From NAIA in 2017 to LEB Plata – Weekly MVP in 2020


The Simple Beginnings of Sean McDonnell

Sean grew up in San Diego California, playing basketball in high school at San Dieguito Academy. After graduating he attended Big Bend Community College for his 2013-14 season. The following year he transferred to Westmont College which competes in the NAIA Golden State Athletics conference. His first year there was an adjustment as he saw few minutes and played a smaller roll. His Junior year he had a breakout year starting in 31 games in which he led his team in rebounding with 7.1 per game and averaged 14.8 points per game. His senior year was another solid season with averages of 12.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Making the Move to Professional Basketball 

After weighing his options regarding the future of his career, Sean McDonnell decided to attend Europrobasket’s European Summer League in June of 2017 with his friend and college teammate Cory Blau. With 4 standout performances in the European Summer League, Sean received interest from multiple teams. By the Director of Europrobasket, Sean was introduced to an EBA team in Tortosa which was interested in signing both him and his friend and college teammate Cory. Both Cory and Sean accepted the teams offer and committed to play for CB Cantaires Tortosa in the Spanish Eba League.

First European Season a Success

Sean can attest to a big and necessary adjustment to the culture, living and style of basketball here in Europe. It took patience, hard work and dedication which paid off. He adjusted well his first season leading his team in scoring with 17.2 points per game, rebounds with 7.5 per game and overall efficiency with 19.1 points. The following season he was offered by Europrobasket Head Scout to CB Cuidad de Ponferrada, an eba team on the opposite side of the Spanish Peninsula. Cuidad Ponferrada made a solid offer in which Sean accepted.

Second Season Brings a Championship

Sean made an improvement this 2018/19 season averaging 19 points, 7.5 rebounds with a 22.1 efficiency rating. Sean again proved that he was too much for the Spanish EBA league leading his team to a Championship and moving them up a division to LEB Plata, Spain 3rd tier competition.

LEB Plata – Attracts NBA Talent and Develops Young Elites

The following 2019/20 season Sean McDonnell resigned with his club CB Cuidad de Ponferrada, which is now playing in LEB Plata, stomping grounds for former and current NBA players and young elite players looking to move up to higher divisions in Spain and larger leagues outside of Spain. Former NBA players that have competed in LEB Plata, or LEB Silver as it is written in English, include names such as: Javonte Green, Tiago Splitter, Andres Nocioni, Luis Scola, Jose Calderon, Robert Traylor, Serge Ibaka, Maciej Lampe, James Donaldson, Linton Townes, Nikola Mirotic, Wayne Simien, Jelani McCoy and Robert Swift. Many players from outside of Europe make the mistake thinking that 3rd division in Spain is lower level. To put things into perspective, would you consider the USA’s 3rd league lower level? For example: If the NBA is the 1st tier, the NBA G-League the 2nd tier, then that would make the NCAA the 3rd tier. Since Spain is the best basketball country outside of the USA, you can imagine the talent in Spain, granted the population of Spain is just a little larger than the state of California. Some food for thought; Luka Doncic began his playing career in Spain in Liga EBA, Spain’s 4th division. At the age of 15, Luka averaged 14.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 18.7 efficiency. If you are looking to make a name for yourself here in Europe, start with a solid league in one of the best basketball countries in the World. Sean McDonnell took Europrobasket’s advice and is now leaving his mark in the league.

MVP Awards and Top Rankings

So far this season Sean is personally ranked 2nd in his conference and 4th overall in scoring with an average of 16.45 points per game. He is also ranked 2nd in his conference and 5th overall in efficiency with 18.55. He is ranked in the top 15 in his conference for rebounds and steals as well. Sean helped his team to finish the first round of the competition in 5th place and is now tied for the 1st place spot which is a selection of the top 12 teams in the league. He received the MVP award for the 22nd round of LEB Plata with an outstanding performance of 26 points, 11/14 from 2 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.

Next Step – Next Level

With Leb Silver being a competitive league and having many teams, scouts and agents monitoring players performances in the league, naturally the only place for a player such as Sean McDonnell to go is up. With improvements every season in his performances, you shouldn’t be surprised to see Sean in the next league up or a comparable league outside of Spain.


You can check Sean’s stats in LEB Plata clicking here.