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Issue 1255 June 12, 2011
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What's the Matter with Eric Devendorf? Bay City's Alltime Best Still Adrift

Is It the Coaches, Or Can Devo The Great Talent Fit Anywhere in the Globe?

June 12, 2011       Leave A Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Despite his problems, Bay City's Eric Devendorf has become a cult-like figure in the Syracuse blogosphere, as witness this photoshop image.
 

What a story Eric Devendorf will have to tell his grandchildren!

Bay City's alltime best basketball player transferred from Central High to basketball mentorville Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

Then to Syracuse where Devo canned a 55 footer at halftime against West Virginia and another 28 foot potential game winner that was waved off in the epic six overtime victory against U-Conn in 2009. Among other heroics.

Then, after some campus scuffles and a university suspension, he opted for the NBA draft but drew a blank.

On December 26, 2009, Devendorf signed with the Reno Bighorns of the NBDL. In his debut, Devendorf played 14:33 and scored two points on 1-of-3 shooting as the Bighorns defeated the Tulsa 66ers 102-87. On January 6, 2010, Devendorf was waived by the Bighorns.

On February 8, 2010, Devendorf signed with the Waikato Pistons of the New Zealand National Basketball League. He scored 49 points in his season debut.

Despite knocking them dead on court, Devendorf was released in April by the Pistons following a saloon conflict involving former Syracuse player Josh Pace and former St. Bonaventure center Jamil Terrell. Then he was signed to NBL team Wellington Saints shortly after, and as point guard averaged 26.1 ppg.

Devendorf signed with the Melbourne Tigers in the Australian National Basketball League and made a creditable showing. However, in early February 2011, Devendorf was released by the club after a 6-12 record midway through the season.

In early March, he made his debut with Torku Selcuk Universitesi, which competes in Division 2 Group B of Turkish Basketball League (TB2L), scoring 22 points in his first game.

Although the season was only a few games from its end, he never played another game for Torku.

What's with coaches who can't deal with this terrific talent?

Or is it Devo himself who just can't figure out how to fit in?

Wrote Lee Thompson of The Bay City Times: "Devendorf, the all-time leading scorer at Bay City Central who went on to shine at Syracuse University, led the Wellington Saints to the National Basketball League of New Zealand championship last spring then moved on to the Melbourne Tigers of the National Basketball League of Australia. He was released by the Tigers nearly three weeks ago, despite ranking second on the team with a 14.6 scoring average. But his down time was short and now he is heading to his third league -- and third country -- in the past year."

Syracuse blogger Troy Nunes commented: "If he does win a title, he won't be the first member of this trio to win a title. We all know Eric Devendorf is practically royalty in New Zealand. Apparently that doesn't mean much in Turkey, where Devo can't even get off the bench for his new squad."

Nunes was talking about Paul Harris, Syracuse team-mate of Devo, who is setting the Phillipine basketball league afire, and Johnny Flynn Minnesota Timberwolves 2009 rookie star who is confronting struggles of his own.

"The Bay City native signed with the Selcuk Universitesi team in the TBL2 and scored 22 points with five rebounds and three assists in his debut on March 5. But Devendorf has been relegated to the bench for the last four games."

"By TBL rules, teams can only play one import player per game. And teammate Brian Boddicker, the former University of Texas standout, has been one of Selcuk's top players all season.

"Get that man back to New Zealand!"



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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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