Art by Mike McGrath, Jr. Instagram: @michaelmcgrathjr Twitter: @mikemcgrath
BY BRETT KOREMENOS
I was nervous. Crazy coaches, long seasons, different playing styles, demanding practice schedules, and a host of other oddities can make a professional career in Europe an unprecedented adventure. The G-League had been no picnic, but heading off to southeast Germany brought no guarantees for Tom. Unlike the NBA, the fact Tom had a contract didn’t mean his career was safe. European teams are notorious for their hair-trigger dismissals of underperforming Americans.
Tom’s new team–MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg–would be no exception. Founded in 1985, Ludwigsburg had spent 26 of its 32 seasons in Germany’s top division, their highwater mark a second place finish in 2007. In the four seasons before Tom arrived, the club had achieved an impressively consistent mediocrity.
Adding to the pressure on Tom's per…