Auburn basketball: Two former Tigers sign pro contracts

Two former Auburn basketball players will now have the opportunity to continue their careers at the pro level.

While Isaac Okoro, Auburn’s star freshman from last season, is preparing to be a possible top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, he’s not the only former Tiger chasing his pro dreams.

This month, two former Auburn basketball players have signed contracts to play professionally in Europe.

On Friday, it was announced that J’Von McCormick, Auburn’s starting point guard from last season, would be starting his pro career with BC Odessa in Ukraine.

The announcement came from the Instagram page of the team, who play in the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague — the top league in the country.

A native of New Orleans, McCormick came to the Plains as a JUCO prospect from Lee College in Texas and sole member of Auburn’s 2018 recruiting class.

After serving as the backup to Jared Harper as a junior, McCormick took over the starting PG role this past season.

McCormick saw his minutes per game jump from 12.2 as a junior to 31.4 per game last season and in those minutes, the 6-foot guard averaged 11.7 points, a team-high 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. McCormick shot 43.5 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from deep last season while helping lead the Tigers to a 25-6 record.

As for his new team, BC Odessa finished in sixth place in the SuperLeague last season but did finish as runner-ups for the annual Ukrainian Cup.

Shortly after McCormick signed his first pro contract, former Auburn big man Horace Spencer agreed to continue his pro career in a new country. A former four-star recruit from Philadelphia, Spencer was an integral part of Auburn basketball’s turnaround under head coach Bruce Pearl.

On Sunday, it was officially announced that the former Tiger would sign with Turkish club Kocaeli BŞB Kağıtspor who play in the Turkish Basketball Second League — the third-tier basketball league in the country.

After graduating Auburn in 2019l Spencer signed to play professionally in Argentina for Atenas of the LNB. For Atenas last season, Spencer averaged an impressive 13.7 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

More recently, Spencer joined fellow Auburn alumni Bryce Brown and Desean Murray to play for War Tampa in The Basketball Tournament. However, the team was eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

In four seasons with the Tigers, Spencer appeared in 124 total games where he made 45 starts. For his career, Spencer averaged 4.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 49.2 percent from the field.

The 6-foot-8 forward made his mark with toughness, hustle and athleticism while being a valuable rotation piece for the Auburn team that made the Final Four in 2019.

Along with McCormick and Spencer, several other former Auburn basketball players have elected to play professionally in Europe for the 2020-21 season. Former Auburn star Kenny Gabriel signed with a club in Montenegro while Antoine Mason (Spain), Desean Murray (Luxembourg) and Quartez Roberton (Germany) will also be playing in Europe.

Next: 2021 basketball target could be Auburn's next dual-sport superstar
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