Undrafted Australian basketballer Jock Landale opted for job security over a shot at the big time in turning down invitations to fight for an NBA roster spot.
The 22-year-old Victorian, who played four years at US college St Mary’s, signed with Serbian club Partizan on Tuesday – knocking back offers from the Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks to attend training camp.
“It was a high-risk situation going to these NBA teams’ camps, there wasn’t a great chance that things would go my way. If I didn’t make a full-time roster and get a guaranteed contract out of it or a two-way (contract) I had to play in the G-League for the full year,” Landale told SEN on Wednesday.
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The 211cm tall centre said the Serbian side had a great track record of developing its players and was the right choice to ensure his improvement.
“The G-League isn’t a bad league to play in, but in terms of development and trying to get back to the NBA … the best place for me was to go over to Partizan for a full year,” he said.
“So I’m going to take that route and try and develop over there and get a lot of court time and a lot of experience out there … and hopefully one day get back to the (NBA).”
Landale was recruited to play for the Atlanta Hawks’ Summer League squad in June after he was passed over in the NBA draft.
The former Geelong Grammer student reportedly has NBA out-clauses in his Partizan contract.
The Geelong Grammar graduate starred at California’s St Mary’s College the past four years and averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds in his final season.
Landale was also a finalist for US college basketball’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Centre of the Year Award the past two years but lacks the athleticism and three-point shooting accuracy NBA teams now crave in big men.