8 former Grizzlies play pro basketball across the globe

Martin Breunig is in his third professional season in Germany – his native land – in addition to playing for the German under-16 and under-18 national teams prior to college. (Courtesy photo)

The University of Montana has eight former players active in professional leagues across the globe. Below is a look at some of their performances over the past month, courtesy of Sports I.T. Solutions/Eurobasket.

Martin Breunig (2016) / Telekom Baskets Bonn / Germany
Breunig continues to make his mark for Telekom Baskets Bonn, consistently among the team leaders for scoring. Most recently, in a win over third-ranked SC Rasta Vechta, Breunig scored 20 points and dished out nine assists. A few weeks prior vs. David Bell’s 46ers, Breunig scored 19 points, including a 9-for-9 performance from the free-throw line. He is averaging 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game this season. He is in his third professional season in Germany – his native land – in addition to playing for the German under-16 and under-18 national teams prior to college. Despite playing just two seasons at Montana, the two-time All-Big Sky selection recorded more than 1,100 points, including 624 as a senior, the fifth-most in school history.

Kareem Jamar (2014) / Elitzur Yavne / Israel
Jamar is playing at an extremely high level for Elitzur Yavne. Earlier this month, he recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists vs. Ramat Gan. Over the next two weeks, he was named the game’s MVP vs. Ironi Kirvat Ata (20 points, five rebounds, four assists) and was the leading scorer vs. Maccabi Raanana (25 points). On the season, he is averaging 17.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Jamar is in his fifth professional season, also playing in Cyprus, Greece and Austria – where he won back-to-back Austrian League and Austrian Cup championships. Jamar ranks in the top five in Montana history for both scoring and assists, being named to the All-Big Sky first team three times.

Will Cherry (2013) / Santa Cruz Warriors / NBA G League
Santa Cruz sits atop the Western Conference standings with a record of 28-11. Cherry is averaging 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game (17th in G League), starting 29 of 35 games. In his most-recent game, he scored 10 points and added four assists vs. second-pace Oklahoma City. Earlier this month, he was named MVP of the game after scoring 24 points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out four assists and blocking two shots vs. the South Bay Lakers. He is in his sixth professional season and has signed professional contracts with four NBA teams. He also has playing time in Croatia, Germany, Lithuania and Turkey. Cherry finished his Montana career ranked first for career steals, fourth for assists and seventh for scoring. He was a three-time All-Big Sky first-team selection.

Jordan Gregory (2015) / Marin / Spain
Gregory is one of Marin’s top scorers, earning MVP honors in a win over sixth-ranked Estela. He recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, also adding five assists. The following week, he had a game-high 22 points vs. Gijon. On the season, Gregory is averaging 17.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Gregory is in his third professional season, also playing in Queensland and the Netherlands. He was the Dutch Basketball League scoring champion in 2016-17. As a senior at Montana in 2014-15, Gregory scored 562 points, the ninth-most in a season in school history. He was a first-team all-conference selection and was named an All-American by Capital One.

Brian Qvale (2011) / Virtus Bologna / Italy
Virtus Bologna is 10-4 and sits in first place of the Basketball Champions League Group D standings entering the final stretch of the regular season. Last week, in a win over Virtus Segafredo Bologna, Qvale scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in just 16 minutes of action. On the season, he is averaging 9.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Now in his eighth professional season, Qvale has played in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Russia and Turkey, in addition to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Qvale holds Montana records for blocking, both for his career and in a season, recording a Big Sky record 95 in 2010-11. The 2011 All-Big Sky first-team selection also ranks eighth in school history for career rebounds.

David Bell (2003) / Giessen 46ers / Germany
Bell helped the Giessen 46ers’ to a win over Eisbaeren Bremerhaven last week, scoring 16 points and dishing three assists. Bell is averaging 10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season. The two-time All-Big Sky Conference selection has been playing professionally since 2004 (16th season), playing in Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland, in addition to stints in the U.S., including three years in the NBA G League. Bell still holds Montana’s single-season record for three-pointers (98), doing so in both 2002 and 2003. The two-time All-Big Sky first-team selection also ranks among Montana’s all-time leaders for career free-throw percentage.

Virgil Matthews (2006) / Chemnitz / Germany
In a recent win over Chemnitz, Matthews was named MVP of the game with 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Chemnitz is 18-5 on the year and in first place in the German ProA standings. On the season, Matthews is averaging 7.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He is in his fifth season with Chemnitz and 13th professional season overall, playing for four other German teams, in addition to several IBL and NABL teams in America. Matthews was twice named Montana’s defensive MVP, also leading the team in assists in 2005-06.

Fabijan Krslovic (2018) / Cairns Taipans / Australia
Now in his first full season in his native country, Krslovic moved from the Cairns Taipans after finishing the 2018 professional season with the Cairns Marlins. He has played in eight games and leads the team with a .700 field-goal percentage. In a recent game against the Adelaide 36ers, Krslovic scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Krslovic finished his Griz career ranked in the top 10 for career steals and as the all-time leader for games played. He earned numerous team accolades, including the most inspirational player, best represents Griz basketball and coaches’ award.