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RJ Cole signs with Greek club Lavrio B.C. for his first professional stint

After a brief showing for the LA Lakers in the NBA’s Summer League, Cole will take his talents across the pond to start his pro basketball career.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Former UConn point guard RJ Cole has found his new home. Yesterday Cole signed with Greek club Lavrio B.C, which plays its games in the small town of Lavrio - about 30 miles southeast of Athens. The club competes in the Greek Basket League - tops in the country.

Cole played the last two seasons in Storrs after transferring from Howard. He won MEAC Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year during his time with the Bison, before vying for stiffer competition and making the move to join Dan Hurley in the Big East. Known as a score-first guard, Cole netted over 2,300 points in his collegiate career and led the Huskies in scoring last season at 15.8 per game.

With Cole at helm, UConn made the NCAA tournament the past two years, entering the Big Dance with a seven seed and a five seed, respectively. The Union, NJ native played an essential part in helping revitalize the UConn basketball brand after some down years, and was named to the All-Big East first team after his senior season.

After going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, Cole accepted an invite to play with the Los Angeles Lakers Summer League team, where he played a total of five games, averaging 13 minutes, 3.4 points, and 1.8 rebounds. Cole wasn’t expected to make the roster - it’s incredibly difficult to do as an undrafted and undersized guard who lacks elite athleticism. NBA rosters consist of 15 players, with two extra spots reserved for two-way G-leaguers. There’s generally about 1-2 spots open that are reserved for standouts in the Summer League. Second round draft picks do not receive guaranteed contracts, having to prove their worth in the Summer League much of the time, which is what former Husky Tyrese Martin had to do.

Cole should step in immediately and help the Lavrio’s squad improve on its 8-16 finish last season, after going 23-10 the year before.