Former JB Hoops player and Backcourt Hoops instructor Evan Maxwell made his regular-season professional debut an impressive one Saturday.
Maxwell was the game’s second-leading scorer and his team’s leading rebounder in the opener of the Slovakia Extraliga, the country’s highest-level professional league.
Zilina defeated visiting Spisska Nova Ves, 95-87, despite 19 points and 9 rebounds by Maxwell.
Maxwell shot 9-for-12 from the floor. The former Abington Heights High School, Baptist University and Indiana Wesleyan University player made his only 3-point attempt.
A 6-foot-10 forward/center, Maxwell said during a telephone interview that he was adjusted to the fastest pace of play of his career during his preseason in Slovakia.
“I’ve gotten used to that game,” Maxwell said, “but I’ll be playing faster than ever.
“You have to speed up your body and slow down your mind.”
Nova Ves teammate Eric Nottage, a former Florida International guard, was the game’s top scorer with 31 points.
Zilina countered with seven players scoring in double figures.
Nova Ves took a 27-20 lead after one quarter, but was outscored 31-15 in the second quarter and fell behind by 11 going into the fourth quarter.
Maxwell played 33:14 of the game’s 40 minutes.