Thursday, April 28, 2011

Karangwa Offers New Scouting Service

Siena and MAAC basketball fans will remember Prosper Karangwa as an effective, versatile 6-foot-7 player with point guard skills.

Karangwa was good enough, after his Siena career ended, to play seven professional seasons with stops in France, Austria, Germany and Syria.

That type of experience has given Karangwa a rare knowledge of what it takes to play professionally.

Karangwa retired from playing after the 2009-10 season, but used much of 2010-11 to prepare his next career, one that seems a natural fit based on his background.

Karangwa is in the process of creating Global Scouting Service, one designed to scout players and make scouting reports available for pro teams and leagues. While Karangwa's service, he hopes, draws some interest from the NBA, his strength appears to be identifying players capable of playing in overseas leagues.

"I think I'm going to be good at this," said Karangwa. "I've always had an analytical view of the game, a good feel for basketball and that goes hand-in-hand with scouting. I've always looked at whether a player made the right pass, the right play, whether a player did the right things for the position they played, and that helps.

"Plus, I already know the international game very well. I know the market there, and what it takes to be successful there. I've been there, done that and I know what it takes to get there."

Karangwa not only had a distinguished college career, but one equally as successful in international play that also included four seasons with the Canadian National Team. Over the years he has played with or against Steve Nash, Yao Ming, Peja Stoyakovic, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter, Lamar Odom, Ray Allen and Allen Iverson.

When Karangwa stopped playing professionally after the 2009-10 season, he returned to the upstate New York area.

"I was fortunate enough that when I got back coach Jackson (former Siena assistant coach Rob Jackson) allowed me to go to games with him and showed me what he did," said Karangwa, about Jackson, who is now a full-time college scout for the NBA San Antonio Spurs.

"My thought was maybe to do it for the NBA. But, with the collective bargaining agreement situation, there are questions about whether the NBA season will be delayed next season. So, I thought it might not be a bad idea to venture out on my own and do scouting for European and other overseas leagues.

Karangwa plans to be a one-man operation, right now a salesman trying to attract clients and, then, providing the only set of eyes that sees players and creates scouting reports.

And that appears to be Karangwa's primary selling point.

"A lot of guys are scouts who have never played overseas ... they don't know what the lifestyle is, they don't know what it's like to play over there," said Karangwa. "It's a lot different than the NBA. The NBA requires athleticism, but in the European leagues while athleticism is used it's more important to have basketball skills. There's more of a team concept ove there. If a player doesn't have a complete skill set he's going to struggle overseas no matter how athletic he might be. I also plan to provide some insight as to whether a player is philosophically capable of leaving the U.S. and playing overseas. A lot of guys can't handle that."

Because of his solo work, Karangwa's scouting reports will be limited to players in the east, primarily the MAAC, America East, Big East, Atlantic 10 and the CAA.

"But, if there's a player out there in a lower league that's good enough, I'll go and watch him play and provide a report," Karangwa added.

Karangwa's work will have one other advantage. As a native of Canada, he is multi-lingual and he plans to provide scouting French-language reports to teams and leagues in France.

"There's no one else out there who's going to provide reports in two languages," said Karangwa. "The french teams won't have to use an interpreter to read my reports."

Karangwa is already preparing reports on players he has seen either in games or practices this past season from at least 70 games he attended. He plans to attend even more games and practices in future years.

"The thing is that in order to be efficient, you actually have to be at games and watch these guys play on a regular basis," said Karangwa. "A lot of scouting services will cover the entire U.S., which means the scouting is diluted. Some of the scouts are doing it on a part-time basis.

"I will only provide reports on players I've seen personally. A scouting service is only as good as the individual doing the scouting."

The individual doing the scouting for Global Scouting Service is Karangwa, who has been there and done that.

And, he knows what it takes for others to do the same. That type of experience seems to have prepared him well for the move from playing go scouting players to go where he has already been.

No comments: