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Former Pilots Star Ryan Nicholas Signs With German ClubSalem-News.com Sports
As a senior this past season Nicholas earned All-WCC honorable mention honors for the second straight season.
(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - University of Portland graduate Ryan Nicholas has signed a professional contract with German club Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels of the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), the top division in Germany.
Nicholas, a three-year starter with the Pilots, concluded his career ranked No. 5 in Portland history in both rebounds (833) and double-doubles (24) and also was No. 12 in career scoring (1,238).
As a senior this past season Nicholas led the West Coast Conference in both rebounding (8.8) and double-doubles (11) and earned All-WCC honorable mention honors for the second straight season. He averaged 12.9 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 77 percent at the free throw line.
"I was very excited when my agent mentioned the opportunity to play in the first division," Nicholas said. "My job now is to figure out what the coach, GM and team want from me and then I need to make sure that I am ready to go to work every day."
Nicholas will stay in Portland and train throughout July and then report to Germany in mid-August.
"While we will definitely miss Ryan here on The Bluff, but we are very excited about the start of his professional career," Portland head coach Eric Reveno said. "After his performance in a Pilot uniform he had lots of overseas interest and has chosen a team that recognizes his versatility as player. We look forward to Ryan continuing to put up big numbers and help his team win, just like he always has."
"The last four years here at Portland have been incredible," Nicholas added. "I came in out of high school and coach Reveno gave me a great opportunity. He and all of the coaches at UP embraced me and my style of play and then helped me expand on that to become a more dynamic player. Now I'm ready to take it to the next level professionally."
A Spokane, Wash. native, Nicholas led the Pilots in rebounding the last three seasons and scoring as both a sophomore (11.5) and junior (13.0). In addition to his on-court accolades, Nicholas was a three-time WCC All-Academic Team member, named to the Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association National Scholar Athlete, and was the lone recipient of the Division I-AAA ADA 2014 Men's Basketball Postgraduate Scholarship.
Mittledeutscher BC Weissenfels (MBC) finished the 2013-14 BBL season in ninth-place among the 18-team league with a 16-18 overall record. The BBL also features former Pilot big man Robin Smeulders, who has played the last four seasons with EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
Nicholas is the 12th Pilot in the last five years to sign a professional basketball contract upon graduation.
A total of six Pilots played overseas last season and are listed below:
Pilots in the Pros (2013-14) Pooh Jeter '06 (Shandong FB – China) Robin Smeulders '09 (EWE Baskets – Germany) Nik Raivio '10 (Jaszberenyi – Hungary) TJ Campbell '10 (Dijon – France… Signed with Nanterre in France for 2014-15) Luke Sikma '11 (CB Canarias – Spain) Kramer Knutson '11 (London Lions – UK)
Source: University of Portland Athletics
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