A pair of former Pacers sign contracts to play basketball in Europe

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Thursday Sept. 10, 2009
AIKEN, S.C. – Two former University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball players have recently signed contracts in Europe to continue their playing career.

Jeremy Fears signed recently with DEKE of the Hungarian A Division, while Brian Egwuatu recently inked with Kereven de Energia in Finland.

“We are very happy for both of these individuals,” noted USC Aiken head men’s basketball coach Vince Alexander. “They both represented USC Aiken men’s basketball very well. I am sure they will both continue to represent themselves well professionally just as well as they did during their time within our program.”

This is Fears’ second professional contract in Europe. Last year, Fears played with the Kapfenberg Bulls of the Austrian Bundesliga A Division. He was the top player for Kapfenberg last year, averaging 18.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game in the Austrian First Division.

In his only season at USC Aiken in the 2007-08 season, Fears averaged 17.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in helping the Pacers to a Peach Belt Conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The 6-foot-5 Chicago, Ill., native played in 27 games, starting 19. He was named First-Team All-Region and All-Conference.

During his first season with the Pacers in 2007-08, Egwuatu averaged just over a block a game and 4.0 points per game. His 1.15 blocks per game average placed him in the top seven in the PBC in the category.

In his final season as a Pacer in 2008-09, Egwuatu finished second on the squad with 52 blocks. His 52 blocks were just one shy of teammate Chris Commons’ (Toledo, Ohio/Findlay) 53. The block numbers left both of them in the top 10 in the PBC in total blocks and blocks per game.

Egwuatu’s 82 blocks as a Pacer leave him fourth all-time in school history.

In total, the Texas Southern transfer averaged 4.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 33 games for USC Aiken last season. Egwuatu started 22 of the 33 games in which he appeared.

The 6-foot-7, Houston, Texas native brought down a career-best 15 rebounds in USC Aiken’s home win over Clayton State last season at the Convocation Center. He scored a career-high 20 points in USC Aiken’s domination of Allen at the Convocation Center on Dec. 13, 2008.

Egwuatu and Fears are part of a Pacer resurgence that saw USC Aiken become a national power over the past two campaigns. Fears was only involved in 2007-08, but Egwuatu was a member of both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 Pacer squads.

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