Like so many basketball players before him Sonny Weems' life in the NBA was short-lived. He played a mere three seasons, two with the Toronto Raptors and one with the Denver Nuggets. All in all, three seasons for a second round pick is actually pretty impressive and in those three seasons, Weems proved that he could play in the best basketball league in the world.
In his third season in the NBA, his second with the Raptors, Weems actually started 28 games and when he wasn't starting was a major contributor for the Raptors off the bench. He averaged 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in his final season in the NBA and averaged almost 24 minutes per game.
But when the lockout occurred delaying the start of the 2011-12 season, Weems fled the U.S. and signed a contract with BC Zaliris Kuanas of the Euroleague. Weems lasted only one year for the Lithuanian club as a result of suffering a season ending injury.
Weems was again at a crossroads. Should he return to the states and try to play for an NBA team again or should he look for another job in Europe?
Weems decided to take the latter and signed a contract with CSKA Moscow again in the Euroleague, the second best basketball league in the world.
But for Weems all he needed was an opportunity. Weems, 27, attended Arkansas-Fort Smith junior college and after being named an honoarary junior college All-American signed on with the Arkansas Razorbacks for his junior and senior years. So for him switching team's and moving again to another country was no big deal.
"When I was younger, I didn't care about getting a passport," Weems said. "But now that I've been traveling because of basketball, my eyes have been lighting up. There's a lot to see in this world."
Weems has emerged as CSKA Moscow's go-to scorer this season and is averaging 22 points, five rebounds, and 3.5 assists in two postseason games against Panathinaikos Athens. Weems and CSKA Moscow are now one game away from returning to the Euroleague Final Four and competing for another title. There were reports last fall that Weems has an NBA-out this summer so don't be surprised if Weems returns to the NBA next season.
Weems has had made noticeable changes to his game. Weems has learned to develop a true pick-and-roll game and is no longer just relying on his athleticism. Because European basketball features far less skilled players, Weems has learned to play more of a half-court game and learned to play at slower pace.
Don't be surprised to hear Weems' name when CSKA Moscow competes in the Euroleague Final Four and for CSKA Moscow's sake advances past the semifinals and wins a Euroleague title.