Herman takes game to Spain

Prairie graduate, Volcanoes player signs with Plasencia

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers writer

Published:

 

Adam Herman is headed to Spain.

Where exactly in Spain, he's not sure. But that's not important to Prairie High School graduate.

Six weeks after finishing his rookie season with the Vancouver Volcanoes, Herman officially signed with Plasencia in Spain's fourth division.

"Relieved," Herman said when asked how he felt to get offered his first pro contract.

"Just continuing working hard and not knowing what's going to come. That's the toughest part right there," Herman said about the process. "Just not knowing if it's going to come or not. I'm glad it did, that's for sure."

Herman put up 14 points, six rebounds and shot 55 percent in 14 games with the Volcanoes, who finish their season with a loss in the IBL championship game in late June.

Volcanoes coach Joe Navarro said getting a pro contract is a big step in Herman's playing career.

"It's really important for rookies to get some place their first year," Navarro said. "You can post stats, and it's a little easier to move on. If a rookie, especially from an NAIA school doesn't get somewhere it's really hard to move after the second year."

Herman played for Concordia University, where Navarro was an assistant coach.

Although he'd been offered a contract, Herman admitted he still hadn't investigated his new destination to much.

"I don't know where that is either," he joked. "I should probably figure that out."

Plasencia is a town of 41,000 in Western Spain. It's about 21/2-hour drive from Madrid.

For Navarro, who is also leaving the Northwest soon to go to Japan to prepare for the upcoming season over there, seeing his players sign pro contracts is a feeling he cherishes.

"It's super cool. It's like my kids going and getting jobs. It's good. It's still not done yet," Navarro said. "A bunch of guys are going to be moving. It's a busy time for players that are going to be overseas."

Herman is grateful for the opportunity as he is working out to stay in shape for the season.

"It's just a blessing, and I want to take full advantage of it and I won't waste it," he said.

Herman said he'll be leaving sometime next month.

Seven Volcanoes will be joining Navarro in Japan's bJ (Basketball Japan League) League.

They will be part of a league of expansion teams called the bJ Challenge League, which will merge with the bJ League in 2016.

Navarro will be coaching Dominque Watson and Gijo Bain for the Hiroshima Sunstars, which has already signed an agreement to merge with the bJ league next season.

Reigning IBL MVP and Volcano Andre Murray will also be playing in Japan as well as former Volcano and IBL MVP Chehales Tapscott. Lawrence Blackledge will play for Iwate of the bJ league.

Kenta Nakashima, a former Volcanoes player, is the owner of the Hiroshima expansion team.

While there is currently a limit of two Americans per team, Navarro says there is a possibility the challenge league will adopt the same rules of the flagship league, allowing for four American players per team.