Italy embraces St. John's alum Anthony Mason Jr. - Orlandina Basket official team Facebook page, used with permission (©OrlandinaBasket)
Been around the world and back, Mason Jr. is headed to Italy's Lega Due. Check out where he's been over the past year that led him to Italy.
Former St. John's guard, Anthony Mason Jr., has found a new home. After spending a season in the D-League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Mason has headed overseas to Italy.
Mason had originally signed to play with French club Cholet Basket in late-August but never played a game. Reasons for his departure were never made public; rumor was that it was for personal reasons.
Early in December, Mason had reportedly signed a deal with Akita Northern Happinets in Japan. But a few weeks later decided to sign in the higher-profile league Italy instead with UPEA Capo d'Orlando (aka Orlandina Basket), part of Lega Due in the Italian League.
Italy was a great landing spot for another former St. John's guard, Dwight Hardy, who played in the Lega Due with Pistoia before making his jump to Serie A.
Mason has appeared in 5 games so far averaging 14.4 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.
His team is in desperate need of help as they are 3rd to last in the league (6-10), 5 games back of the league leaders with 14 games remaining in the season.
Mason made a huge impact in his team's last game, dropping 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The team is 3-2 since Mason has joined the team, and in a shortened season of play for Mase, his contributions will greatly improve one of the youngest teams in the league. Orlandina's average player age is 23 years old. The club has a trio of players, including former Penn State star Talor Battle.
In May of 2012, Mason spent time in the Middle East after being signed by Al-Hala (Bahrin) to play in the Arabian Gulf Basketball Clubs Championships. Mason led his squad all the way to the finals where they would come up short. Mason Jr. averaged nearly 25 points per game including one monster night where he scored 33 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
Mason has always had the talent but injuries have riddled his young career but now in Italy, with lower expectations than New York City, Mason can find a comfortable groove that can land him back in the D-League and possibly one day into the NBA.