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Former Panther basketball players continuing careers in various countries

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Former Panther basketball players continuing careers in various countries

By Dan Sostek and Chris Puzia / The Pitt News Staff

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When Travon Woodall finished his Pitt basketball career in 2013, he may not have known where his professional aspirations would take him.

The answer, apparently, is Estonia.

Woodall, who graduated from Pitt in 2013, has reportedly signed with Estonian team Rakvere Tarvas after playing in two games with Bashkimi Prizren in the Kosovo SuperLeague. Woodall has also spent time playing professionally in Mexico, Greece and Turkey.

Coming out of college, where he averaged 11.5 points per game in his senior season, Woodall’s first professional contract came with Istanbul BSB in the Turkish league. In 16 international games during the 2013-24 season, Woodall averaged 6.3 points per game.

While Woodall most recently made news for continuing his career abroad, other former Pitt players also have had similar career paths. Players who were not taken in the NBA Draft, yet still want to play professional basketball, often sign contracts to play in less-glamorous European leagues. While the fanfare is not always as prevalent, it still provides players an outlet to follow their dream of professional basketball. Here is a rundown on all the former Panthers since 2011 who are currently playing abroad:

Lamar Patterson (Pitt 2009-14): Tofas Basketball Club (Turkey)

Patterson, who averaged 17.1 points per game his senior season at Pitt, was selected with the No. 48 pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee traded that pick to the Atlanta Hawks, who cut Patterson after playing in six summer league games with the team.

“The Turkish league is extremely competitive and the team also plays in a great international league,” Patterson said in a statement in August. “My goal absolutely remains for me to play for the Hawks, and this is an important step to help me get there.”

Patterson regularly starts for Tofas and averages 10.5 points and 2.1 assists per game for the Turkish team.

Gilbert Brown (Pitt 2006-11): Pistoia Basket 2000 (Italy)

Brown was another Pitt player who moved overseas after a long collegiate career. The small forward averaged 11.3 points per game during his senior season at Pitt, but has had several stops on the way to Italy, where he now plays.

After going undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft, Brown signed a one-year deal with s.Oliver Baskets of Germany, but left after just eight games. Shortly after, he signed with the Boston Celtics, but was cut less than two weeks later.

After several brief stints with teams in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Turkey and Venezuela, he landed in Italy. There, he starts and averages 11.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Brad Wanamaker (Pitt 2007-11): Brose Baskets (Germany)

Wanamaker starts for Brose Baskets in the German Bundesliga, where he averages 14.8 points and 5.2 assists per game. After going undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft, he spent some time with two clubs in the Italian basketball league before settling in Germany, where he has played since July.

At Pitt, Wanamaker was a 1,000-point career scorer and averaged 11.7 points per game during his senior season.

Wanamaker’s play with Brose Baskets earned him a place in the BBL All-Star Day in January. After the game, Wanamaker took the defensive principles he learned from Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon and said “the key is defense.”

“If our defense stays consistent, we should be all right,” he added.

Gary McGhee (Pitt 2007-2011): CB Breogán (Spain)

After a brief stint with the Golden State Warriors as an undrafted free agent in the 2013 NBA Summer League, the 6-foot-11 big man trekked across the Atlantic Ocean to begin his European basketball career.

Since 2013, he has played for MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (Germany), CSM Oradea (Romania), and Sigal Prishtina (Kosovo), before signing with Breogán this past December.

With Breogán this year, McGhee has been a solid contributor in the post, averaging 8.5 points per game and leading the team with 5.8 rebounds per contest.

While at Pitt, McGhee really blossomed in his senior season in 2011, becoming a premier post defender in the Big East, and helped vault the Panthers to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament that season. He averaged 6.9 points and 7.7 rebounds that year.

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Former Panther basketball players continuing careers in various countries