Stefan Moody's basketball career at Ole Miss may have come to an inglorious end, but his professional career on the hardwood is just getting started. Though he went unpicked in this year's NBA Draft, young Moody signed with Turkish club Trabzonspor Medical Park this week.
Basketball in Turkey? Yes. Though not as far-flung as Marshall Henderson's stint in Baghdad, Moody is entering a thriving top-tier league that has a pipeline to the NBA. Enes Kanter and journeyman Hedo Turkoglu both hail from Turkey, a country of vast historical significance featuring a passionate sporting culture.
So let's better know about Moody's new club, which finished its regular season in the Turkish League back on May 9, a 95-77 loss to second-ranked Fenerbahce Ulker of Istanbul.
Where is Trabzonspor B.K. located?
Trabzonspor B.K. is in Trabzon, Turkey, which is found on the eastern stretch of the country's Black Sea coast.
The city's name derives from the ancient Greek word trapezus, which means something like "bank teller's table," a testament to the coast town's thriving economic position in the Greek speaking areas of the Euxine Sea.
Wait, I thought Trabzonspor was a soccer club.
Indeed, it is. It's common in Europe for multiple sports to be housed under the same club structure—think of it as the same company offering different products. Trabzonspor Kulubu began as a soccer club in 1967 and added a basketball section in 2008.
That's cool, but are they any good at basketball?
Not exactly, but kinda. They can be, let's say. Trabzonspor dropped the first five games of their 2015-16 Turkish League season, but fared better in their EuroCup table, opening with a 3-2 record. European basketball appears to operate along similar lines as European soccer, where each country contains a national professional league, but upper tier teams also play against other clubs from around Europe.
The team finished the 2015-16 season at 12-18 in the Turkish League (11th of 16 teams) and 8-8 in EuroCup play.
What other Americans are on the team?
In addition to Moody, Trabzonspor has two other Americans rostered, Dwight Hardy and J.P. Prince. Hardy, for his part, had a stellar college career at St. John's under Steve Lavin, but like Moody he didn't get any real NBA consideration. After bouncing around the Italian first and second divisions for a few years, he signed with Trabzonspor in June 2014. Last season in Turkish League play, Hardy averaged 16.7 points in all 30 games.
Notable alumni include former State point man Dee Bost, who averaged 7.3 points and 2.9 assists for Trabzonspor during the 2014-15 season.
Does Trabzonspor have a Twitter account?
Yes, and they tweet in Turkish, which doesn't translate well via Twitter's algorithm. But don't worry, because that only makes them more fun to follow: @TSBaskeTaraftar.
Where does Moody fit in here?
According to EuroBasket, Moody is an immediate starter for the Black Sea Storm (he's already listed as the starting one-guard on the official depth chart). The team averaged in the mid-30 percent range on 619 attempts from beyond the arc in Turkish league play -- or 20.6 attempts per game -- so they like to shoot. Work horse that he is, Moody will probably be asked to contribute in a capacity similar to that of his last season in Oxford, when he ran the point and took the scoring initiative.
In any case, he bumps someone down a spot on Trabzonspor's depth chart, which immediately improves the team's starting platoon. Wherever he ends up on the floor, head coach Ahmet Kandemir is getting a pitbull of a sniper who can put the ball on the floor and drive or pull up from 35 feet out and bomb away. Kandemir should be very excited about the new signee.