T. J. Cline

Timothy Joseph "T. J." Cline (born July 22, 1994) is an American-Israeli professional basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League and the EuroLeague. He is also a member of the Israeli national basketball team. He played college basketball for the Richmond Spiders. Cline is the son of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame player Nancy Lieberman.

T. J. Cline
TJ Cline.jpg
Cline with Richmond, 2015
No. 2 – Maccabi Tel Aviv
PositionPower forward / Center
LeagueIsraeli Basketball Premier League
Personal information
Born (1994-07-22) July 22, 1994 (age 26)
Plano, Texas
NationalityAmerican / Israeli
Listed height2.06 m (6 ft 9 in)
Listed weight104 kg (229 lb)
Career information
High schoolPlano West (Plano, Texas)
College
NBA draft2017 / Undrafted
Playing career2017–present
Career history
2017Galatasaray
2017–2020Hapoel Holon
2020–2021Basket Brescia Leonessa
2021-Maccabi Tel Aviv
Career highlights and awards

College careerEdit

After playing three years of junior varsity basketball at Plano West Senior High School, Cline re-made his game (and grew four inches to 6'8") and starred his senior season, earning conference offensive player of the year honors. He was able to obtain an NCAA Division I scholarship to Niagara. As a freshman, he earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference all-rookie team. When coach Joe Mihalich left Niagara for Hofstra, Cline chose to transfer to Richmond.[1]

At Richmond, Cline built a reputation as a scorer. In his senior season, he averaged 18.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. A skilled passer, Cline averaged 5.6 assists per game, unusual for a player his size. In 2014-15 he was fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2-point field goal percentage (.605).[2] In 2015-16 he was second in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.558) and 2-point field goal percentage (.635), and sixth in points per game (18.3).[2] In 2016-17 he was second in the A-10 in 2-point field goal percentage (.613) and assists per game (5.6), third in field goal percentage (.517), and fifth in points per game (18.3).[2]

At the close of the 2016-17 season, Cline became the second Spiders player to be named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.[3] Despite playing only three seasons at Richmond, Cline finished his career ranked eighth in points and seventh in assists in Spider history.

Professional careerEdit

Galatasaray (2017)Edit

On August 6, 2017, Cline signed with Turkish team Galatasaray for the 2017–18 season.[4] He parted ways with Galatasaray on November 15 after seeing action in five games.

Hapoel Holon (2017–2020)Edit

2017–18 seasonEdit

On November 15, 2017, Cline signed a two-year deal with Israeli team Hapoel Holon.[5][6] On November 23, 2017, Cline received an Israeli passport.[7] On February 15, 2018, Cline won the Israeli Cup with Holon after beating perennial cup holders Maccabi Tel-Aviv, 86–84 in the final game of the competition. On March 4, 2018, Cline recorded a season-high 16 points, shooting 7-for-8 from the field, along with four rebounds and two assists in a 105–88 win over Maccabi Ashdod.[8] Cline helped Holon reach the 2018 Israeli League Final, where they eventually lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

2018–19 seasonEdit

On July 2, 2018, Cline joined the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2018 NBA Summer League,[9] where he averaged 3.2 points and 4 rebounds in 14 minutes per game.

On March 5, 2019, Cline recorded a career-high 19 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field, along with four rebounds and two assists in an 85–81 win over Balkan.[10] In 20 Israeli League games, he averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Cline helped Holon reach the 2019 FIBA Europe Cup Semifinals, where they eventually were eliminated by Dinamo Sassari.

2019–20 seasonEdit

On July 16, 2019, Cline re-signed with Holon for the 2019–20 season.[11] On October 5, 2019, Cline recorded an Israeli League career-high 18 points, shooting 7-of-12 from the field, along with eight rebounds and seven assists in an 89–75 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv.[12] Two days later, he was named Israeli League Round 1 MVP.[13] He was named to the Basketball Champions League Team of the Week on January 16, 2020, after contributing 18 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists in a win over SIG Strasbourg.[14] He averaged 12.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in Winner League.[15]

Basket Brescia Leonessa (2020–2021)Edit

On July 22, 2020, the day of his birthday, Cline signed a one year deal with Basket Brescia Leonessa in the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) and EuroCup Basketball.[16]

Maccabi Tel Aviv (2021–Present)Edit

On January 24, 2021, Cline signed a deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League and the Euroleague.

National team careerEdit

Cline is a member of the Israeli national basketball team. On February 21, 2019, Cline made his first appearance for the Israeli team in an 81–77 win over Germany, recording 14 points and five rebounds off the bench.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

Cline was born in Plano, Texas, is Jewish, and is the son of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame player Nancy Lieberman.[18][19][1] During his childhood, however, his mother had already adopted Christianity, especially its born-again tradition, as detailed in a 1998 review of the book Faith in Sports: Athletes and Their Religion on and Off the Field by Steve Hubbard and a 2015 article in The Jerusalem Post.[20][21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Auerbach, Nicole (February 13, 2015). "Richmond's T.J. Cline, Nancy Lieberman's son, creates own identity". USA Today. Retrieved March 16, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c "T.J. Cline College Stats". College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com.
  3. ^ O'Connor, John (March 7, 2017). "A-10 honors Spiders T.J. Cline, De'Monte Buckingham as player, rookie of year". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved March 16, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Galatasaray signs rookie big man Cline". Eurocupbasketball.com. August 6, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "TJ Cline signs with Hapoel Holon". Sportando.com. November 15, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "ממשיכה להתחזק: טי.ג'יי קליין חתם בחולון". basket.co.il (in Hebrew). November 15, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "טי ג'יי קליין קיבל אזרחות ישראלית, יירשם לליגה". One.co.il (in Hebrew). November 23, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Winner League, Game 18: UNET Holon Vs Maccabi Ashdod". basket.co.il. March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Bucks Announce 2018 Summer League Roster". NBA.com. July 2, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "UNET Holon v Balkan BC boxscore - FIBA Europe Cup 2018-19". FIBA.Basketball. March 5, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "טי.ג'יי קליין ממשיך לעונה שלישית בחולון". basket.co.il (in Hebrew). July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Winner League, Game 1: U-NET Holon Vs Hapoel TA". basket.co.il. October 5, 2019. Retrieved October 5, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "מצטיין המחזור הראשון: טי.ג'יי קליין". basket.co.il (in Hebrew). October 7, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "BCL Team of the Week: J. Brown, Hazer, Ulmer, Cline and Hankins". Eurohoops. January 16, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Germani Brescia officially signs TJ Cline". Sportando. July 22, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Brescia arricchisce il proprio roster: ufficiale l'acquisto di TJ Cline" (in Italian). basketbrescialeonessa.it. July 22, 2020.
  17. ^ "Israel v Germany boxscore - FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers". fiba.basketball. February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "T.J. CLINE basketball profile". Eurobasket. Retrieved December 2, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Jerusalem back on track with home win". The Jerusalem Post. November 16, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Faith Leads to True Victory, Not Score at End of Game". The Christian Science Monitor. March 26, 1998. For the most part, "Faith in Sports" focuses on male believers, but Hubbard also connects with some women, including basketball player Nancy Lieberman Cline, a Jew turned born-again Christian...
  21. ^ "Nancy Lieberman ready to roam the sideline for the Sacramento Kings". The Jerusalem Post. TNS. August 4, 2015. Lieberman – who was raised Jewish, but has become a born-again Christian...

External linksEdit