010 Las Vegas Summer League Team. After his showing in Vegas he was invited to training camp for the Los Angeles Clippers, but was later waived. From there Scheyer went on to the D-League where he would play in Rio Grande’s final sixteen regular season games plus the playoffs.
On Maccabi Tel Aviv Scheyer will join fellow Americans Jeremy Pargo, Richard Hendrix, Shawn James, and Derrick Sharp. The team went 26-1 last season and is one of the most storied teams in European basketball. They’ve won five European championships, 49 domestic league titles, and 38 league Cups.
It took a little while for the story to unfold, but back in January 2010 ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb said:
In terms of professional prospects Scheyer is probably not an NBA player, but his Jewish faith allows him to get an Israeli passport and he would be one of the most coveted players EVER for a team like Maccabi Tel Aviv.
I’m sure at some point in the near future Gottlieb will surface to let us all know he was right.