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Jalen Adams signs in France, joins other former Huskies overseas

The former Husky signed with Champagne Châlon-Reims Basketball Club in France, plus a check on other former UConn players not in the NBA

UConn's Jalen Adams (4) during the Columbia Lions vs UConn Huskies men's college basketball game at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT on November 29, 2017.
UConn’s Jalen Adams shoots during a UConn versus Columbia game at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT on November 29, 2017. Adams signed with French team Champagne Châlon-Reims Basketball Club. (Ian Bethune - The UConn Blog)
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Earlier today the Champagne Châlon-Reims Basketball Club, who play in both Reims and Châlon-en-Champagne, France, announced that former UConn men’s basketball player Jalen Adams would join the team following the cancellation of the NBA G-League season.

The French side plays in the Jeep ELITE – also referred to as the Pro A – league in France, which is the top tier in French basketball. They went 9-16 prior to the shutdown, finishing 14th in the 18-team league.

The 24-year-old Adams was the priority of CCRB’s head coach Cedric Heitz since the beginning of the overseas recruitment window, according to L’Equipe – a French daily newspaper.

Prior to moving overseas, Adams signed with the Erie BayHawks of the G-League after graduating from UConn in 2018. He tore up the G-League in his one year with Erie, averaging 19 points, 4.7 assists, four rebounds and 1.2 steals per game despite playing for a generally mediocre team that was the 14th seed in the East prior to the shutdown.

At UConn, Adams was the guy on offense, finishing his career at 10th in career points in program history with 1,706 – Christian Vital passed him this season to push Adams to 11th.

He helped carried the torch from Kevin Ollie to Dan Hurley after Ollie was fired following his junior season. In his senior season, Adams battled through an MCL injury and missed seven of the final eight games of the regular season. He also gave us one of the greatest gifs in UConn basketball history, celebrating right after UConn’s win over Syracuse in November, 2018.

Other Huskies among the professional ranks

While we’re taking a look back at former UConn players, Vital is currently eligible for the 2020 NBA Draft that is taking place on October 15. He had previously entered the draft in 2018, but withdrew to come back for his junior season. It doesn’t seem like Vital is likely to be picked in the draft, however.

There are a few other players that have left Storrs in recent years to join the professional ranks as well. In the NBA, UConn alums Andre Drummond, Kemba Walker, Rudy Gay, Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier are on rosters at the moment.

Adams joins two-time NCAA Champion Niels Giffey, who is also playing overseas for Alba Berlin in the EuroLeague. Giffey has been overseas for the past six seasons and has been with Berlin for all of them. In 2019-20, Giffey averaged 8.8 points in 18.9 minutes per game for Alba, but shot an incredible 47.8 percent from beyond the arc on a little over two attempts per game.

Former UConn Husky Rodney Purvis shoots during the Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic Charity All-Star Game at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on August 10, 2018. (Ian Bethune - The UConn Blog)
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Rodney Purvis, who played 20 games for the Orlando Magic in 2017, is playing for Pallacanestro Cantu in Italy. Purvis spent three years with UConn after transferring from NC State in 2013. The deal was announced in February but he has yet to play with them because of coronavirus, as the Hartford Courant detailed.

Daniel Hamilton, who spent parts of two seasons in the NBA after being selected No. 56 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, signed with the Guaynabo Mets of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional league in Puerto Rico. Hamilton played in just four games before the shutdown, averaging 17 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 assists.

Amida Brimah had spent a bit of time in Serbia before he signed an Exhibit 10 contract, which is a partially guaranteed 1-year deal, with the Indiana Pacers in June 2019. Brimah was waived by the big club and set to play for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in October, but tore his ACL shortly after.