Monday, June 27, 2011

Siena's Karangway Starts Scouting Service

There's no one-liner like the answer to what happens to old golfers? They just fade away.

The question is what happens to old basketball players.

The answer is that they very often find some way to stay in the game.

One prominent former MAAC player has found a relatively unique way to stay involved with basketball.

Former Siena standout Prosper Karangwa (1999-2003), who scored close to 1,300 career points and helped Saints advance to one NCAA tournament and two NIT appearances, went on from there to a very successful 7-year career overseas, most recently in France.

But after his retirement from playing after the 2009-10 season Karangwa began looking for some way to stay involved with his sport.

He opted to seek a position as a scout, possibly with an NBA team. But with the NBA's unsettled labor situation and the potential for staff cutbacks when things are eventually settled, Karangwa knew his opportunities to connect with an NBA team might be extremely limited.

"Considering that, I opted to create my own scouting service," said Karangwa, in a recent interview.

The result is Global Scouting Service, an operation designed to scout college players primarily in the east to identify players best suited for playing in foreign leagues. Karangwa has already been talking to a number of overseas teams and leagues trying to attract a clientele for his service, which he expects to be fully operational and available within a few days.

Karangwa, who grew up in Montreal before coming to Siena, spent this past season at dozens of games to scout and build up his initial data base offering. In doing so he got considerable advice and guidance about how to do what he's trying to do from a former Siena assistant coach Rob Jackson, who now does scouting for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.

"He really helped me in terms of how to do this," said Karangwa. "He has been a great guide and mentor to me in this."

What makes Karangwa's scouting service so unique and, in theory, attractice to teams from foreign leagues?

Primarily this: Karangwa has been there, done that.

Not only did he play in Canada's national program for four years in the off-seasons while at Siena but he also had those seven professional years for a number of European teams.

He has what is a rare first-hand experience, for a scout, of exactly what teams are looking for in terms of talent. Theoretically, Karangwa should be able to identify what players are capable of playing at what level overseas. He's been there. He's seen what players succeed and fail overseas.

The result should be beneficial to foreign teams. Karangwa's service, and his ability to help place players at their proper level will result in greater success rate in bringing in U.S. players to foreign teams. That type of successful connection has the potential to save teams considerable money it might otherwise need to spend to scout new players and find replacements for U.S. players who don't succeed overseas.

Says Karangwa: "GSS provides scouting reports on current and future prospects through the use of an online database which is accessible at all times to subscribing members. These player profiles include expansive biographical information, statistical data and analysis, a description of each individual's strengths and weaknesses, an overall numerical rating which grades each player's professional potential, and a note section that includes any additional information that could be of value to the team. In addition to the online player database, GSS provides weekly updates on games scouted, consultation services, and specific player reports as requested."

Sounds like a service foreign teams and leagues should strongly consider, and it also sounds like a nice way for a former MAAC player to stay involved in his sport.

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