High School Football

Morgantown H.S. & WVU grad Nathan Adrian adjusting to Ukrainian lifestyle and hoops

— By Taylor Kennedy

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former West Virginia men’s basketball forward Nathan Adrian spent his first year of professional basketball overseas with JSA Bordeaux in France. 

He finished his first professional season averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds, and he was named a league player of the week twice.

The Morgantown High School alumnus is on the move again overseas. This year, Adrian was acquired by MBC Mykolaiv (Superleague) in the Ukraine. 

Adrian had a big smile on his face when he was describing where he was living. Last year, according to Adrian, he could practically reach from one side of the common space to the other end. Adrian was a guest on the Wednesday night of edition of the Citynet Statewide Sportsline.

“Inside of my place is actually pretty nice. I got a whole bedroom, living room, and a kitchen now. I upgraded from last year,” says Adrian.

While Adrian was in Bordeaux, he was in an area where he did not have to walk far to get the types of food he likes. Now that he is in the Ukraine it is a similar outcome for the former Mountaineer.

“You will be happy to know that I am eating at a restaurant. Things are cheap enough here that I can actually eat good food. I got filet medallions and bruschetta for six dollars,” Adrian joked.

Adrian’s new life over in the Ukraine is convenient for him. He says that he pretty much walks a short distance to anywhere and anything he needs.

“I am like 15 minutes from our facility, and the restaurant is right beside it. The grocery store is right beside my apartment. I am in walking distance for everything,” says Adrian.

Adrian has been adapting to the new lifestyle with two of his teammates. 

“We have a Canadian guy, and we have another American guy on our team. We have been hanging out together, and trying to kill time as best as possible,” says Adrian.

Adrian says that the competition is not quite the level he is used to, but he is in a well-respected league.

“I think it is good competition. If I play well this year, I should be where I need to be to go back to Western Europe and get into leagues I want to be in,” says Adrian.

Adrian has played in four games with his new team. He is averaging 16 points on 49% shooting along with 7 rebounds per game. Adrian has been pleased with the way he is playing so far with his new squad.

“I am playing alright. I got off a plane after not playing for seven months, and I was in a game two days later. I just have not stopped since. So, for those circumstances, I think I have played well. I can definitely play better. We will see how it will go over the next couple of weeks once I settle in, and I think I will be even better,” says Adrian.

Even though the competition is different, the style of play between France and Ukraine is similar according to Adrian.

“It is definitely European basketball. Everybody runs sets. Everybody runs their own kind of stuff and a lot of ball screen action. It is different from back home where there is a lot of running and gunning. That does not happen much here. It is definitely European,” says Adrian.

Due to COVID-19, scheduling has been difficult for some teams over in the Ukraine. Adrian says their schedule remains in flux.

“There actually is not a second half of our schedule yet. They only scheduled up through December in order to see how many games get done, and they are going to reschedule all the games that got cancelled into the later parts. There is no actual definitive end of the season yet. We usually play two days a week, either Thursday and Saturday, or Friday and Sunday,” says Adrian.

Adrian and MBC-Mykolaiv’s next game will be on November 22.

For more information about Adrian and his new squad click here.

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