WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Teach for America and medical school are going to have to wait at least a year as Blake Schultz '10 is not done playing basketball just yet. A chance to continue playing competitively overseas was the only reason Schultz would postpone Teach for America and medical school.
If the opportunity to compete in the German Pro B League with
Herten or another European squad had not materialized Schultz would
have headed to New Orleans to teach junior high school math for the
renowned Teach for America program. He has deferred Teach for
America until his playing days in Europe are over.
Schultz, the 2010 Jostens Trophy Winner, NESCAC Player of the Year and an All-American, leaves for Germany on Monday. "There are two preseason games left, Wednesday and Saturday, and then the regular season begins the next Saturday," says Schultz.
"I'm excited to get over there and play, but it'll be weird that I'll be getting paid to play basketball and not just playing it as a hobby," Schultz notes. "It's also exciting to get a chance to experience a culture and a part of the world I am not familiar with." Schultz purchased an English-German dictionary yesterday.
|Blake Schultz scoring inside|
Last year Herten finished in second place in the B League with a record of 23-7. Each team in the German Pro B League is allowed to carry two foreign players. The other non-German on the Herten team this year will be Marcus Monk who played football and basketball at Arkansas. Schultz, who will be on a four-week trial with Herten B, is going to room with Monk.
Schultz was contacted about a week ago about the opportunity
with Herten by the team's head coach Boris Kaminski who
responded to an email from Schultz. Schultz had received
Kaminski's email address from Brian Bauskauskas, a 2009
graduate of Amherst, whom Schultz knew from his high school days in
Atherton, Calif., and from the intense Williams-Amherst games.
Bauskauskas, played professionally in Denmark last year, but has decided not to continue.
To prepare for the European experience Schultz has spent the summer working out and playing as much as possible. "I played in the San Francisco Pro Am League and other leagues back home and have been doing all I can to prepare," notes Schultz. "All I've done since graduation is play, workout, and prepare for the Mcats [medical school tests]."
Jostens Trophy Winner
Schultz capped off a memorable Eph career with a sparkling senior season that saw him connect on 53 % of his field goal attempts (200-380), 52% from beyond the arc (77-148) and 86% from the foul line (138-161). He led the Ephs with 615 points, an average of 19.2 a game. Schultz also collected 137 rebounds, 4.3 a game, and he led the 30-2 Ephs in steals with 49.
Schultz leaves the Purple Valley as the Ephs fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,528 points. He also finished eighth in rebounds, snaring 545.
Monday morning Schultz will leave Williamstown and head to the train station in Rensselaer, NY where he will then travel to JFK Airport for a night flight to Germany and a chance to continue playing the game he loves.
"If I play well they will pay my way home at Christmas," says Schultz, who will also receive a free apartment, share a car and earn a salary while lining up for Herten.