Great Britain star and Portland Trailblazers forward, Joel Freeland, is currently preparing for his second year in the NBA by training in the Canary Islands, reports Canarias Ahora.
The 6’11 forward, who played for Gran Canaria from 2006-2009, opted to withdraw from GB national team duties this summer to focus on preparing for the 2013-14 season after a rocky rookie year, where he averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 51 appearances.
Canarias Ahora reports (via Google Translate!):
“The British power forward Joel Freeland, of the Portland Trail Blazers, has been training until Wednesday in Gran Canaria in order to improve his defensive play and face the challenge of his second season with the NBA, where he is expected to have a greater role in the best league in the world.
“The former player of Basketball Club Gran Canaria between 2005 and 2009 has stated that his first season in the American professional basketball has been “hard”, but notes that it has “learned a lot” and now is “better to have more minutes in the parties “. In fact, despite having participated in 51 games during the 2012-2013 campaign, scarce nine minutes per game “is not much time to score too many points” -2.6 average-but believes that now must focus “on defensive work, and less on attacking play. ”
“You have to run a lot, do good blocks and grab rebounds. That’s my job here,” stressed the number 19 of the Blazers.
“Freeland said he was “very happy” to have been back in Gran Canaria “enjoying a bit, but also training” before facing his second year among the best basketball players on the planet.
“His representative, Rafael Calvo, has directed the English player workouts during these days on the island and has abounded: “It has been a year quite hard to adapt, as we saw earlier.” Grancanario agent believes his player has faced “a new concept of basketball where the individual often takes precedence over the collective”, and although the season ended “better as it started,” adding that “he still has two seasons” in they expected to have “greater personal success.”
Freeland averaged 5 points 5.6 rebounds during five appearances at the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League this summer.
Read Rip City Project reporter David MacKay’s take on what he thinks Freeland’s role will be next season here.
Image Credit: NBAE via Getty Images