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Former Vol Bobby Maze finding success overseas

10:14 PM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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Former Tennessee point guard Bobby Maze will be holding a celebrity basketball game on June 22nd at Hardin Valley Academy at 3 p.m. NBA players Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Demarcus Cousins, and several others are expected to attend, along with some of Maze's former Tennessee teammates.

The game will be played in memory of Maze's cousin Jamar Board. Board was a popular Washington D.C. area streetball player known as "Silent Assassin."

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Maze has been busy since his playing days at Tennessee.

"Basketball, it took me places I've never ever been or never even dreamed of going," Maze said.

Maze has made a name for himself playing professionally in Europe and Asia. He has played in small 2,000 seat gyms and huge 25,000 seat arenas in countries such as China, Belarus, Cyprus, Lithuania and Greece. The point guard won a league championship and Finals MVP award in 2012 with Belarusian team Minsk-2006.

"I'm like Kevin Durant over there, they love me," said Maze.

While Maze is a fan favorite, road crowds in Europe can be especially unruly. Maze played the 2012-2013 season in Cyprus with Keravnos BC. The team played a road game in an empty arena last season. The opposing team's fans were suspended from the game because they interrupted a previous contest several times by running onto the court.

"About ten minutes into the game we're up 12-2, smoke bombs come inside the gym, you can't see nothing it's all smoked out," said Maze.

"The fans couldn't come in the gym so what they did was they threw the smoke bombs from outside the arena through the top windows that had a crack in them and they just kept beating the door down trying to scare us. I'm just saying to myself, Lord I just hope I get out of here."

Maze and Keravnos escaped the arena with a win.

Every summer Maze returns to his roots in the Washington D.C. area to play in the Goodman League with former AAU teammate Kevin Durant.

"It's an outdoor league, they call it Inside the Gates and man it's just about being tough," Maze said. "You're in a rough atmosphere, you're in one of the toughest parts of Washington D.C. in Berry Farms and you're gonna play against some of the best streetballers to college to NBA players."

Berry Farms is just five minutes up the road from Maze's childhood home in Suitland, Md. just outside Washington D.C. Maze even traveled with the Goodman League during the NBA lockout to play in star-studded games across the country.

The 26-year-old has experienced a lot but one of his favorite memories came during his time on Rocky Top.

"Of course beating number one Kansas in Knoxville," said Maze. "We was down four players, a lot of people didn't believe we even had a chance. It was priceless, so many hours, to get up at six in the morning everyday, running that Gate 10, that hill, man so much work and beating the number one team it was just all let out so it was a great feeling."

Tennessee took down top ranked Kansas 76-68 in early January 2010. The upset occurred just a few days after the Vols top player Tyler Smith was suspended along with key contributors Melvin Goins, Cameron Tatum and Brian Williams. Maze scored a career-high 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had eight assists in the win. He also held the Jayhawks' All-American point guard Sherron Collins to 35% shooting.

 

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