Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Return of Joel Freeland

When Portland drafted Joel Freeland with the 30th pick in the first round of the 2006 Draft, there was a lot of head scratching. Its an odd thing when your team picks someone you haven't heard of, when the knee-jerk rage is stifled by confusion.

We found out he was some big white 19 year old from England, which is more odd. His wikipedia entry and his profile both compare him to to Keon Clark. It seems our man Joel is deceptively quick, so this blog pretty much has to support him.

He played for a team in the Canary Islands, CB Gran Canaria, this season after signing a two year contract with them last August. They're a member of Spain's pro ACB League, which is one of the top leagues in Europe and allegedly no joke. According to wikipedia (this is the depth of my research), our man Joel put up 14.8 points and 7.6 boards per.

Raw and mysterious Joel might have some serious game, and he can't buy a drink in the United States yet.

Which is sort of a bummer for him, because Joel is heading to Vegas with Portland for summer league (oregonlive blog lists the entire roster, with some cool player blurbs). Nice for us, because we get to see this mysterious young gent in action. It isn't likely he'll suit up for Portland in the fall, but the 2008 season seems realistic if he keeps improving.

Two big white guys named Joel on one NBA roster? I'm not really sure something that unusual can happen. I hope the Vanilla Gorilla is watching his back.

Here's what youtube has to say about the guy (which is very little):

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