Busy day in Ukraine: Bilan, Kennedy and Mishula arrive
ZAPORIZHIA (Ukraine) - BC Prometey are the reigning champions of Ukraine, and they got to the Regular Season by winning their Qualifying Round tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. But the goal was not just to reach the group stage, the summer signings have made it clear Prometey are planning to do some damage in 2022, too.
Coach Ronen Ginzburg in on their bench. The experienced Israeli playcaller made a name for himself in Czech Republic, by creating the ERA Nymburk machinery and getting the Czech national team to new heights, such as reaching the Olympics for the first time ever in 2021.
Here is what Ginzburg has in his locker room in Ukraine:
Within 24 hours on September 23 and 24, Prometey announced three new arrivals in their squad: Miro Bilan, DJ Kennedy and Olexandr Mishula.
Miro Bilan is a 32-year-old Croatian national team center. The seven-footer is also a BCL veteran, having played three seasons of this competition with SIG Strasbourg and Dinamo Sassari, peaking in 2020-21, when he averaged 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Italian squad.
Bilan started his career in Sibenik, then moved to Zadar and Cedevita in Croatia. Strasbourg in 2017-18 was his first international experience, which he followed up with a season in ASVEL and two more in Sassari. The center is coming off of a career year, because he also had 16.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in Italy last season.
Different seasons, different teams, different leagues - same move! 📚 pic.twitter.com/7Pb4kfRtmn— Miro Bilan (@M1roB1lan) August 10, 2021
Olexandr Mishula is a 29-year-old point guard who has been a long time member of the Ukrainian national team, and could prove to be a wonderful pickup for Prometey as a free agent just days before the Regular Season starts.
Mishula started his professional career with Dnipro back in 2010, and stayed with the club until 2019-20, when he played the Turkish Second Division. He made his way back to Ukraine in 2020-21, pacing Kyiv with 11 points per game both in Ukrainian League and the FIBA Europe Cup.
DJ Kennedy is another man full of BCL experience. In fact, the 31-year-old forward was the leading scorer of the entire league in 2018, earning a spot on the Star Lineup First Team of the season. His left hand is back and swinging in Ukraine, after seasons in France, Israel, Russia, Germany, China, Turkey, Australia and Italy.
Kennedy averaged 19.3 points per game with Pinar Karsiyaka in the Basketball Champions League in 2017-18, and he was back in the same competition with the same club in 2020-21. Although not as productive in terms of scoring, Kennedy was a valuable piece en route to the championship game in Nizhny Novgorod in 2021.
Kennedy is now reunited with former St. John's teammate Sean Evans, and another St. John's graduate in D'Angelo Harrison. Evans was already in Prometey in 2020-21, Harrison joined over the summer after challenging for the BCL MVP award last season, leading Happy Casa Brindisi to happiness numerous times.
Chris Dowe is another notable signing in the summer of 2021. Dowe is 30, and has been a double digit scorer in each of his eight European seasons so far. He impressed the continent with his flights for Anwil Wloclawek in 2019-20, when the 6'2''/1.88m guard climbed the ladder week in, week out.
Speaking of flying, it is worth mentioning that DJ Stephens has stayed with Prometey after a successful season in 2020-21. With a host renowned domestic names such as Oleksandr Lypovyy, Denys Lukashov and Viacheslav Petrov, Ginzburg put together a mighty looking team, at least on his coaching board.