McDuffie prepares for Argentina
Published 5:58 pm Saturday, July 18, 2015
Quinton McDuffie has come and gone a long way since the days he played basketball for Nansemond River High School.
After he graduated from Chowan University in 2013, his professional basketball career has taken him from Russia and Mongolia during the 2013-2014 season to Spain for the 2014-2015 campaign.
Most recently, the 24-year-old has signed a deal to play pro ball in Argentina for the 2015-2016 season.
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“It’s a blessing, man,” McDuffie said of his overseas pro basketball career. “I’ve gained a lot of experience just over the course of these past two and a half seasons.”
“I cherish every moment because it can be taken away from you within a heartbeat,” he added. “So, I’ve just learned how to be a professional on and off the court.”
He works hard on his game and has learned just how important it is to take care of his body, watching what he eats and what he does off the court, taking into account how it could affect his on-court performance.
“It can ultimately affect your salary, as well,” he said.
McDuffie’s numbers overseas have justified a solid income.
He was waived within a month of signing with a club in Russia, but he finished the 2013-2014 season with a squad in Mongolia, where he averaged 21.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
In August, he signed with a club in Spain and averaged 10.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and one assist per game.
In Spain, McDuffie had fewer minutes, and faced tougher opponents and a significant shift in style of play.
“There’s two different types of basketball,” he said. “In Asia, it’s a very freelance, open system of basketball, but in Spain and in other countries in Europe, it’s not so much.”
Basketball in Spain, he said, is similar to the U.S. college game.
“They harp on the fundamentals and basics of basketball,” he said. Asian pro hoops can be up-tempo, but European basketball is more focused on slowing the pace and getting the team involved.
“I’m expecting another adjustment,” in Argentina, he said. “I’ve never played in a Latin America country, so I’m coming in with an open mind and just ready to work, and I’m just trying to prepare in any facet that I can to be prepared.”
He heaped praised on Nansemond River coach Ed Young for preparing him for anything, and Young communicated his excitement for McDuffie entering this next phase of his pro career.
“(He’s) a kid who’s worked in his career going back to his high school days with us, one of my best workers I’ve ever had,” Young said. “I’m very happy for him.”
The coach said he hopes to see McDuffie, who stands at 6-feet, 6-inches, continue to develop his floor game.
“Against the better competition, against bigger players, he’s going to become more of an outside player where he has to put it on the floor and go to that floor game and that dribble move, which he didn’t have to do a whole lot in high school,” Young said.
Currently, McDuffie visiting family in Alabama.
“I’ve been down here all summer just training and getting prepared for Argentina,” he said.
His third professional season starts in August.