Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
Profile: Dylan Page, Proximus Spirou Charleroi
Dec 05, 2014
by Igor Petrinovic, Eurocupbasketball.com
Proximus Spirou Charleroi is in the thick of the race for a place in the Last 32. Currently riding a two-game winning streak, Spirou has put itself in a position to decide its own destiny, and veteran forward Dylan Page is one of the biggest reasons Spirou is still even in the race. Wins in each of the next two games – against EWE Baskets Oldenburg and SLUC Nancy –would guarantee Spirou a place among top four teams in Group C because it already holds a tiebreak advantage over two of its three direct rivals – CEZ Baskeball Nymburk and Baloncesto Seville.
Page is Spirou’s leading scorer (16.5 ppg.) and rebounder (5.5 rpg.), although his numbers dipped after the last game, a road win at Nymburk. He did get Spirou going on the defensive end early on in that game, but quickly got into foul trouble. However, in the end, he managed to contribute with a game-sealing basket for the important win. Prior to that, in the first seven games of the Eurocup season, Page had averaged 18.4 points and 6 rebounds per game with an average performance index rating of 17.9. He scored at least 12 points in every single one of those games, with career-high 26 points on the road against Oldenburg, a double-double of 18 points plus 10 boards at Seville, and he hit 6 triples on 9 attempts for 20 points in a Round 7 win over the same opponent.
This consistent production is quite common for Page, who is known to have produced offensively over his entire career, during which he often played for smaller clubs across the continent. He says it was all with the goal of improving before moving on to bigger things. “It takes a lot of sacrifices. Sometimes you have to take something that you not always wanted, but is actually better for your career, but not better for you yourself”, Page explained, giving example: “Maybe you might have to go to a team where you travel and practice more, but it presents you with more opportunity to advance yourself in your career and your talent.”
Since finishing his college career in his home state at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a team he helped take into the NCAA tournament in 2003, Page has made stops in Greece, Spain, France, Slovenia, Turkey and the Czech Republic, before coming to Charleroi. Page is in his third Eurocup season, after making his debut in the competition at the age of 28. He also got a taste of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague two seasons ago, at the age of 30 with Union Olimpija Ljubljana.
Page is now playing on his tenth professional team, but pretty much for every club he has joined, Page has contributed with double-digits in scoring, and was among the team leaders in rebounds. The trend started with his first European team, MENT Vassilakis in Greece, where he finished as the fourth-best scorer (16.9 ppg.) and sixth-best rebounder (6.3 rpg.) in the Greek League. It allowed him to move up the ladder and join Panellinios, and he’s done similar in Spain going from second division team Mallorca up to first division club Granada.
“I’m used to being an underdog,” says Page. “I was in a small university in college, and played on some smaller teams in my first few years in Europe. I’m used to having to play from below, try to overachieve just to achieve what I want.”
In recent seasons, Page first played the Eurocup with the French side Chorale Roanne and then made his Euroleague debut with Slovenian powerhouse Olimpija. Last season he joined CEZ Basketball Nymburk, where he won the Czech League and Cup double. Wherever he went – Pau Orthez in France and Gaziantep in Turkey being the other clubs he played for – Page quickly turned into a reliable scoring option. An athletic forward who can take it to the hoop, Page is also especially dangerous from downtown; he has shot better than 40% on three-pointers at most of his stops.
“I have confidence and belief in myself and my talent and my adaptability that I can play and thrive in [any] league,” Page claimed.
He did need to have patience in addition to his talent. But even though it all might have come little later than he thought it would happen, being able to compete in Europe's best basketball competitions on regular basis is the satisfying reward for working hard for so many years.
“Belief. You have to have confidence always and everything you do,” said Page. “Not just sport and career, but personal life and how you carry yourself. I think that is always important in every aspect of life.”
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