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The Man in the Middle: Samardo Samuels


Pallacanestro Olimpia EA7-Emporio Armani Milano agreed on terms with Samardo Samuels, a 2.08 center coming from Hapoel Jerusalem where he played for two months after spending three seasons with Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA.

COACH BANCHI’S OPINION“Samardo Samuelsis a player who, after the NBA’s experience, showed in Israel to have the skills necessary to adjust well to the European style. We strongly believe in a young guy, very motivated to reach the goals we set for ourselves in Olimpia”

WHO’S SAMUELS? – Samardo Samuels was born in 1989 on January 9 in Trelawny, Jamaica. At 14 he moved to the United States with a scholarship to attend  Our Savior New American School in Long Island. In his U.S. first year  he was spotted by coach Dan Hurley when his team played twice against the St.Benedict’s High School of Newark, New Jersey. Hurley recruited him and the team finished the season 28-1 and number 1 in USa Today’s ranking. In 2008 he was also named High School Player of the Year. He was recruited by Rick Pitino to play for Louisville where he stayed two years starting in all the 70 games he played. In his first season he averaged 11.8 points per game, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and in 25.1 minutes per game he shot 57.8% from the field. Samuels was also named four times rookie of the week for the Big East Conference. In his second season, he lead the team scoring 15.3 points per game, and averaged 7.0 rebounds per game, 1.1 blocks and played 29.3 minutes per outing. He was named in the All-conference Third Team and scored 36 points againast Notre Dame. in 2010, he left Louisville two years early but remained undrafted. He still had a great summer league with Chicago, good enough to earn him a three-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. His rookie season was the best, 7.8 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, 19.0 minutes played on average, 37 appearances, 10 starts (during which he averaged 12.9 points per game). In 2011712 he played 54 games in Cleveland with 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes, with a season-high of 17 against Detroit. In 2012/13 he played 18 games for Cleveland with one start, 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. Released by Cleveland, he played for the Reno Bighorns of the D-League, averaging 19.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. With two months remaining in the season, he moved to Hapoel Jerusalem where he played 13 games averaging 12.2 points with 4.0 rebounds per game in 22.4 minutes. He scored 20 points against Maccabi in the playoffs (22 was the season-high against Netanya in the quarterfinals series), in game 2, and grabbed 12 rebounds (another season high) in game 3.

NOTES – He played alongside Tristan Thompson in high school. The two played together again in Cleveland… His father’s name is Rohan and worked as a taxi-driver in Jamaica. His mom is Jacqueline… He has two brothers, Leon adn Derain, a sister, Samantha… His first sport was soccer then he grew-up and moved to the basketball court. His first idol was Patrick Ewing, another native Jamaican. In the NBA his favourite player is Tim Duncan, against whom he had his career-high of 23 points… As a freshman at Louisville he made 51 dunks: in the Cardinals’ history only on freshman had more dunks, Pervis Ellison in 1989 (and he was going to be the NBA’s first pick)… Against Maccabi in the Israelian league semifinals, he averaged 15.3points and 5.3 rebounds per game shooting 21 for 29 fron the field… He averaged 17.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game at Centrobasket 2012 playing for the Jamaican National team (that finished third with a 4-2 record). Samuels was the tournament’s foruth best scorer… He played in the 2013 Las Vegas NBA’s summer league with the Los Angeles Clippers averaging 11.2 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 61.2% from the field