Basketball: Despite not fulfilling NBA dream, determined Jason Brickman plays on

Brian Yalung

Posted at Jul 18 2020 01:00 AM

US-based Filipino basketball player Jason Brickman has enjoyed a well-traveled career that started in college. He made waves playing for the Long Island University Brooklyn Blackbirds from 2010 to 2014, know more as a pass-first player.

Brickman was one of the top college prospects in 2014 but never really made it to the NBA. Critics felt he was too small to play against the league giants. However, his masterful passing ability was something most felt could offset that. Unfortunately, he did not have much luck getting attention from scouts.

Looking at his college numbers, Brickman is undoubtedly someone who can make his teammates look good. He led the NCAA Division I in assists per game. During his junior year, he averaged 8.5 assists and 9.5 points per game in 34 games. He improved his numbers in his senior year. In 29 games he averaged 10 assists and 11. 3 points.

"The NBA was a dream of mine. I thought after my senior year, I was going to get some workouts from some NBA teams. But I ended up not getting any looks or even workouts. That's when I decided to go overseas," Brickman said during an interview on "Sports On Air."

The 28-year-old guard had an option to try the NBA G League with hopes of entering the league via another way. After weighing his options, Brickman saw better opportunities playing abroad and followed that path.

"That (NBA G League) was an option but I didn't see interest from any teams. I think because of my size, teams didn't really see the potential in me to play in the NBA so I went overseas," he said.

The decision to play overseas turned out to be a good one for Brickman. Though he acknowledged he struggled earlier on, particularly when he decided to bring his skills to Russia, he eventually found his place.

"It was really a crazy experience there. I was homesick, going to a country far from home. We started the preseason that was up in the mountains. Honestly, I didn't really like being there. Most of my teammates didn't speak English. Not that I speak a lot. But was just nicer to have people on your team who speak English. It was tough for me because I was the only import there in Russia," Brickman said.

He left after four months and headed to Germany. He played for Medi Bayreuth of the Basketball Bundesliga and said he was more comfortable playing there.

"It was more comfortable there, six imports on each team and it was high-level basketball. It was a lot of fun to play in Germany," Brickman said.

That stint was cut after another four months when the Westport Malaysia Dragons got him to play as one of their ASEAN imports. He made an immediate impact and was part of the 2016 ABL champion team. He was also named the finals MVP.

From there, he joined the Mono Vampire Basketball Club before ending up with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.

Having accomplished so much in his basketball career, Brickman is now hoping to take his act to the PBA. When asked if he had any preference for a team, he mentioned two.

"I would love to play with any team. I've seen the (San Miguel) Beermen and Ginebra. I think those are among the top teams I would love to play for and it will be a lot of fun. But just getting in (the league) is something I would love to do," he said.

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