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St. John's Dwight Hardy signs with SS Felice Scandone Avellino Sidigas of Italy

Dwight Hardy's scoring prowess has earned him a new contract in a higher division in the Italian League.
Dwight Hardy's scoring prowess has earned him a new contract in a higher division in the Italian League.

Former St. John's guard Dwight Hardy has moved up a level in European basketball, signing a contract for next season with Italian club SS Felice Scandone Avellino (aka Sigidas Avellino, aka Scandone Av 1948) in Italy's Serie A.

Last season, Dwight Hardy went off on Italy's second division, scoring over 22 points per game for Italian club Pistoia on 46% shooting (35.5% shooting from beyond the arc). His first year as a professional saw Hardy lead Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia to the LegaDue finals, where they lost the series 3-to-1 to Enel Brindisi. Had Hardy's club won, they would have been promoted to Serie A; but Hardy earned an MVP award.

Teams love young talent that can handle the flow of the European game, and Scandone has snapped him up.

Scandone ended last season 15-17, finishing ninth in the 17-team Serie A last season.

"I am very happy Dwight is part of our team," said Scandone Coach Giorgio Valli. "He is a player that I have followed throughout the year. In the field he can do many things and can also be used a point guard."

The team currently includes of three other American players, Linton Johnson (Tulane), Ronald Slay (Tennessee) and Marques Green (St. Bonaventure). Former Louisville guard, Taquan Dean was a member of the team for 22 games last season before heading to Turkey.

If you can read Italian, follow the club on Twitter.

The scoring star of the large 2010-11 Red Storm class who emerged in Coach Steve Lavin's first season, Dwight Hardy helped carry the Johnnies to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in almost a decade.

Hardy came back to the United States this July to make a name for himself in the NBA's Summer League with the Miami Heat, but saw limited playing time as a point guard. The talented guard from the Bronx looks to be building a career in the Italian leagues as a scoring star, even as he looks for his shot in his home country.

Tim Dimas contributed to this story, and translated the quote from Italian.

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