Tar Heels in Asia – April Update

The basketball season in Asia is coming to a close with the season finished for the Tar Heels playing in South Korea, and a handful of games left in the regular season in Japan.

This update takes a look at the latest statistics of James McAdoo and Jawad Williams in Japan. Also, looking at this year’s performances of Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Justin Knox in South Korea, including season highlight videos.

Follow @britishtarheel on Twitter for all the updates on Tar Heels Overseas.

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel for all the interviews with former UNC players on the Ceiling is the Roof Podcast.

James Michael McAdoo – Hitachi Sun Rockers (Japan)

The two-time NBA Champion took his talents overseas in 2018 and has since played in Italy, Serbia, Turkey and now finds himself in Japan. JMM has teamed up with former Dook player, Ryan Kelly in Tokyo… I do hope they watched the rivalry games together this year.

McAdoo has been coming off the bench this year and averaging over 10 PPG. Hitachi Sun Rockers are 5th in the Japanese B-League 1 with a current record of 38-18 and are hoping to make it to the playoffs. The top 8 teams qualify for the post-season, so the Sun Rockers are on track.

McAdoo will face up against Jawad Williams twice more this season when Levanga Hokkaido visit the Sun Rockers. JMM has had some great performances over the last month, including a 22 and 10 performance against Akita.

85-71 (WIN) vs Yokohama B-Corsairs
10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists in 23 minutes

BESIKTAS (TURKEY)2019/2020.78.556.641.15
HITACHI SUN ROCKERS (JAPAN)2020/2120.910.536.351.42
Statistics are up to date as of April 20th (source: basketball.realgm.com

Isaiah Hicks – Seoul Samsung Thunders (South Korea)

Isaiah Hicks just finished his second season overseas and had a great season in the Korean Basketball League in South Korea. Last year, Hicks played in Russia.

Hicks played 54 games for Seoul this season and started 51 of them. Seoul struggled in the league this year with a record of 24-30, but Hicks’ numbers were impressive. He led his team in PPG, RPG and BPG and was also 8th in scoring in the KBL.

Isaiah’s best performance this year was probably the 91-90 win over Incheon. He ended the game with 22 points, including the game-winning basket in the final seconds. Video Highlights Europe have put together Hicks’ season highlights for the 2020/21 season in the KBL.

YouTube – Video Highlights Europe

Hicks ended the season strong with games of scoring-highs of 27, 24 and 21. With the season coming to an end Hicks is now a Free Agent and will be looking for a new team for the 2021/22 season.

93-77 (WIN) vs Busan KT Sonicboom
21 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block in 23 minutes

AVTODAR SARATOV (RUSSIA)2019/2028.312.866.712.0
Statistics are up to date as of April 20th (source: basketball.realgm.com

Jawad Williams – Levanga Hokkaido (Japan)

Jawad Williams is the most experienced Tar Heel still playing professional basketball. French Cup Winner, Turkish Cup Winner, Japanese League Winner and a member of the 2005 National Championship Team, Williams is still performing at a high level.

You would have read in the last Tar Heels in Asia Update about Williams game-winning buzzer-beater last month. Since then, Levanga Hokkaido hasn’t had much to cheer about and are currently on an 8 game losing streak. Williams is the third leading scorer for Levanga and had his season-high of points of 23 a few weeks ago.

Williams has missed the past five games due to an injury from his game against Yokohama. Williams is currently 38 years old and said in a recent interview:

“My path was to play in Europe until I was 35, then go back to Japan and retire at 40 and I’m on the path for exactly what I set out to do.”

Jawad Williams on Euro Steppin’ Podcast

Jawad Williams is also a Children’s Book Author and is about to release his book, make sure you take a look at his previous work at NailahAndNash.com.

70-71 (LOSS) vs Yokohama B-Corsairs
2 points, 1 rebound in 11 minutes (INJURED DURING GAME)

TOYOTA ALVARK (JAPAN)2017/1819.78.83.391.0
TOYOTA ALVARK (JAPAN)2018/1923.610.424.311.27
LINK TOCHIGI BREX (JAPAN)2019/2014.17.162.890.58
LEVANGA HOKKAIDO (JAPAN)2020/2125.510.474.31.51
Statistics are up to date as of April 20th (source: basketball.realgm.com

Justin Knox – Wonju Dongbu Promy (South Korea)

Justin Knox was a Graduate Transfer at Carolina, after gaining his degree at the University of Alabama. Knox is an overseas veteran with over a decade’s experience in professional basketball that has taken him all over the world.

Knox just finished his season in South Korea playing for Wonju Dongbu Promy, who finished with a 24-30 record and one position outside the playoffs. The previous season Wonju Dongbu Promy were Co-Regular Season Champions of the KBL (season finished early due to Covid-19).

Two Points put together Justin Knox’s highlights for the 2020/21 Season in the Korean Basketball League.

YouTube – Two Points

Knox has been able to light it up this season, including a season-high of 33 points. Knox’s last game of the season, he scored 12 points in 10 minutes coming off the bench in a win against Goyang Orions. Knox is now a Free Agent.

93-91 (WIN) vs Goyang Orions
12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal in 10 minutes

PALLACANESTRO TRIESTE (ITALY)2018/1917.110.424.290.68
TRENTO (ITALY)2019/2022.110.575.190.59
WONJU DONGBU PROMY (SOUTH KOREA)2020/2121.613.946.780.69
Statistics are up to date as of April 20th (source: basketball.realgm.com

Kennedy Meeks – Changwong LG Sakers (South Korea)

Kennedy Meeks, a member of the 2017 NCAA Championship team, has been playing overseas since 2018 after a year in the NBA G-League. Meeks has played in Japan and South Korea. Last season, Meeks averaged over 20 and 10 for Levanga Hokkaido (Jawad Williams Current Team).

Kennedy started this season in Seoul, South Korea alongside one of his best friends, Isaiah Hicks. Meeks was traded to Changwon LG Sakers but did not play many games for his new side before returning to America to get ready for the 2021/22 Season. Meeks is now a Free Agent.

I spoke with Kennedy about his plans for next season and he said;

“New team coming!”

Kennedy Meeks

I am excited to see where Kennedy plays next and I hope to see some more success on the basketball court for him.

AISHIN SEA HORSES (JAPAN)2018/1932.014.6811.01.0517
LEVANGA HOKKAIDO (JAPAN)2019/2034.120.9710.871.2321
SEOUL SAMSUNG THUNDERS (SOUTH KOREA)2020/2115.16.816.000.311
Statistics are up to date as of April 20th (source: basketball.realgm.com

Ceiling is the Roof Podcast

In case you missed it, it was the first interview on the Ceiling is the Roof Podcast with a Tar Heel who plays overseas this week. Justin Pierce gave a great insight into overseas basketball and his time at North Carolina. Check out the interview below!

Justin Piece Interview

Follow on Twitter at @britishtarheel and subscribe for updates on Current Tar Heels, Pro Tar Heels with a close eye on the Tar Heels Overseas.

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel for all the interviews with former UNC players on the Ceiling is the Roof Podcast.

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