Samardo Samuels and Olimpia Milano
Samardo Samuels, formerly of Muschette High and his team Olimpia Milano, lost 4-3 in the Euroleague playoffs to be denied a place in the final. Olimpia Milano (EA7 Emporio Armani Milano) was defeated by Sassari (Banco di Sardegna Sassari) in Game 7.
Samardo’s Olimpia Milano was beaten 81 to 86 in overtime, but Samuels contribution in the game was tremendous, as he was the top performer in 3 out of 6 categories. He led the scoring with 25 points, rebounding with 9 rebounds and efficiency, with 15.9.
Samardo Samuels, the 6 feet 9 inches power forward, also had the honor of being named Euroleague MVP Top 16, in Round 8 of the competition. Then, his performance index rating of 47 was not only the best in the competition all season, but tied for the third-best in Top 16 history. He also ended the season as the teams rebound leader, averaging 6.40 rebounds.
2014 2015 Season in the Euroleague
Here is a summary of his 2014-2015 season with Olimpia Milano:
2014/15 SEASON – In Nizhny Novgorod he scored 36 point drawing 12 fouls and accumulating 47 points of index ratings. All of them career highs. His 12 2-point baskets are the all-time record for Top 16 competition. He was named Euroleague Mvp of the week for that performance… He scored 25 points against Bologna setting his new personal-best in the Italian League. He tied it up in game 7 of the semifinal series against Sassari… He finished the regular season as the best in the league in index rating per minutes and in first place in 2-point shooting (66.8%).
Source: Olimpia Milano.
Samardo Family Ties
Samardo is the grandson of famous Falmouth barber Redvor Scott (a.k.a. Relvor), who still cuts hair today, as he has done from the 1960’s. If you are from Falmouth, Jamaica, it is almost impossible to not know “Relvor,” He is the father of Samardo’s mom.
Learning the game in Falmouth
Samuels learned his game on the Falmouth basketball court. At the time, I had stopped playing basketball and he was a little kid who just loved the game. At the start, he did not show much promise, but what was impressive was his dedication.
I remember when his father, a taxi driver, would let him off at training and come back for him. Sometimes, his mom and dad sat patiently in the car for hours, waiting on him to finish training. Often times he trained alone. The other guys were inconsistent, but whether they came or not, he was like a lonely soldier, often under the instruction of then coach, Ronald Beckford. “Beckie” helped to bring him from nothing to something.
The Muschette High School former student went on to play successfully in college for Louisville, then played 3 seasons in the NBA for Cleveland Cavaliers. He was then signed by Olimpia Milano in 2013.
Samuels will become a free agent at next year, and as expected, his value has gone up. Milano will have to spend more to keep him. the Turkish team Galatasaray, is willing to go higher. However, they first have to defeat Fenerbahce in first round of TBL playoffs and reach the Finals or hope Euroleague can grant them one of the 4 Wild Cards available.
The future therefore looks bright for Samardo Samuels. Plagued by injury for much of his professional career, let’s hope he remains injury free and continue to make Falmouth, Trelawny and the rest of Jamaica proud.