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Ex-Packer Bing makes his future in Austria

Erroyl Bing went to catch a plane Friday, thinking he was heading to play professional basketball in Brazil.

Turns out, he is bound for Austria.

A former Largo standout and the all-time leading rebounder at East Carolina, Bing signed last week to play for Kingstone Group, a professional management company that fields teams in various leagues.

According to Largo coach Phil Price, Bing thought he was headed to Brazil before Kingstone decided to assign him to Europe.

Bing will suit up for Mattersburg, Kingstone's entry in the Austrian National Basketball League in a town about 35 miles south of Vienna.

"They'll love him over there," said Price, who played in Europe and cites a fan-friendly personality as a big key to success.

"Erroyl's got that," he said.

Bing is known for his wide smile off the court. His style on the court also should be a nice fit. The 6-foot-7, 250-pound forward was the Pirates' leading rebounder the past three seasons, and though a physical player, he also is a proven scorer.

Now 22, Bing was one of the best in Pinellas County. He set the Largo rebounding mark as a junior then broke it as a senior, and he is the last to earn consecutive Times Player of the Year awards, in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.