Pirates in the Pros: MBB Alumni Update

June 26, 2015

As a founding member of one of the premier conferences in the nation, Seton Hall men's basketball has long had a global footprint; consistently producing players that go on to compete in the top leagues around the world. Earlier this month, Haralds Karlis '15 signed his first professional contract with BK Valmiera in his native Latvia, joining a group of 18 other former Pirates who were active professionally in 2014-15.

With Karlis becoming the 11th Pirate who played for head coach Kevin Willard to move on to the professional ranks, Seton Hall is now represented on the hardwood in 14 different countries across five continents. From Levell Sanders who began his Seton Hall career in 1994 to Fuquan Edwin who was born just three years earlier, here is a look at the Pirates currently making their mark on the pro scene.

PATRIK AUDA, F - 2010-14
Current Team: Polfarmex Kutno (Poland)
Years Pro: 1

In his first full season as a professional, the recent Pirate graduate starred as a starting forward for Polfarmex Kutno of the Tauron Basket Liga (TBL); Poland's top basketball league. The versatile big man appeared in 27 of the team's 30 games in 2014-15, leading the squad by shooting a remarkable 68.9 percent from the field for the season. The only non-American import on the roster, Auda stepped in and ranked second on the squad in both scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (4.4 rpg) as Polfarmex finished 10th in its first campaign after being promoted to the top level of competition.

ANDRE BARRETT, G - 2000-04
Current Team: Westchester Knicks (NBA D-League)
Years Pro: 11

The Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Famer was tabbed to serve as the primary point guard for the D-League affiliate of the New York Knicks in its inaugural season. Barrett finished with 4.1 assists per contest while adding 12.5 points per game in 36 appearances. It was the fifth season in which Barrett has played in the D-League after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBADL Draft. The 2004 Haggerty Award winner, Barrett has played in regular season action with six different NBA teams in his career and was most recently in training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies prior to the 2013-14 season. His decorated career also includes stints with FC Barcelona (Spain) where he helped the squad capture a league title in 2008-09 and Chorale Roanne Basket in France.

Current Team: Ponce Leones (Puerto Rico)
Years Pro: 9

A second team All-BIG EAST performer as a senior, Copeland has carved out a professional career that has spanned nearly a decade since he helped guide The Hall to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Copeland has found a home in Puerto Rico where he has played seven seasons and helped his most recent team, the Ponce Leones, to a third-place finish in the regular season. With the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) playoffs in full swing, Ponce currently holds a 3-to-1 lead over San German in the quarterfinal round and is looking to repeat after capturing the league title in 2014.

Last Team: New York Knicks (NBA)
Years Pro: 14

The newest men's basketball player to be enshrined into the Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame, Samuel Dalembert remains in the midst of one of the most distinguished professional careers put together by a Pirate over the last half-century. The native of Haiti has established himself as a dependable defensive force on the interior since being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers after two seasons at The Hall. Dalembert spent half of the latest NBA season, his 14th in the league after being selected in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, playing locally with the New York Knicks. Seton Hall's official career leader in blocked shots, Dalembert swatted an average of 1.3 shots in 32 appearances with New York and has now averaged better than a block per game in every season since 2003-04. For Philadelphia, with whom he spent his first eight seasons in the association, he ranks second all-time with 1,131 blocks trailing only Hall of Famer Julius Erving. Throughout his career, Dalembert has also been celebrated for his humanitarian efforts and was chosen by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA) to receive the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2009-10. As he prepares for his next opportunity, Dalembert remains deeply involved with a variety of initiatives in Haiti.

