Battle and Brooks Sign European Contracts
The two leading scorers from last year’s Nittany Lions basketball team will be taking their skills to the professional level. After being bypassed in the NBA Draft, Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks have signed professional contracts to continue their playing careers in Europe.
Battle signed a one year contract with Cholet Basket of the French Pro A League, while Brooks will play for Aurora Basket Jesi (also known as Fileni BPA Jesi) in the Italian Lega2.
Battle, Penn State’s all-time leading scorer, led Penn State to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001 while averaging 20.2 points per game and earning honorable-mention All-America last season. Despite his prolific career, Battle’s undersized stature and lack of true point guard skills caused him to table his NBA dreams–for now. Instead, the two time All-Big Ten guard will be joining one of the top professional teams in France; Cholet has won the regular season title the past two seasons, and won the 2010 Pro A League championship, but fell just short this past season, losing in the league finals. Battle should be inspired by the path former Penn State basketball standout John Amaechi took, which included a stopover in Cholet in 1996 before returning to the NBA by the end of the decade. Battle’s career with Cholet will begin on September 29.
Brooks, whose breakthrough senior season helped Penn State exceed expectations, averaged 13.1 points per game and a team leading 6.3 rebounds per game last season for the Lions, as his basketball output finally caught up with his supreme athleticism. He’ll hope to once again add some energy to a mediocre team as his new squad, Fileni BPA, finished with a just 14-16 record last season, good for 9th in the 16-team league. Brooks’ professional career with the team will begin on October 3.