We saw that St. John's class of 2011's standout forward Justin Burrell was making a move to France via Twitter. Now we know where.
Justin Burrell is headed to Champagne Chalons Reims Basket this fall, a Second Division French club, to display his skills and try to impress the NBA.
Burrell, a 6'9" forward who emerged in Steve Lavin's first year with the Red Storm, flashed moments of brilliance for much of his collegiate career. His senior year saw him win the Big East's Sixth Man of the Year award, playing good defense and anchoring the paint for the Johnnies. His post-collegiate career has seen him blossom, taking his impressive physique and showing big-time potential.
The move from Japan to Europe will be a step up in competition, despite playing in a Japanese league that allowed at least four Americans per side. More, below the fold.
Justin Burrell played with a first-year Japanese team, the Yokohama B-Corsairs, and put up just under 19 points and 10 rebounds to win the Japanese B-League MVP award. The MVP award was no reason to stay still; Justin came stateside to play with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Summer League, averaging 6 points and 4 rebounds for the Bay Area squad.
Despite signing with a new club, the NBA remains Justin's goal. The best way to do that? Dominate at every chance he gets. From the Times Herald-Record:
"Moving forward, I'm going to try to do the same thing I did in Japan," said Burrell. "Dominate and be the MVP. That's the goal."
Per the Chalons website, Burrell is to arrive on Tuesday for a physical and to begin training with his new teammates. His new squad includes former Southern Illinois point guard Bryan Mullins, a defensive-minded key to the 2007 Sweet Sixteen Saluki squad.
Burrell joins former Johnnie forward Anthony Mason Jr., who joined the French club Cholet in the Pro-A (First Division) for this coming season. Meanwhile, former teammate Dwight Hardy continues his Italian journey with a contract from Sigidas Avellino in Italy in the First Division in Italy, Serie A.
Stateside, D.J. Kennedy works to find his spot on an NBA roster after being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies this summer.