FUQUAN EDWIN, F - 2010-14
Current Team: Guaros de Lara (Venezuela)
Years Pro: 1

After capping a stellar career with the 2013-14 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year award, Seton Hall all-time steals leader Fuquan Edwin was selected 15th overall in the 2014 NBA D-League Draft by the Miami HEAT affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Like Auda, Edwin played his entire collegiate career for head coach Kevin Willard and developed a sharp-shooting touch to go with his prowess on the defensive end of the floor. In his first season with the Skyforce, Edwin appeared in 49 games (33 games) and posted averages of 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals contest. His 1.8 steals/game ranked eighth among qualifying players and helped him land NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team honors. Offensively, Edwin racked up 13 20+-point performances and his 39.8 percent connect rate from beyond the arc rated inside the top-25 among players who averaged four or more 3-point attempts. After being eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Edwin played a stint in Venezuela where he appeared in eight games for Guaros de Lara and registered 8.4 points and 1.3 steals in just over 16 minutes per outing.

JOHN GARCIA, C - 2005-10
Current Team: Caneros de la Romana (Dominican Republic)
Years Pro: 5

A fixture in the Seton Hall lineup who went head-to-head with the best big men college basketball had to offer throughout his time in blue & white, John Garcia has parlayed that dependability into an on-going professional career that has seen him establish himself as one of the top centers in the Dominican Republic. Garcia, who hails from Dominican heritage, returned to the island this spring following a brief stint with Lanus Buenos Aires of Liga A in Argentina. Currently, the Long Island native is plying his trade for first-place Caneros de la Romana of the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto (LNB) where he is starting alongside former NBA players Luther Head and Reyshawn Terry. On Tuesday, Garcia finished with nine points and a team-high seven boards to help Caneros hold off second-place Soles de Santo Domingo for their 10th victory of the year. With Caneros in the driver's seat, Garcia will be looking to add another title to his collection after having helped CDP capture the Santiago League crown in his first pro season.

PAUL GAUSE, G - 2005-09
Current Team: AS de Sale (Morocco)
Years Pro: 5

An extremely talented, two-way guard who graduated as holder of the top two single season steals marks in program history, Paul Gause continues to thrive as part of a flourishing professional career that has included stops in Germany, England, Slovakia and Morocco. Gause was an integral part of an As de Sale squad that wrapped up a league title with a resounding 36-point victory in the final less than a month ago. The championship-winning performance came on the heels of a season in which he averaged 15.0 points, 3.7 rebounds to go with team-highs of 3.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game for the Newcastle Eagles of the British Basketball League (BBL). Ranked second in the league in steals during 2013-14, Gause helped the Eagles capture the regular season title and advance to the championship game. A former New Jersey prep standout who scored over 3,000 points for Schalick High School, Gause began huis professional career with USC Freiburg in Germany where, playing alongside fellow Pirate Jamar Nutter, he averaged team bests of 15.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.8 steals per outing.

Last Team: Ourense Termal (Spain)
Years Pro: 1

A member of Kevin Willard's first recruiting class as the Pirates head coach, the English-born Aaron Geramipoor came to South Orange by way of the Canarias Basketball Academy as a 17-year-old seven-footer in 2010. Throughout his tenure as a Pirate, he continued to develop; peaking as a senior in 2013-14 before embarking on a professional career that initially brought him back to Spain's Canary Islands. Playing for CBA Gran Canaria in the third level of Spanish professional basketball, Geramipoor quickly asserted himself as an interior force, scoring 14.5 points/game and ranking fifth in the LEB-Silver with 8.5 boards per contest. Geramipoor then moved on to Ourense Termal of LEB-Gold where he appeared in 23 contests, including all five of the championship series which Ourense came back to win, 3-2, over Breogan earlier this month. The former Pirate finished with averages of 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game for Ourense.

