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Watkins, Crossland headed to Germany

By Craig Fata, 08/11/16, 12:45PM CDT


Playoff MVP, league's top defender raise tally to 46 overseas from MPBA


August 11, 2016

Two standouts from the Midwest Professional Basketball Association will be heading overseas to play in Germany this fall.

Diante Watkins, who earned Playoff Most Valuable Player honors for the 2016 MPBA champion Chicago Blues, will suit up for Nuernberg of the German Pro A league. Watkins, a 5’11” guard from Robert Morris University, averaged 10.5 points and 4.8 assists per game for the Blues during the regular season and 23.0 points per game in the playoffs, including a 29-point effort in the Blues’ 114-113 win in the title game.

“Diante was a joy to coach,” said Rick Pryor, head coach for the Chicago Blues. “He is extremely talented and has a high basketball I.Q. He is a competitive player who loves to win, and has fun while doing so. I wish him well and appreciate the time he spent with us in the MPBA.”

Also heading to Germany will be 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Connell Crossland of the Gateway Steam.

Crossland, a 6’7” forward from Texas Christian University, will play for BSV-Wulfen in the German Regionalliga. Crossland averaged 20.5 points on 57.7% shooting and 8.3 rebounds per game for the Steam in 2016. Crossland was also a unanimous First Team All-MPBA selection.

“Connell Crossland is a special kind of player,” said Milton Stith, head coach for the Gateway Steam. “He has all the tools along with an extremely hard work ethic to be a dominant player on the professional level. I look to see him in the NBA D-League very soon.”

The two signings brings to 46 the total number of advancements from the MPBA since the league began play in January 2015.