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Posted: Wednesday July 16, 2008 4:17PM; Updated: Thursday July 17, 2008 8:45AM

Jennings signs with Pallacanestro Virtus Roma of Italian pro league

Story Highlights
  • Brandon Jennings has signed a three-year contract with Pallacanestro Virtus Roma
  • Jennings worked out for seven teams from five countries the last three days
  • Former Villanova and Celtics giard Allan Ray played for Virtus Roma last year
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Brandon Jennings will play point guard for Pallacanestro Virtus Roma next season.
Brandon Jennings will play point guard for Pallacanestro Virtus Roma next season.
Ben Smidt/Icon SMI

By Kevin Armstrong, SI.com

Brandon Jennings, a former Arizona signee who was ranked as the class of 2008's top point guard at Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) last season, has signed with Pallacanestro Virtus Roma of the Italian pro league.

After spending the last three days in Las Vegas, where he worked out twice a day for seven international teams from five countries (Russia, Israel, Spain, Greece and Italy) at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center, Jennings reached a three-year agreement.

"For the doomsday folks who thought this wouldn't get done, the speed with which it was completed must surprise them," said Sonny Vaccaro, the former sneaker marketing executive who assisted Jennings and his family as a go-between for the negotiations. "Both parties were very prudent in their approach."

Before leaving Vegas, the point guard -- who maintains he still does not know whether he received a qualifying score to play at Arizona -- reached the agreement in a meeting with Virtus Roma executives at the Tower Suites Wynn Hotel on Tuesday night. The contract features buyout clauses for potential NBA teams.

Jennings, 18, could not enter the NBA draft due to the league's age restrictions for prospects under 19 years old. He has been assisted by his mother, Alice Knox, family friend Kelly Williams and his L.A.-based lawyer, Jeffrey Valle, since entertaining Europe as an option. He will also retain Rome-based attorney Giovanni Imbergamo as counsel overseas.

"I am really happy for his arrival in Rome," Virtus Roma general manager Dejan Bodiroga said in a statement on the team's Web site. "Brandon is one of the greatest American talents and he is considered as one of the top players for the next NBA draft. It's a big deal for us to have a player with such qualities."

Jennings will not be the first American to play for the Serie A team. Last year, former Villanova shooting guard Allan Ray was on the roster.

 
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