Nik Caner-Medley will soon travel to Europe for a 15th season of professional basketball. The former Deering High star recently signed a contract with Fos Provence in France’s top professional basketball league.
The team, which play in the LNB Pro A league, is located in Fos-sur-mer on the Mediterranean coast of France, a place that attracted Caner-Medley and his wife, Shoni.
“One of the things that was important to my wife and I was the location,” said Caner-Medley, 36. “I have heard very good things about the organization. France has a big league. We are really excited about this. It truly is the best of both worlds. It’s a great place to live and a great place to play basketball. I think it will be a great opportunity.
But before Caner-Medley leaves – and he’s not sure what day it will be – he has a little community service to perform. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, he and his partners via TRUSPORTS had to cancel their annual Summer Slam event, a free one-day camp / clinic that attracts around 250 children from the Greater Portland area. But since it’s Summer Slam’s 10th anniversary, they still wanted to do something about it.
So, on Thursday and Saturday, they will organize a “Teach, Reach, Unite” giveaway at three locations, offering young people a backpack full of items such as t-shirts, shorts, face masks, disinfectant. for hands and more. Caner-Medley and TRUSPORTS Director Colby Emmons will be on hand to distribute the items, along with members of the local police force.
On Thursday, they will be at the East Bayside Police Community Center at 11 a.m. On Saturday they will be in South Portland at the Red Bank Community Center parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon, then at the Cornelia Warren Pool in Westbrook from 1 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Social distancing protocols will be followed and face masks are required.
Caner-Medley said the pandemic may have hindered the clinic, but it was still important to reach out to young people in the community and provide them with a positive experience during difficult times.
“The goal is to create positive energy and forge relationships,” Caner-Medley said. “I think it connects the community in a positive way, bringing together kids of all races and financial backgrounds. It creates relationships. ”
He added that it was important to involve members of the police force “so that we can create positive relationships with them”.
Attending the giveaways is not without risk for Caner-Medley: he must pass a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of his flight to Europe. Then, he must take another COVID-19 test upon arrival. That’s why he insists on adhering to the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing and face masks.
“If I can’t pass the COVID test, I can’t go,” he says. “But at the same time, it wasn’t something I was going to give up.”
Caner-Medley receives an essential worker visa, allowing him and his family, which includes Shoni (who also needs to take a COVID test) and their daughter, Jade, to travel to Europe.
Last year, Caner-Medley played for the Cyberdyne Ibaraki robots of the Japanese B2 League and averaged 18.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists when the season was halted due to the pandemic. coronavirus.
He previously played in Germany, Spain, Kazakhstan, Israel, Italy, France and Monaco. He considers his time in Monaco to be one of the best he has ever had and was eager to return to this region.
Caner-Medley declined to say how much he signed for, only that it was cheaper than at other clubs. His contract is guaranteed for one year, with a second year depending on the team’s results. If the team wins a championship, the second year is also guaranteed.
“For me, location was more important than money,” said Caner-Medley, who has earned more than $ 7 million during his playing career. “It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world to live outside of basketball.”