Brandon Jennings Headed to Italy | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / June 13.
  • Brandon Jennings Headed to Italy

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    Brandon Jennings is pulling a Kobe. A year after playing for Oak Hill Academy on ESPN, he’s headed to Italy.
    Jennings, the prep star who announced he would skip Arizona in order to play overseas, signed a three-year, multimillion-dollar contract with the Rome-based Pallacanestro Virtus Roma team. The deal has a buyout clause that will allow him to leave the team and enter the NBA draft when eligible next year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The deal was negotiated by former grassroots sneaker czar Sonny Vaccaro.
    Virtus Roma General Manager Dejan Bodiroga “had a comprehensive plan for Brandon that included specific training and education, tutoring programs . . . as well as media training,” Jennings’ Los Angeles attorney, Jeffrey Valle, said in a prepared statement.

    Bodiroga also arranged for Jennings’ 13-year-old brother, Terrance, to enroll in an English-speaking school and land a spot on a junior club team in Rome, Vaccaro said.

    This is a fascinating scenario, and one which is being followed with rapt attention by the entire basketball world. These are some of the key questions soon to be answered….

    1. Will Jennings be a trendsetter? If it “works out” for him, are we likely to see a Lance Stephenson or a Renardo Sidney or a Derrick Caracter follow suit?

    2. What does “work out” even mean? Will Jennings be back and ready to go for the 2009 NBA Draft? What if he and his family become enamored with Italian food, culture and beaches (who wouldn’t?) and decide to stay?

    3. What’s the story with the Virtus Roma team ? What do they get out of having Jennings for just one year? Who takes over the point for them next season if Jennings leaves?

    4. What NBA teams have relationships with this Italian team, and who’s going to be over scouting Jennings this upcoming season. Will every NBA send someone to watch him, or just a handful?

    5. Where does Arizona go now? The Wildcats are scrambling for a point guard during the July recruiting period, looking everywhere….even including overseas!

    Which is just where Brandon Jennings will be balling…..

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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