By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is pleased to announce the signing of American guard and current holder of the Alonzo Ford Trophy awarded annually to the top scorer of the Euroleague, Taylor Rochestie, to a two year contract with an option for a third year.
Rochestie (30, 6’1”) is a high level left-handed scorer/point guard, an outstanding shooter from outside the arc and dependable as the sunrise from the foul line, who has a tremendous talent for creating scoring situations for himself and others. His ability to read plays during the game and make the right pass at the right time is excellent.
Following his signing with the club, Rochestie said, “I’m very excited and proud to be joining Maccabi Tel Aviv, not only to play basketball at the highest levels in Europe, but also to experience the country of Israel and play for the best fans in the world.
Maccabi has an amazing tradition. Everyone in Europe and the U.S. knows it, and I’m ready for the big challenge. I’m well aware of the high level of expectations in Maccabi Tel Aviv; I’ve talked about it a lot with Tyrese Rice and Gal Mekel.”
“I plan to work hard every day so I can keep improving as a player, and to work even harder for my new team. I’m crazy about basketball, and the fans can be sure that I’ll give everything I have to help Maccabi Tel Aviv succeed. I want to thank Maccabi’s management for the faith they have placed in me, and I’m eager to meet the fans.”
Rochestie was born in Houston, Texas and is a graduate of Washington State University (2009), where he contributed 13.2 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game in his final season. After college he moved on to Europe, where he has garnered six years of experience to date. He started out in the 2009/10 season with B.G. Göttingen of Germany, which he led to the Eurochallenge title while receiving the MVP honors for the Final Four. Rochestie was also named the best new player in the German League, finishing with an average of 15.1 points per game.
He started the 2010-11 season with Turkish club Galatasaray, which at that time competed in the Eurocup. Mid-season, Rochestie returned to Germany and signed with Alba Berlin. Rochestie has also played with Le Mans of France, Spanish club Caja Laboral (his first time playing in the Euroleague), as well as Biella and Siena in Italy. In January of 2014 Rochestie joined Russian team Nizhny Novgorod, where he has been outstanding for the last season and a half. In 2014 he contributed 14.3 points and 4.8 assists with Nizhny, leading the club to the semifinals of the Eurocup and to the finals of the VTB League.
Rochestie had an amazing breakout season this past year. In the club’s first Euroleague season, he led them to the Top 16, and finished as the leading scorer in the league, averaging 18.9 points per game with phenomenal percentages: 52% from two point range (82 of 158), 50% from three point range (53 of 106) and 92.5% from the foul line (74 of 80). He led the Euroleague in points and percentages from the foul line, and held second place in weighted index (21), and third place in drawing fouls (5 per game) and three point shooting. He averaged 5.7 assists per game (sixth in the Euroleague), including 15 assists in his team’s victory over Turkish team Anadolu Efes – a Top 16 record. Rochestie scored in double digits in every game, reaching 20 points or more 8 times, peaking at 29 points.
Last season, playing alongside Israel’s own Gal Mekel starting in February, he reached the VTB semifinal, where he contributed 14.7 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.2 rebounds.
Rochestie also has Montenegrin citizenship and is a member of that country’s national team. In the 2015 Eurobasket qualifying round, he contributed 11 points and 4.3 assists per game. His best game came against Israel, where he finished with 17 points and 9 assists.