Basketball (M)

Ballin' Isn't Just a Habit, It's a Job

(By Stephanie Cook '12) Many people refer to their time in college as "living the dream." If you asked three Catawba graduates, who are pursuing their dream of playing professional basketball overseas, their answers may be a bit different.

Rob Fields, Donald Rutherford, and Antonio Houston are three Catawba alumni from the Class of 2010 who all played collegiate basketball for the Indians and are now playing professionally in Europe. Rob and Donald are in Denmark, while Antonio is in Iceland. These three men are being paid to do what they love and are living outside of the United States for the first time in their lives. Thanks to  Facebook, I was able to communicate with all three players and get some inside scoop on their experiences away from their home country.


FieldsRob Fields
Rob Fields from Orangeburg, S.C., is currently playing for Espergærde Basketball Klub in Espergærde, Denmark. He has been overseas for about two and a half months, having arrived in early September. When asked how the level of play is compared to the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) level of basketball, he explained, "The level of basketball compared to the SAC is similar. Compared to other countries, Denmark is really just beginning the real pro basketball protocol. Meaning bringing in other foreigners to get paid and things like that are fairly new." 

Rob stated he plans to say abroad until at least April. The big question is whether he will be returning home for good or not in five months, a decision that has not been made yet. He called his everyday routine basic, waking up to eat a bit, go workout, then going to the basketball gym for about 4 to 5 hours. He did admit to playing some video games, and of course using Skype and the telephone to talk with loved ones. He will be coming back stateside for Christmas, and said he could not wait to see his family and friends as well as enjoying some of his grandmother's fabulous cooking.

After his time playing professionally overseas, Rob wants to coach basketball and feels he can offer a great deal to the game, even when he is done competing himself. He noted he has gained "a sense of direction in the area of preparation" from his time at Catawba. He said the challenges that he faced and overcame while a college student have helped him transition into a foreign country easier than he thought he would.


RutherfordDonald Rutherford
Another Catawba basketball standout, Donald Rutherford from Morganton, N.C., is also in Denmark. He is in the capital city of Copenhagen and is playing in the Canal Digital Ligaen conference for the SISU team. He will be overseas for about eight months, depending on if his team makes the playoffs or not. When asked about the level of play in the CDL conference, he commented, "The competition in the CDL is a step higher than the SAC. The players are more experienced and developed." 

Donald admitted to missing home, but is happy to be getting paid to do what he loves. His weekly schedule consists of shooting baskets on his own, lifting weights, coaching every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the week, and having team practices at night. On his off days, he enjoys relaxing and sightseeing when he has the time and energy. While at Catawba, Donald said that he was able to build a strong character, solid communication abilities, and most importantly, develop his leadership skills. After his playing days are over, he hopes to own his own business back in the States.


HoustonAntonio Houston
Antonio Houston of Charlotte, N.C., another former Catawba basketball player, was playing for a team in Iceland called Njardvik in the city of Kellavik. He did not complete the season with that team, but is now on another team in the same conference.

While he was on the Njardvik team playing, he described the level and style of play as being very different from that of the United State's style.  He elaborated on how the game in Europe is played much more physically than it is in the States, and how the referees call the games differently overseas. Antonio described his typical day as waking up at 11:30 a.m., going to work out in the gym at 12:00 p.m., grabbing lunch at 1:30, going back to his room to talk with family and friends (due to the 4 hour time difference), and then venturing off to practice.  After running plays and such, he would head back to his room and just try to relax to prepare for the next day of tough practices and workouts.

Houston commented that while at Catawba, he learned how to be independent and take care of himself.  He said that since Catawba brings in international students and there were a good number present while he was a college student, he was able to interact with different ethnic groups, which made his adjustment to living overseas easier. He would like to use his Business Management degree to find a job, invest in a company that is doing well within the stock market, or possibly work in a field related to athletics.


Coach Baker on His Former Players
BakerJim Baker, the current Catawba Head Men's Basketball Coach, had nothing but wonderful things to say about these three men. He added Donzell Williams of Salem, Va., another Catawba basketball player and 2010 alumnus now in graduate school at Radford University, when describing how he felt about his former players from the Class of 2010.

"I think all four of the guys were such great people. They had very strong parents, parents who were involved with them. During their four years here, there was not one problem off the court —  not anything character related, involving alcohol, or anything stupid in the dorm. They all graduated on time with their class. They all won in a big way since they had four trips to the NCAA Regionals, two regular season championships, two tournament season championships, and a 10-2 SAC Tournament record. All these are big accomplishments.

"I think they will all do well in their lives. They will play ball for a few years, explore the world, and do well when they decide to settle down and go into the real world," Baker concluded.

