European Atheltes of the Week for the January 21 edition
Last week: Tuck, a 6-foot-2 All-Europe senior guard, scored 44 points, stole the ball 10 times and handed out eight assists Friday night to help the unbeaten defending European Division II champions hand visiting Vicenza its first loss of the season, 78-43. “He’s a good outside shooter,” Aviano coach Ken McNeely said by telephone Tuesday night. “He drives the basket really well, too. He always plays the game hard.” According to McNeely, Tuck is averaging 22.2 points, 6.4 steals and 3.2 assists per game, even though, unlike Friday, he rarely gets to play even half the game. In Aviano’s first four games, 40- and 30-point victories at International School of Florence and Marymount International School of Rome, Tuck rode the bench much of the time to help Aviano hold down the score. Against a foe such as Vicenza, however, Tuck stayed on the floor. “Friday, he played 24-26 minutes,” McNeely said. “Saturday (a 79-44 Aviano victory to which Tuck contributed 25 points and five steals), he played 22 minutes. If he played as many as 15 minutes in any of our first four games, I’d be surprised.”
Last week: Northshield, a 5-5 All-Europe senior guard, displayed a veteran’s steadiness Friday night by sinking four of five free throws in the final 4.5 seconds of SHAPE’s 35-34 victory over previously unbeaten Wiesbaden. Her heroics didn’t surprise SHAPE coach Sam Ochinang. “She practices free throws after other team members have left for the night…,” Ochinang said Tuesday in an e-mail. “I was really very confident about her free throws during that crucial moment on Friday because she did the same thing during her sophomore year when we played BFA at the Europeans.... SHAPE was down by one, and she was fouled in the act of shooting with about three seconds left on the game clock. She sank both free throws to win the game.” Northshield, who’s averaging 13.5 points, 4.25 steals, 4 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game, does more than score. “She is generous in sharing her skills with our upcoming players,” Ochinang reported. “She is given a lot of respect by the team, and she knows how to carry the responsibilities assigned to her and acquired by her due to experience and exposure to a number of competitions.” Selected by Stars and Stripes staff.
Selected by Stars and Stripes staff