FLUSHING, N.Y. (Jun. 14, 2018) - In his first season of professional basketball, Queens College alumnus Diego Maldonado has earned playing time and made key contributions off the bench for Atleticos de San German in the Puerto Rican basketball league.
The league, known as the Baloncesto Superior Nacional, has reached its midway point with all teams having played 18 of 35 total games after the season began back on May 6. Maldonado has seen time in seven contests this season for Atleticos, which is currently 7-11 overall and tied for seventh place in the league. The Valley Stream native and former Knight made his professional debut on May 9 in a 98-90 loss to Humacao. Maldonado hit a three-pointer for his first pro points in four minutes in the contest.
Maldonado has averaged 5.7 minutes per game thus far and has averaged three points per game as well. In a 112-91 loss to league front-runner Bayamon back on May 24, he scored five points in six minutes while also pulling down two rebounds. The two teams played four days later on May 28, with Maldonado logging nine minutes of playing time and contributing two points and a board in San German's 98-79 loss to Bayamon. Since then, however, Atleticos has won four of six contests including most recenlty in a 104-73 drubbing of fellow cellar-dweller Fajardo. Maldonado was a force for Atleticos in the win, playing just three minutes but scoring six points and adding a rebound and an assist.
The second half of the season begins on Sunday (Jun. 17) with Maldonado and his teammates facing off against Fajardo once again. Maldonado's learning curve has been aided by the help of former NBA top-three draft pick and current teammate O.J. Mayo, who is shooting 43% from the field and scoring 13.6 points per contest for Atleticos as well.