Wildcats alumni take their game worldwide

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Former Chico State basketball player Amir Carraway executes a pass for his team in Germany. Photo credit Amir Carraway

Transitioning from team to team can be tough, and even tougher when your new team is in another country.

Amir Carraway and former teammate Sean Park underwent a life transition after both played and saw success as Chico State basketball players. Now the alumni have taken their game to the international level.

Park signed on to play in the British Basketball League, while Carraway took his talents to Germany.

“The toughest transition for me thus far playing overseas has been getting used to the different style of play that is the International Basketball Federation,” Park said.”In FIBA play, there is only a 24-second shot clock, and when your team gets an offensive rebound, the shot clock only resets to 14 seconds.”

Park, who averaged 12.6 points per game for the ‘Cats last season, plays for the Worcester Wolves out of the British Basketball League. He is a British passport holder because his mom was born in England.

“I emailed the director of the BBL and sent him some game film and highlight tape,” Park said. “Because I am a British passport holder, there were various teams interested in employing me for the season.”

Former Chico State basketball player Sean Park prepares to take a shot for his new team overseas. Photo courtesy Sean Park

Park used the passport to his advantage, finding a loophole to attract more teams.

“Each team is only allowed a certain number of import players and because I am technically a British citizen, I don’t count against the import number,” he said.

Unlike Park, Carraway had to find a different avenue to continue his basketball career.

“I took about a month off to rest and find the best agent to represent me,” Carraway said. “I had offers play in Argentina, Columbia and a couple of opportunities in Europe.”

Carraway, who averaged 13.4 points per game during the 2013-14 season, ultimately brought his game to Germany to play for SC Rasta Vechta. It is a German Pro A team, the second-highest professional league.

“My agent and I felt this would be the best opportunity for me to showcase my skills while helping our team move up to the top division in Germany, the Beko BBL,” Carraway said.

Greg Clink, Chico State’s men’s basketball head coach, said the two will fit in nicely overseas.

“The reason both of them have these opportunities is because they worked so hard at developing themselves,” Clink said. “They were guys who worked extremely hard in practice but did a lot of their own on a year-round basis.”

Carraway said he credits Clink for getting him ready to play at the next level.

“Coach Clink always asks us to bring intensity and defense each and every day,” Carraway said. “Offensively, we got a lot of shots every day and played a lot off the ball during pick-and-roll situations, which has helped a lot over here.”

Park said the culture of Chico State basketball is centered around individual development and that’s what is getting him ready for the next level.

“I got in the gym and worked on my game for countless hours and that doesn’t include times we spent as a team in the gym,” Park said. “Also, the coaches were dedicated to our development as well. I have to give a shoutout to coach Justin Blake for rebounding for me almost every day during my senior season.”

Angelo Boscacci can be reached at [email protected] or @boscacci6 on Twitter.