Battle, Brooks Sign Professional Contracts
Aug. 2, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Aug. 2, 2011 - Former Nittany Lion standouts Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) and Jeff Brooks (Louisville, Ky.) have signed professional contracts to continue their playing careers in Europe.
Battle signed a one-year contract to don the red and white uniforms of Cholet Basket of the French Pro A League while Brooks will don the orange and green of Aurora Basket Jesi (also known as Fileni BPA Jesi for sponsorship reasons) in the Italian Lega2.
Battle finished second in the Big Ten averaging a career-best 20.2 ppg in 2010-11 on his way to becoming the Nittany Lions all-time leading scorer with 2,213 points. The two-time first team All-Big Ten guard and 2011 honorable-mention All-American will join one of the top teams in France. Cholet won regular season titles the last two years in the 16-team Pro A League and fell one win short of defending its 2010 league championship title when it fell, 76-74, to SLUC Nancy in this year's final. Last year's squad was led in part by former Duke standout DeMarcus Nelson who has since moved teams.
Battle will join fellow Americans Robert Dozier (Memphis) and Derrick Byars (Virginia and Vanderbilt), both former NBA Draft picks, on the Cholet squad. Former Nittany Lions DeRon Hayes, who helped Cholet win the 1999 French National Cup, and John Amaechi also played for Cholet.
Battle expects to depart for France near the end of the second week of August. Cholet, which is located in western France about 220 southwest of Paris, begins its season Sept. 29.
Brooks, who posted the best year of his career averaging 13.1 ppg and 6.3 rpg to earn honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors in his senior season, will take his basketball skills to the mid-eastern coast of Italy near Ancona. Fileni BPA posted a 14-16 mark last season finishing ninth in the 16-team Lega2 standings. The club won a Lega2 championship in 2004 and won the Lega2 Cup in 2008.
Brooks will join fellow Americans Mickey McConnell (St. Mary's), also a recent rookie signee, and Elder Barry (Georgia Tech) who was the team's second leading scorer last year at 14.5 ppg. Brooks will head to Italy on Aug. 20 to prepare for the season opener on October 3.
The Nittany Lions, who posted a 19-15 record last year and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001, return five letter winners and will have six scholarship newcomers to the active roster in coach Patrick Chambers' first season. Junior guard Tim Frazier returns after a strong sophomore campaign that saw him finish fourth in the Big Ten in assists and average 10 points and 5.9 assists per game in the final 11 games of the year, including a career high 22 points vs. Michigan State, as Penn State made a run to its first-ever Big Ten Tournament championship game and the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State will open the Chambers' Era with a bang on Saturday, Nov. 12 when they take on Hartford in a double-header with the Nittany Lion football team facing Nebraska at Beaver Stadium on that day. Admittance to the basketball game will be free. Times for the contests have yet to be announced, awaiting television arrangements, but will allow for fans to experience both games as well as a full day of festivities surrounding them.
Nittany Lion Basketball season tickets are available by calling 814-865-5555. Season tickets are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth and $59 for students. PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.