Reports were confirmed Thursday by Demetri McCamey’s agent Roger Montgomery that the former Illinois point guard has signed a one-year deal with Mersin in Turkey.
In an interview with Scott Powers from ESPN, Montgomery addressed the decision.
We thought this was a good opportunity for the year. There’s a lot of uncertainty with what’s going on with the NBA season. We wanted to get his career started. There were a lot of teams that were interested in him. We had to sift through them and do our due diligence for what was the best fit for Demetri.
We decided this situation from a financial standpoint, basketball standpoint and location standpoint was the best fit. Turkey is a really, really quality league. It’s been in the news as of late. That’s why we made the decision.
Montgomery also addressed McCamey’s NBA Draft snub. Many analysts, including ESPN’s Chad Ford (insider ID needed), had McCamey going late in the second round of the draft, yet his name was not called.
Demetri was extremely disappointed because we had gotten great feedback. It probably took him 48 hours to get over. Allan Houston from the Knicks called and gave him support and encouragement, which is really cool. He really believed in Demetri’s game and had a lot of positives to say about Demetri.
That’s over with now. We recognize things happen for a reason. He’s going to have a lot of options. This is one of the alternatives we think is a positive for him. At some point, he’s going to play in the NBA. The cream rises to the top even when NBA teams have made an oversight, which the NBA did.
McCamey has the possibility of facing another former Illini in Turkey if the NBA lockout lasts as long as it is expected to. Former Illinois point guard and NBA all-star Deron Williams recently signed to play with another team from the Turkish league if the NBA season does not happen in 2011-2012.
McCamey’s new team, Mersin, went 10-20 last year and finished 13th out of 16 teams. However, they finished the season winning 6 of their last 9 games and are hoping for much improvement before the next season begins.