Men’s Basketball: Patterson joins Turkish team

Former standout Pitt basketball player Lamar Patterson has signed a contract to play with Tofas Sports Club in Turkey.

Adam Pensack, Patterson’s agent, said the deal is for one year. The team’s season begins in October and ends in May.

“I am excited about heading to Tofas in Turkey this season,” Patterson said in a press release. “The Turkish league is extremely competitive and the team also plays in a great international league called EuroChallenge.”

Patterson was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks as the 48th overall pick in the NBA Draft in July. He was traded to the Atlanta Hawks minutes later.

Patterson, who played on the Hawk’s summer league team in Las Vegas, never signed a contract with the Hawks. By rule, the Hawks maintain Patterson’s NBA rights, so Atlanta could still agree to terms with the 6-foot-5, 212-pound guard once his contract with Tofas expires.

“My goal absolutely remains to play for the Hawks and this is an important step to help me get there,” Patterson added. “I am going to continue working extremely hard this year and I will come back as an improved player who is ready to contribute in any way possible to help the Hawks win games.”

Still, Atlanta could trade its rights to Patterson at any point.

Hawks general manager and President of Basketball operations Danny Ferry said in the release that Patterson is in a good position now to continue his development while playing with Tofas.

“We have a great respect for the international game and will be closely monitoring Lamar’s progress with Tofas,” he said.