JEREMY HAZELL, G - 2007-11
Current Team: Granarolo Bologna (Italy)
Years Pro: 4

The most prolific long-range shooter in school history, Jeremy Hazell has recently re-emerged on the European scene complete with the same deft touch from downtown that helped him climb to third on Seton Hall's all-time scoring list. Playing in his first season with Serie A's Granarolo Bologna in Italy, Hazell sank a team-high 78 treys and finished fourth league-wide with 15.8 points per game. His proclivity for making tough shots in the clutch has quickly endeared him to the local fan base as he has combined with former Villanova star Allan Ray, who was once coached by current Pirate assistant Fred Hill, to form a European version of the "splash brothers." With Hazell and Ray both ranking among the top-five in the league in scoring, Granarolo Bologna qualified for the playoffs but came up short in the quarterfinals; falling to regular season leaders EA7 Emporio Armani Milano who advanced with the help of former BIG EAST stars MarShon Brooks and Samardo Samuels. The all-time BIG EAST leader with 201 3-pointers made in conference play, Hazell posted a team-high 14.0 points per game in 17 appearances for Juventus (Lithuania) during the 2013-14 season before moving on to Italy. A two-time USBWA All-District honoree at The Hall, his budding career has also included stops in Spain as well as the Dominican Republic in addition to a stint with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League.

DUANE JORDAN, F - 1995-99
Current Team: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (Australia)
Years Pro: 15

A 6-foot-7 big man who led the Pirates in both rebounds and field goal percentage during his junior and senior seasons, Duane Jordan is one of the most veteran Seton Hall products who remain active on the international scene. Jordan has entrenched himself with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in Australia, starring for the organization since 2006. This season, Manly Warringah is off to a 13-3 start with Jordan posting 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per outing. Last year, Jordan nearly averaged a double-double, recording averages of 10.3 points and 9.1 boards in a team-high 24 appearances. Jordan, who still ranks among the top-12 in school history in blocked shots, also logged 2.8 rejections per game in 2013-14 - one season after helping guide the Sea Eagles to a Waratagh League championship.

RIMAS KAUKENAS, G - 1996-2000
Current Team: Pallacanestro Reggiana (Italy)
Years Pro: 15

One of the most decorated professionals to hail from Seton Hall; Rimas Kaukenas has been recognized as one of the top players in European basketball for well over a decade. Later today, he will play for Pallacanestro Reggiana in game seven of the Serie A championship - looking to secure the sixth Italian League title of his distinguished career. Still a staple in the starting lineup, Kaukenas has averaged 13.7 points per game in the championship and holds averages of 11.4 points and 2.8 assists in 40 appearances this season overall. A two-time Olympian for his native Lithuania, Kaukenas helped Pallacanestro Reggiana to a EuroChallenge crown in 2014, adding to a long list of achievements that has transcended borders. Kaukenas established himself as an Italian basketball legend with Montepaschi Siena, capturing five league championships over two stints with the organization; including two after the club retired his number 13 in 2009. The 2007 Italian League finals MVP, Kaukenas returned to Serie A in 2013 after stays in Spain and Lithuania where guided Zalgiris Kaunas to the top of the Lithuanian Basketball League in 2012. A member of Seton Hall's 1999-00 squad that advanced to the Sweet 16, Kaukenas has also played with Spain's Real Madrid and spent time at the top levels in Belgium, Germany and Israel.

TOM MAAYAN, G - 2012-14
Current Team: Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
Years Pro: 2

Still just 21 years old, former Pirate Tom Maayan continues to develop as a member of a Hapoel Jerusalem team that went 25-8 during the 2014-15 regular season. Maayan joined head coach Kevin Willard and the Pirates prior to 2012-13 and played in 43 games with 18 starts over two seasons before returning to Israel. Since the beginning of the playoffs, Hapoel Jerusalem rattled off eight consecutive playoff victories and swept Hapoel Eliat in the championship round to clinch their first-ever Winner League title. Playing behind former Indiana star Bracey Wright, Maayan has appeared in 22 games to this point in the year.

BRIAN OLIVER, G/F - 2012-14
Last Team: Mississauga Power (Canada)
Years Pro: 1

As a senior for The Hall, Oliver knocked down the eighth most 3-pointers (85) by a Pirate in a single season and went on to be selected by the Sacramento Kings affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, in the fourth round of the 2014 NBA D-League draft. Oliver then appeared in a total of 30 games with two teams in Canada's National Basketball League (NBL) over the course of the 2014-15 campaign. Between stints with the Brampton A's and Mississauga Power; Oliver averaged 6.0 points and 1.4 treys per contest.

