COLUMBUS OH - NOVEMBER 26: Deshaun Thomas #1 and Aaron Craft #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defend against Julian Mavunga #4 of the Miami RedHawks at Value City Arena on November 26 2010 in Columbus Ohio. Ohio State won 66-45. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Former Brownsburg High star forward Julian Mavunga made a positive impression with his play this summer for the Indiana Pacers. So much so, that the team invited the local player who finished up his college career at Miami, OH last year, to continue working out with the team throughout the summer with an eye toward taking part in the Pacers' preseason training camp.
But Mavunga is ready to get paid and will leave Indy after signing a contract with Italy's Angelico Biella. Sounds like a good way to end a strong summer for Mavunga after taking full advantage of his summer league opportunity with the Pacers.
"It was sweet," said Mavunga of his summer league experience with the Pacers. "It was a really good experience. You get a feel for the NBA game and how it's different. It was enjoyable. It helped me learn and to grow as a professional and a person. Just seeing what things are going to be different in the NBA."
Following the NBA summer league, Mavunga has continued to work out with the Pacers.
"They invited me to come workout in their individual workouts with the team ... almost as a part of the team," said Mavunga. "It was good experience getting a hands-on coaching from their staff. They have a really good coaching staff and one of the best assistant coaches in the league in Brian Shaw. Working out with NBA players and NBA coaches gave me a chance to learn more and grow as a player."
I was assuming there might be a chance for Mavunga to land the 14th or 15th roster spot with his invite to camp. Apparently not, since I assume the team has been up front about his chances to remain with the team past camp. Nothing is guaranteed with a camp invite, so going to Italy is a great opportunity to secure some professional money and continue developing his game for the NBA.