Van Treese signs contract; headed to Japan

Former University of Louisville center Stephan Van Treese has signed his first professional contract. Van Treese said on Thursday night that he's headed to Japan to play ball.

Stephan Van Treese is headed to Japan.

The former University of Louisville center signed a contract on Thursday night to play professional ball in Japan.

On Wednesday, U of L coach Rick Pitino said Van Treese was close to signing a deal and the player confirmed the signing via his Twitter account late Thursday evening.

The 6-foot-9 Van Treese just graduated from U of L and had been exploring several overseas options in recent weeks.

As a senior, Van Treese only averaged 2.9 points a game but was second on the team with 5.7 rebounds a game. Van Treese averaged 21.6 minutes a game and also was third on the team with 30 blocked shots and hit 63.8 percent from the field, while also picking up 37 steals and 27 blocked shots.

In five years at U of L, Van Treese played in 126 games and started 34 for an average of 13.6 minutes a game. He scored 279 points (2.2 a game) and had 460 rebounds, 78 steals and 49 blocks.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It appears via the Japanese basketball website that the 30-plus game season begins in September in Japan.

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