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A Look At Former Jayhawk Basketball Players In Europe

Let's take a look around Europe and check in on some Jayhawks who are plying their trade around the globe


While the NBA is (understandably) the most famous basketball league in the world, there is a lot of good basketball being played all around the world, and a lot of money to be made by those who do so. European basketball has a few differences from the NBA game, not the least of which the people who attend the games, but at its heart it is still basketball, and one could argue it is more enjoyable than the NBA to watch. But I digress.

Many European leagues are at different stages of their seasons, and different European leagues structure their seasons in different ways, and the leagues are obviously all of different quality (Spain, Russia, and Greece are probably the best three right now) so it can be difficult to get a handle on how to compare one player to another, but we will try below. If there's any player you think I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments or via email:

Elijah Johnson (KS Rosa Radom - Poland)

Radom plays in the top tier of Polish basketball, and while Johnson isn't starting for Radom, he's playing very well. He currently leads the team in scoring at just over 13 ppg. He is, stop me if you have heard this before, turning it over quite a bit, and has run hot and cold from three. Currently he's shooting just under 35% from the three point line, which is about a foot farther away than the NCAA line.

Radom currently sits in 5th place in the league with a 16-13 record.

Keith Langford (Emporio Armani Milan - Italy)

Langford is probably the most successful former Jayhawk in Europe right now, having spent the last three years of his career with BC Khimki, currently the 7th ranked team in Europe, and Maccaibi Tel Aviv, the Israeili giants currently ranked 6th. This year, Milan is ranked 20th, but they're still in the quarterfinals of Euroleague (basically like soccer's champions league) where they face Langford's old team, Maccaibi Tel Aviv.

Personally, Langford has been starting for Milan and is averaging 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. He's also shooting 41% from three after never having shot over 35% from deep at Kansas. Langford is also leading Euroleague in scoring.

Travis Releford (Okapi Aalstar - Belgium)

The Belgian League is on a lower tier of European basketball, but Okapi has finished 1st and 2nd the past two seasons. They've also competed well in the Euro-Challenge, which is the third tier version of Euroleague.

Releford comes off the bench, and provides basically what he did his entire career at Kansas. He's defending well, shooting 53% from the floor, and 40% from three. Aalstar is currently 5th in the Belgian League.

Russell Robinson (Champville SC - Lebanon)

In the last few years, Robinson has played in Spain, France, Poland, and now Lebanon. Lebanon is part of Asiabasket, and are currently struggling in their domestic league. In 5 games with the club, Robinson is averaging 14.8 points and 5.6 assists per game.

Sasha Kaun (CSKA Moscow - Russia)

Because Kaun is originally from Europe, he is always going to have a leg up on other former Kansas players when it comes to European rosters due to limits on foreign players. He's making boatloads of money, he's played on the Russian World Championship and Olympic teams, and he's averaging 13 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1 block off the bench for CSKA, who are also in the quarterfinals of Euroleague.

Aaron Miles (BC Krasnye Krylia - Russia)

Miles is the captain of Krylia, who won the EuroChallenge in 2013. Miles is third on the team in scoring (8.8 ppg) while leading the team in assists (7.03), steals (1.66), and rebounds (5.38)