Men’s Basketball: Former BU star Eric Fanning talks rookie season in Hungary

basketball-9By: Greg Levinsky

Two-time All-Patriot League First Team performer Eric Fanning recently returned stateside after his first professional season overseas. He spent the last 10 months playing for Egis Kormend of the Hungarian NB I/A, the highest professional league in the country.

The 25-year-old guard appeared in 58 games, making 43 starts. However, with playoffs and other tournaments, the season reached around 80 contests. He averaged 15.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists across 27.6 minutes per game.

“With my game, I really smartened up during this season,” said Fanning, who returned to the United States on June 15th.

Fanning, a three-year standout at BU, transferred after his freshman season at Wagner University. The Trenton, New Jersey native had seven 20-plus point performances for Egis Kormend. He also tallied a pair of double-doubles for Egis Kormend.

His game adjusted well to the European style, utilizing his three-point shot more than he did in college. Fanning said he always worked on his outside game, but didn’t use it much at BU. He’s definetly glad he worked on it.

“I had the ability to shoot the 3-ball consistently, I figured I was a real good shooter,” Fanning said. “But I never had the confidence at BU. I don’t know why because I would work my butt off in the summers on my 3-point shooting.”

Fanning shot 36.8 percent from the beyond the arc on nearly four attempts per game. He connected on at least three 3-pointers nine times in his rookie professional season. In four Euro Cup qualifying games, he shot a tick just under 70 percent from down town.

“Once I started not thinking, just shooting it, I was able to shoot the ball really well this year.”

Playing nearly three times as many games as a normal college season, Fanning said this past season was an adjustment. No more classes, but as a professional athlete, all he did was eat, sleep, ball.

“It was a real hectic season,” Fanning said. “It was definetly a transition for me with my body. Back at BU for the last three years I’ve been playing about 30 games, a little under 30 sometimes and that amount of games really took a toll on me.”

Another adjustment in which Fanning found himself prepared for was an impromptu leadership role. Always passionate on the court, Fanning found a way to guide his teammates defensively, citing vocal defensive communication as something that lacked in the European game.

Taking the reigns as a leader, Fanning helped Egis Kormend advance to the final 16 of the FIBA Euro Cup.

“That’s where it started with me, talking to the guys to make sure they know me,” Fanning said. “Everyone knows me knows that I’m a friend before a teammate, making guys feel comfortable.”

Fanning joined classmates Justin Alston and Dylan Haines as 2017 Terrier graduates playing overseas. Haines played in Switzerland, Alston in Germany.

Fanning said he doesn’t have a plan yet for next season, but said he’d like to try playing in Western Europe. For now, he’ll be working out in Boston at Case Gym this summer.

“I’m gonna be back on campus and still work out with the guys, lifting, and get back to work,” Fanning said.

Author: Greg Levinsky

Greg Levinsky is a junior at Boston University studying journalism with a strong interest in sports reporting. Greg has interned for the Portland Pirates, WEEI and the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League in writing/broadcast capacities. Greg is a staff writer for WTBU Sports out of Boston University, covering BU field hockey, basketball, softball, soccer and lacrosse Greg also works for Boston University Athletics and Harvard Athletics as both a Public Address Announcer and broadcaster.

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