Eggleston prepares for Euro-ball
September 8, 2011, 11:31 pm·
Michelle Bigony | DP
The Daily Pennsylvanian caught up with recent graduate Jack Eggleston after he signed with Bayer Leverkusen, a third-division German basketball team, and chatted about everything from the signing process to donning the dreaded Red and White.
Daily Pennsylvanian: Talk about the process of going pro and finding an agency.
Jack Eggleston: After graduation, I basically started talking to several different people about who would be my agent. I talked to a few people I know who are playing overseas and coach [Jerome] Allen and my parents about what I was looking for and what I felt would be the best fit and ended up settling on Pro-1 Sports Management.
They’ve got one guy based in an office in Germany which is one of the things I really liked — instead of having one guy over here in the States who, if you have an issue, can’t really help you out very much, they have a guy in Europe. So if you’ve got a problem, he can come visit you and help you work through whatever’s going on, so that was a big draw.
DP: And how did you settle with the Bayer Giants?
JE: It was a little strange going from the college recruiting process where you’ve got coaches in your ear the whole time telling you ‘we want you, we want you,’ to this where I don’t hear anything except for every few days my agent [would] text me and say ‘We got some interest from this guy or this guy.’ I [was] kind of out of the loop, almost.
DP: You signed a contract with them in mid-August. What’s it like?
JE: The contract is for nine months … [it] goes through the end of April.
There’s a possibility that if we make the playoffs and advance, I could be over there a little longer. And then you come back, and then the process I just went through will start all over again.
DP: How does the game differ over there from in the States?
JE: The travel call is officiated much differently. On the ball … [the refs] would call little stuff, and then off the ball it’s pretty much a free-for-all — you can do whatever you want besides chucking somebody to the ground.
The other big adjustment is the 24-second shot clock … if you take your time getting the ball down the court, you’ve got one action and you’re looking for a shot in a hurry.
[Also] the international goaltending rule, just being able to pick off the rim after it’s touched.
DP: Do you think you’ll adjust quickly?
JE: I’d like to say yes, I’ll be able to pick that stuff up quickly. But these are the rules that have been immutable and not changing for my whole basketball life, and now I’m asked to approach something a little differently. I’ve gotta be realistic and say that it’s possible that it could take some time.
DP: Does the team speak English?
JE: From what I understand, a lot of the guys over there speak at least some English. While it would be nice to pick up some German and be able to converse with the people over there, I think it won’t be too tough of a transition.
DP: Bayer Leverkusen has a top-tier soccer team as well. Are you a football fan?
JE: I’ve become more of a soccer fan in the last several years and that was one of the really big draws about this place. I realize it has a top-league team, and a very competitive top league team at that, so to be able to get out there and watch some of these games and experience European football like it’s supposed to be experienced should be a lot of fun.
DP: Do you know any other guys playing in Germany?
JE: Mike Jordan from Penn has been in Germany for a while. Louis Dale [from Cornell] is still playing in Germany. I’ll know a few people over there — they’ll be kinda scattered around and I don’t know how much I’ll get to see him but, there are some connections that I have.
DP: Red and white jerseys, is that going to take some getting used to?
JE: I’ve had navy in my color scheme as long as I can remember — my high-school team, my AAU team, my college team, all navy — so that’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment. But honestly, I’m not concerned with the colors, I’m just concerned with what shows up in the win column.