Dec. 16, 2009
CLEMSON, SC – Former All-ACC guard and Clemson’s all-time leading three-point shooter, K.C. Rivers, has been promoted to the top professional league in Italy. Rivers will play for Benetton Treviso, and will make his debut with the team on Sunday against La Fortezza Bologna.
Benetton not only plays against the top teams in Italy, but against some of the top competition overseas as part of the Eurocup.
Rivers was signed by Benetton after averaging 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game for A.B. Latina in a lower Italian league. He was the top scorer in all of Italy prior to his assignment with Benetton Treviso. He will now play in the same league as former Clemson point guard Terrell McIntyre, a former Italian League MVP. McIntyre is the starting point guard for Montepaschi Siena.
Rivers, who finished his career with 281 three-point goals and as Clemson’s all-time leader having played in 91 victories, is one of several former players under Oliver Purnell doing well professionally.
His former classmate, Raymond Sykes, is averaging 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for Sioux Falls in the NBA Development League. Sykes was their top overall draft pick last month.
Former backcourt mate Cliff Hammonds is playing for DASH Peristeri in the top league in Greece, against the likes of former NBA player Josh Childress who made news by leaving the Atlanta Hawks for Europe in 2008. Hammonds averages 14.7 points, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He ranks second in the Greek league in steals and 10th in scoring.
James Mays, the Tigers’ starting power forward under Purnell from 2005-08, begins his season Dec. 20 with the Beijing Ducks in China. Mays is coming back from an Achilles injury he suffered on Dec. 30, 2008 while playing for the Colorado 14ers in the NBA D-League. He was one of the top players in the D-League, averaging 18.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game prior to the injury.
Akin Akingbala, who played three seasons at Clemson under Purnell, averages 9.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for Sluc Nancy Pro in France. Like Rivers, his team also plays select games in the Eurocup as well.
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