Gransberry to play pro ball in France
Gransberry, the Big East's leading rebounder for the last two seasons, has signed on to play this season with STB Le Havre (the STB is Saint Thomas Basket), a team in the Pro A division of France's Ligue Nationale de Basket -- I'll let you guys translate that one. Gransberry said he had other options overseas, but STB Le Havre was his best option.
"They had the best offer, with a chance to start and get a lot of exposure," said Gransberry, who reports to France on Aug. 17 for what will be his first trip to Europe.
The LNB has a few familiar names for American college basketball fans -- USF fans certainly remember former Virginia Tech guard Zabian Dowdell and Villanova's Curtis Sumpter, who are on other rosters in the league. Former USC star Jeff Trepagnier also plays in the LNB. Here's the league's official site, as well as the site for Le Havre.
Gransberry had a frustrating stint in Las Vegas, playing only two minutes in his first two games with the Detroit Pistons' summer team and then watching the remaining three from the bench.
"I wasn't able to get a chance," he said. "They have to play their returning players and draft picks, but other teams had more minutes for overseas players and undrafted rookies. I think I speak for others in Las Vegas when I say "If you're not going to play us, why invite us?"
Gransberry, a Baton Rouge native, has grown up with a little French around him, but he said he'll have to pick up a CD to learn some basic phrases before he heads to Le Havre. According to my sister Kristin, official consultant to the blog for all things French, that's pronounced "luh ahvruh," but barely say the last part. We're all about expanding the minds of our readers here.
We'll check back with updates on his rookie season there, as well as other former Bulls playing overseas ...