Men's Basketball

    Hoosiers in the Pros Update: Derek Elston

    Go Hoosiers! Derek Elston
    Go Hoosiers!
    Derek Elston
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 27, 2014

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Today, @ProBallHoosiers will take a look at the first year in professional basketball for Derek Elston (@Dsol32).

    Elston's season for the Floriana Basketball Club of the Malta Basketball Association (MBA) has been a success. Elston has dominated for The Greens and was named MBA Player of the Month in both October and November.

    "It's been very fun to be playing again," said Elston. "[I've] definitely proven to myself that I can still play."

    While stats in the MBA have not been readily available for every game, unofficial stats for 17 games @ProBallHoosiers was able to compile include Elston averaging 26.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Elston's high for points on the season is 44 and he grabbed a season high 18 rebounds as well.

    "This year was a transition season for Floriana Basketball, a bit like IU's in fact," said a Floriana BC representative. "We added young talented players, who have great potential but little experience at top division. We were lucky to have had Derek who was an outstanding player for us. He had an immediate impact, winning the October and November player of the month award. He gave his all in every game and was undoubtedly the best player in Malta this season," the representative said via email. "[W]e are extremely happy with the effort and performance of Derek as well as all the young players. We are sure that the valuable experience earned by young players this season will bear fruit in the future."

    Floriana BC (@FlorianaBC) is very active on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. "We had loads of followers from Indiana, so it was a pleasure. We are all IU fans now," wrote the represenative.

    Will Elston be the first player to go from the MBA to the NBA? Well, that remains to be seen. But, he certainly has enjoyed his first year in the pros.

     

     

    Here is a Q&A with Elston which was conducted via email:

    How did the opportunity to play professional ball in Malta come about?
    Malta wasn't really on my list but a few of my offers were given away and it was coming to a close to get on this team and they really showed interest so I decided to play for Floriana.

    How is the talent level in the Malta Basketball Association?
    The talent level in Malta isn't bad. There are many veteran teams that are very well coached. Every game is a battle.

    What are the biggest adjustments you've made transitioning from the college level to the pros?
    The biggest adjustment I've made so far is learning how to play every position again, not just being a big man. A lot of the times I handle the ball. Another adjustment is getting my body in shape to play an entire game.

    What's a typical week for you like? How are practices set up?
    A typical week usually just means workouts at 8 am every morning with coach, breakfast, then just relax until practice which is usually Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and then games on the weekend.

    About halfway through your season, your coach and the team separated. How did that affect the team?
    That was was a big adjustment for the entire team, a lot of my teammates had been with coach for a very long time, even winning the championship last year so I think mentally, it broke some players down.

    We've read some tweets from you supporting the IU team. How are you able to follow the games? Can you get audio or stream the games?
    I try to watch the games online and I do my best not to miss any but when games start at 8 that means 2 am for me but I still enjoy watching the replays.

    Do you keep in contact with the team now?
    I do still talk to most of the older guys that were there with me. I just like to see how things are going. I always text Marni [Mooney, Director of Academics for IU Men's Basketball]. She always keeps me updated which is very nice.

    Have you met any Hoosiers while in Malta?
    Actually, I was supposed to go out to dinner with some Hoosiers that live in Malta but we haven't been able to get that worked out yet. It's crazy to think that even in Malta Hoosiers are around.

    How have you enjoyed living in Malta? Tell me about your experience and the culture.
    Waking up to sunshine and sea never gets old. This place is beautiful and I am very lucky to be here. The thing that I love the most about Malta is the history that it carries with it. From the knights to WWII just going around and still seeing artifacts and hearing stories is amazing.

    What's next? How long does your season last and what is the next stop?
    I'm not sure what is in store for me. I've been talking to a few people and they love what I've been able to do so far, but my season isn't over yet here so I'm looking forward everyday to coming on the court with my teammates now and trying to turn our season around.


       

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