Courts, games changes around the world for Arledge
By By David Driver
Feb 04, 2016 | 1:00 PM
Jonathan Arledge is used to moving around and now he is adjusting to life on and off the basketball court near Boncourt, Switzerland.
Arledge, 24, was born in Frankfurt, Germany when his mother was in the U.S. Army. He attended Meade High before he transferred to KIMA, a charter school in Washington, D.C. that played some of its home games at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club.
"He played for me three years at the charter school," said North Laurel resident Levet Brown, his former KIMA coach. "What I remember about Jonathan was he was athletic for his height."
The 6-foot-9 Arledge went on to play Division I college basketball at George Mason and Old Dominion universities in Virginia before beginning his European sojourn during the 2015-16 season in Switzerland.
Arledge now lives close to the border of France, where he will sometimes go shopping since prices are lower there.
"The city I live in is called Fontenais, the team I play for represents the city of Boncourt. Although the people here informed me that the cities are referred to as villages, it was a jaw-dropping culture shock moment for me," he wrote in an email from Switzerland. "There's a population of about 1,000 to 1,100 people. Fontenais is nothing close to what I am familiar with in Maryland; everything is closed by 6 p.m. and all day Sunday."
"In the mornings and evenings kids with book bags bigger than their bodies walk to and from school with no chaperones or police managing crosswalks and traffic," he added. "People here have normal jobs like everyone your familiar with but there are a lot of teachers because of the amount of schools they have in the villages."
"The people here love to go to the bars, clubs in nearby cities/villages. My living situation is pretty good. I live in a two-bedroom apartment with one of my teammates and we share a manual car. That was a challenge when I first arrived; I could not get the stick shift down whatsoever. In my free time I sleep, pray, talk to my family and friends, watch Netflix and hang out with my teammates."
Arledge played three seasons at forward at George Mason University and graduated with a major in tourism and events management and a minor in business management.
The left-handed shooter then transferred to ODU in Norfolk, Virginia, where he is working on his master's in coaching management.
Last season as a senior he started all 35 games for the Monarchs and averaged 20.1 minutes, 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.
An assistant coach for ODU is Lamar Barrett, a former assistant at Oxon Hill High in Prince George's County. "He can shoot inside or outside. He can really stretch the floor," Barrett said. "We made film for him off of the season so agents can see it. In his case we put some stuff together" to attract teams overseas.
Arledge was averaging 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in late January for Boncourt, which won five of its first 17 contests.
So how is the Swiss league different from playing at Mason and ODU? One rule difference in Europe is that walking is called quicker if a player does not clearly put the ball on the floor before he picks up his pivot foot.
"I would say that the game is more physical because the referees let a little bit more go," according to Arledge. "I had trouble adapting to the traveling rules here; I'm still not perfect at is but I work on it every day. I feel like I can be a great coach right now because of how much my college coaches taught me on the game of basketball."
What has been the biggest challenge Arledge has faced in Switzerland?
"The biggest challenge on the court that I have to deal with is myself," according to Arledge. "I tend put too much pressure on myself at times instead of focusing on just playing the game and having fun. Off the court it is hard dealing with being away from all my family & friends but I've managed to stay focused what I'm trying to accomplish."
"I've learned patience and self-control in my time here," he added. "I want and I know I can play and shine at the highest level. In this business you have to show and prove every night and grind. No one knows when it is their time but when it comes it's because of God's blessing and that's when people will finally see. I feel that this was a great path for me to take because it gave me a chance to get closer to God and I am following the path he has set for me. I feel lucky everyday being able to wake up thank God foreverythingandeveryone."
Notes: One of Arledge's former KIMA teammates, Devin Martin, averaged 14 points per game in the first 15 contests for Maryland-Eastern Shore … Another player overseas is former Maryland player Cliff Tucker, the son of Brown's sister. The former Terp has been playing in Germany … Kareem Storey, who played at KIMA with Arledge, played in college at Utah and Morehead State.