Thursday , June 12, 2014 - 11:00 AM
OGDEN -- One year after wrapping up his historical career at Weber State, Scott Bamforth was once again back in the Dee Events Center visiting his alma mater and the people who guided him through his collegiate career, and established his foundation.
“Coach Rahe and the staff they do a great job of just building a culture of doing things the right way. For me, that’s all I’m built on; playing the game the right way and working hard,” said Bamforth. “My time here built character, build everything; the player I am today.”
The WSU all-time leader in three pointers recently returned to the United States from overseas, where he continued his sharp shooting in the ACB League with Cajasol, a European team located in Seville, Spain. Bamforth was 14th in the league in made three-pointers per game in the regular season, and averaged just under 11 points per game.
“It was a good experience. I had some ups and downs but overall it was a good experience,” said Bamforth. “My family enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it.”
While playing basketball is second nature to the New Mexico native, there was some adjusting and struggle that he needed to endure.
“For the first few months it was kind of rough because we couldn’t go no where, we couldn’t talk to nobody,” Bamforth recalled. “As time went on we built a lot of friends, and lot of relationships, so it was good.”
While the language barrier was not only a struggle for everyday life, it was also an issue on the hardwood, something that Bamforth never had to deal with before.
“I had a couple of teammates I couldn’t even communicate with,” said Bamforth. “They didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Spanish so it was hard to communicate on the court.”
With communication being a critical part of game play in basketball, Bamforth found ways to work around the barrier until he became comfortable in the language.
“It was the most awkward thing I’ve ever been a part of. Usually I’m able just to tell someone what I think, and they tell me what they think and we go on from there, but we just couldn’t communicate,” said Bamforth. “We had a coach that spoke both English and Spanish so we would have to go and translate (through) him. In game time, we don’t have time to translate (we) just kind of went by what happens.”
With time, Bamforth eventually became proficient in the language, and says that he can now express himself to people in Spanish and understand what they’re saying.
Expectations for Bamforth and his team, Cajasol, weren’t very high this past season, but the team surprised many with their accomplishments.
“We were the youngest team in Europe, so no one expected us to be in the playoffs or anything close,” said Bamforth. “We’re playing in the top league in Spain, (which is) considered the top league in Europe, so for us to make the playoffs was good for us, and good for the city.”
In the quarter finals of the playoffs, Cajasol fell to Valencia in three games. In the final game of the series, Cajasol was trailing by three with just five seconds left. Bamforth, who was shooting 40% from downtown in the postseason, was double-teamed after he received the inbound pass, and threw up an almost impossible shot from near half court that bounced off the rim and out.
Bamforth is under contract with Cajasol for the next two seasons, and will return to Albuquerque during the summer to be with family and friends.
During his time at Weber State, Bamforth earned All-Confernece honors for every year he played. Just over a year ago in March 2013, he was named as one of the top players in school history. In his last season with the Wildcats, Bamforth surpassed the school record of 94 three-pointers made in a season previously set by Damian Lillard by netting 103. It was that same year that he also helped lead the team to a conference all-time record of 30 wins.
Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BGarsideSE
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