Today's Events

Softball vs. Mount Olive, 10:00Stats
Tennis (W) @ Mars Hill, 1:30
Tennis (M) @ Mars Hill, 1:30
Softball vs. UNC Pembroke, 2:00Stats

Calendar

«February 2017»
1
February 1

Baseball @ Pfeiffer 13-3

Basketball (W) @ Lenoir-Rhyne 74-76

Basketball (M) @ Lenoir-Rhyne 87-76

234
February 4

Golf (W) @ Kiawah/Barton Inv. (Oak Point GC) 14th of 17

Softball @ Augusta 3-5

Softball vs. West Georgia 1-4

Baseball @ Lee 0-6

Basketball (W) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 76-80

Basketball (M) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 77-76

Baseball @ Lee 2-1

5
February 5

Golf (W) @ Kiawah/Barton Inv. (Oak Point GC) 14th of 17

Softball @ Augusta 4-5

Softball vs. West Georgia 5-6

Tennis (W) vs. EMMANUEL 6-3

Tennis (M) vs. EMMANUEL 7-2

Baseball @ Lee 7-8

67
February 7

Lacrosse (M) @ Young Harris 10-9

Baseball @ Belmont Abbey 9-12

8
February 8

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 1)

Basketball (W) vs. NEWBERRY 41-61

Basketball (M) vs. NEWBERRY 87-92

9
February 9

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 1)

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 2)

Tennis (M) @ Anderson 6-3

Tennis (W) @ Anderson 0-9

10
February 10

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 1)

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 2)

Softball vs. Wayne State,MI 0-8

Lacrosse (M) vs. BELMONT ABBEY 5-17

Softball vs. Texas A&M-Commerce 0-2

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 3)

11
February 11

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 1)

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 2)

Softball vs. Hillsdale 2-3

Tennis (M) vs. JC SMITH 9-0

Tennis (W) vs. JC SMITH 9-0

Basketball (W) vs. ANDERSON 69-74

Softball vs. West Chester 2-3

Basketball (M) vs. ANDERSON 67-73

Swimming @ Bluegrass Championships (Day 4) M-6th; W-8th

12
February 12

Softball vs. Valdosta State 3-12

13
February 13

Golf (M) @ Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate (Fleming Isl. GC) 10th of 15

14
February 14

Golf (M) @ Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate (Fleming Isl. GC) 10th of 15

Softball vs. BELMONT ABBEY 9-1

Tennis (M) vs. PFEIFFER 4-5

Softball vs. BELMONT ABBEY 17-3

15
February 15

Baseball vs. Armstrong, ccd, 5 p.m.

Basketball (W) @ Queens 72-48

Basketball (M) @ Queens 85-93

16
February 16

Tennis (W) vs. PFEIFFER 8-1

17
February 17

Swimming @ Royal Open 

18
February 18

Swimming @ Royal Open 

Softball vs. AUGUSTA 6-2

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 18-15

Lacrosse (W) @ Mount Olive 3-12

Basketball (W) @ Brevard 80-61

Lacrosse (M) vs. MOUNT OLIVE 10-16

Softball vs. PFEIFFER 2-9

Basketball (M) @ Brevard 77-60

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 11-4

19
February 19

Softball vs. GOLDY BEACOM 8-3

Tennis (W) vs. BREVARD 9-0

Softball vs. MOUNT OLIVE 6-7

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 6-4

Tennis (M) vs. BREVARD 8-1

20
February 20

Golf (W) @ Converse Inv. (Carolina CC) 11th of 19

21
February 21

Golf (W) @ Converse Inv. (Carolina CC) 11th of 19

Baseball vs. PFEIFFER 22-12

22
February 22

Softball vs. LIMESTONE 5-1

Softball vs. LIMESTONE 2-10

Lacrosse (M) vs. PFEIFFER 13-11

Baseball vs. MOUNT OLIVE 19-5

Basketball (W) vs. WINGATE 61-73

Basketball (M) vs. WINGATE 89-57

23
February 23

Tennis (W) vs. WINGATE 0-9

Tennis (M) vs. WINGATE 1-8

Lacrosse (W) vs. ROBERTS WESLEYAN 11-9

24
February 24

Baseball vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 10-7

25
February 25

Softball vs. Limestone 2-10

Baseball vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 14-2

Basketball (W) vs. LINCOLN MEMORIAL 67-88

Lacrosse (M) @ Chowan 19-7

Baseball vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 10-6

Softball vs. Flagler 0-2

Basketball (M) vs. LINCOLN MEMORIAL 81-92

Lacrosse (W) vs. WEST VIRGINIA WESLEYAN 17-9

26
February 26

Softball vs. Mount Olive 10 a.m.

Tennis (M) @ Mars Hill 1:30 p.m.

Tennis (W) @ Mars Hill 1:30 p.m.

Softball vs. UNC Pembroke 2 p.m.

27
February 27

Golf (M) in RENDLEMAN INV. (CC of SALISBURY)

28
February 28

Golf (M) in RENDLEMAN INV. (CC of SALISBURY)

Tennis (M) @ Newberry 2 p.m.

Tennis (W) @ Newberry 2 p.m.

Mouse over the red calendar dates to display events on those days. Click to open the full-size calendar.


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Tennis (W) Team Photo

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