Eric Devendorf is many things to many people. He's a Syracuse Orange iconoclast, prone to fits of swagger and hot-streaks from beyond the arc. To some, he's flat-out hated. He's also someone working hard to give back to his community where he can.
There's something else that Eric Devendorf is: Champion. As in, the guy who hit the critical shots to help the Wellington Saints win the New Zealand National Basketball League in 2010.
If you weren't around at the time, Devo's New Zealand stint had everything. He started out the season playing for the defending champion Waikato Pistons, scoring 49 points in his very first game. Soon after, he's involved in a bar altercation and the Pistons cut him despite the fact that he was averaging 24 PPG. The Saints were more than happy to sign him to their roster and he blew up, scoring 30+ points in consecutive games and helping Wellington go from also-ran to contender. Then, at the worst possible time, he was injured and all hope was lost. Or was it? Devo led the Saints to the finals against, you guessed it, the Pistons. After Waikato took game one, Devo blew up in game two and then went full-on Willis Reed in game three.
Devendorf, who top-scored yesterday, tweaked his ankle in the second quarter, but was back on court as the third quarter began and the Saints settled into the business of reeling in the Waikato lead.
...In front by only three, and with just 13 seconds remaining, the Saints premature celebrations ground to a halt.
Former Waikato guard Eric Devendorf came to the rescue, sinking two from the free-throw line for Wellington to steady the ship and secure Saints the win.
Why do I mention all of this? Because Devo is finally headed back to New Zealand for an encore performance. And this time, Hell's coming with him.
Former Syracuse University teammates Eric Devendorf and Terrence Roberts have signed deals to play for the same pro team in New Zealand.
Devendorf and Roberts have signed with the Super City Rangers of the NBL. Super City is located in Auckland, New Zealand.
The two were not only teammates for the Orange but also for Boeheim's Army this past summer. Devo had actually gone to play for Super City (which sounds like a great city) in 2014 but back issues forced him to leave.
You know what they say about Eric Devendorf and missed opportunities in New Zealand...if you value your life, don't let him get a second chance...