When we last checked in with Hilton Armstrong almost a year ago he had just been selected to represent the Golden State Warrior’s D-League affiliate (Santa Cruz) in the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star game. For the remainder of the Spring, Armstrong bounced between Santa Cruz and Golden State before signing in April for the remainder of the NBA season. He appeared in fifteen regular season games and all seven of the team’s playoff games posting averages of 1.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 6.5 minutes. Additionally, Armstrong appeared in 32 (23 starts) D-League games, averaging 12 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.75 blocks in 30 minutes of action. However, with a healthy Andrew Bogut returning from injury, the Warriors waived Hilton on July 30th. Two weeks later, Armstrong signed with Besiktas of the Turkish Basketball League.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Leagues: Turkish Basketball League, EuroCup
Notable past players: Allen Iverson, Deron Williams, Khalied El-Amin
If you follow the NBA, Besiktas may ring a bell. In 2010 the club announced it’s largest contract in basketball division history, dishing out $4 million to Allen Iverson. Iverson played only ten games before retiring from professional basketball after calf surgery. Next season, locked out of the NBA, Deron Williams announced he would play for Besiktas for a cool $5 million. After Williams’ departed back to the NBA, Carlos Arroyo led the club to the EuroChallenge (third tier, think Tyler/Ryan Olander) Championship- qualifying for the EuroCup (second tier, Jerome Dyson) in the process.
Here are some highlights from AI’s brief tenure in Turkey:
This season, the club competes in both the Turkish Basketball League (national) as well as the EuroCup (regional). Armstrong, along with Chris Lofton (Tennessee) and JaJuan Johnson (Purdue, Boston Celtics), have led Besiktas to 4th place in the TBL (10-5) and berth in the EuroCup playoffs. The club, 0-2 in Group M play, desperately needs a win tomorrow against Neptunas (Lithuania) to keep a potential Final Eight matchup with Jerome Dyson’s Sassari alive.
Armstrong is currently averaging 8 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block on the season. Though his statistics are down, he has made consistent appearances on the highlight reel, including this ridiculous put-back dunk:
Armstrong had some of his stronger games in the more competitive EuroCup, including 13 points/5 rebounds and the game-winning assist against Khimky (Russia) earlier in the year.
1:30, 1:45, 2:10 and 2:30 (assist)
In the TBL, Hilton dropped 16 points/4 rebounds on Turk Telekom back in October.
0:30, 1:10, 2:00