Last Team: Piratas de Quebradillas (Puerto Rico)
Years Pro: 4

Polynice was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers affiliate, the LA D-Fenders, in the third round of the 2011 NBA D-League draft after coming to South Orange to play his final collegiate season under head coach Kevin Willard at Seton Hall. Since, he has built a professional career that has included stops in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay. Last season, he played in 27 contests to Piratas de Quebradillas in Puerto Rico, averaging 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.4 steals (seventh in the league). Within the last year, Polynice also appeared in 14 games for Bohemios Montevideo (Uruguay) - posting a similarly well-rounded line of 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and a league-best 2.6 steals. Between 2011 and 2013, Polynice suited up for a total of 18 games for the D-Fenders and averaged 5.7 points to go with 2.8 rebounds.

HERB POPE, F - 2009-12
Last Team: Monte Hermoso Basket (Argentina)
Years Pro: 3

A multi-talented forward who overcame tremendous obstacles both prior to and during his collegiate career, Herb Pope is still starring on the basketball floor. Through 18 appearances with Monte Hermoso Basket in 2014-15, Pope recorded an average of 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting nearly 56 percent from the field. The only Pirate ever to capture the BIG EAST rebounding title prior to reigning Rookie of the Year Angel Delgado this past season, Pope also played in 11 contests for Netanya of the Israeli National League over the past calendar year, racking up a double-double per game with averages of 13.5 points and 10.3 rebounds.

Current Team: BK Pardubice (Czech Republic)
Years Pro: 16

More than 15 years after playing his last game in a Seton Hall uniform, Levell Sanders continued to play at a high level in 2014-15, appearing in 44 contests for BK Pardubice (Czech Republic) with whom he has spent the last two seasons. Over the past year, the three-time All-Metropolitan selection contributed 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and ranked eighth in the top-flight Czech league with 4.2 assists per game. It was the second-straight year that Sanders has ranked among the top-eight in assists after finishing fourth in 2013-14. A second team All-BIG EAST honoree as a senior, Sanders has spent the better part of the last decade in the Czech Republic, helping his team into the playoffs in each of the last six years.

EUGENE TEAGUE, F/C - 2012-14
Current Team: Athletico Argentino (Argentina)
Years Pro: 1

Big man Eugene Teague thrived in his final season under head coach Kevin Willard, one which culminated in a dominant run at the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament that netted All-Tournament recognition. After beginning his professional career in France, Teague most recently helped Athletico Argentino of LigaA finish fourth in their nine-team division by posting averages of 9.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 17 appearances. The stretch followed a 24-game stint with Evreux of the French second division in which he registered similar averages of 9.3 points and 5.7 boards. Seton Hall's official all-time leader in career field goal percentage, Teague has shot 55.7 percent from the field in 41 games as a pro.

Current Team: Bourg (France)
Years Pro: 3

In the three years since his days as a Pirate came to an end, Jordan Theodore's career has maintained the same ascendant track that saw the Paterson native set the school's single season assists mark as a senior. After first making his mark as a professional in Turkey, Theodore most recently appeared in 17 games for French Pro A squad Bourg; tying for the team-high with 12.7 points and ranking second in the league with 6.1 assists per contest. Despite playing only half the season, his contributions earned him an honorable mention All-League nod from Eurobasket.com. Prior to his first foray into the French first division, Theodore starred for both Antalaya and Mersin in Turkey, leading each team in assists while averaging double-figure scoring numbers during his time there. A second team All-BIG EAST performer in 2011-12, Theodore has also made stops with the Guaynabo Mets (Puerto Rico) and Huracanes of the Dominican Republic.

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