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Alhassan Barrie signs with German club Basketball Loewen

Maple Leafs’ leading rebounder inks deal in third-division ProB league

ERFURT, Germany — 2019 Goshen College graduate Alhassan Barrie has signed his first professional contract with Basketball Loewen of Germany. The club announced its new addition last week.

Barrie, a 6-6 forward from Antwerp, Belgium, played three seasons and 88 games for the Maple Leafs from 2016 to 2019. He graduated in April with a degree in business.

He finished each of the last two seasons as the team’s leading rebounder: last season, he also led Goshen in blocked shots and field-goal percentage while ranking second on the team in steals.

Barrie averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a senior, a season in which he made 20 starts. He shot 58.9 percent from the floor and added 24 blocks and 26 steals while posting three double-doubles.

His most prolific rebounding season at Goshen was his junior year, 2017-18, when he nabbed 7.1 rebounds per game.

Barrie scored in double figures 25 times over his career and nabbed 10 or more rebounds on 12 occasion, graduating with 7 career double-doubles. His single-game highs were 19 points and 13 rebounds.

“First and foremost, I am grateful for the chance to pursue a career in the game I love so much and that has done so much for me,” Barrie said. “Basketball has brought a lot of blessings to my life so far and I can’t wait to see what this next step in my journey will bring.”

“I am incredibly happy for AB to get this opportunity,” said Goshen coach Jon Tropf. “He came to Goshen as a relatively unproven player and turned his natural gifts into some real talent by working hard and listening to his coaches. AB has overcome a lot of adversity to get to this point. He is a young man with great character and has left his mark on this campus and our program.”

In Basketball Loewen’s announcement, the club noted that Barrie’s high level of athleticism allows him to be used as a flexible and successful inside player.

“Our training work and style of play is characterized by high intensity over the entire court,” said managing director Wolfgang Heyder. “We are looking for young and hungry players who fight for victory in every game and have the ambition to develop individually over the season and as a team.”

Basketball Loewen, or the Basketball Lions in English, plays in the southern division of ProB, the third tier of German professional basketball. At the end of each 22-game season, the two division champions are promoted to second-division ProA.

The Basketball Lions finished last season with a 10-12 record, good for eighth in the league. Their 2019-20 campaign will start with training camp in early August: the first exhibition game is set for Sunday, Aug. 11, with the regular season running from September to March.

Basketball Loewen plays in the 1,250-seat Reithsportshalle in Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia in central Germany.

“I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without God,” Barrie said. “Things couldn’t have been lined out more perfectly than they are right now and it’s all God’s work. I want to thank my parents for giving me the freedom and tools to pursue my dreams. My siblings have been super supportive along the way. The Antwerp Wolfpack and Ronald Wolfs showed me the way and guided me.”

“Last but not least, I want to thank the whole Goshen College community for making a kid from Antwerp, Belgium, feel at home,” Barrie continued. “Coach Tropf and the whole coaching staff never gave up on me and my teammates became brothers to me.”

Barrie joins a growing list of Maple Leafs to continue their careers abroad at the professional level. The list is headed by 2010 graduate Errick McCollum, a EuroCup MVP who spent the 2018-19 season playing in Russia. Additionally, 2013 alum Mathew Martin is playing in the British Basketball League; 2014 graduate Jerron Jamerson and 2015 alumnus Stefon Luckey are playing in Australia.

In the last five seasons, Trevor Commissaris, Xavier Newson and Kevin Phillips have also traveled to Europe, playing in Italy, Kosovo and Kosovo respectively.