Rumors surfaced weeks ago that there was interest from Italian teams for the services of former BYU big man Eric Mika.
Those rumors turned out to be on point as the Italian SerieA team VL Pesaro Basket landed the big man on Thursday, according to numerous sources.
Mika is fresh off a summer league stint with the Miami Heat were he averaged 5.4 points on the strength of 83.3 percent shooting from the foul line while adding 3.6 rebounds in five games.
He left BYU after one of the most productive sophomore campaigns a Cougar has ever had in hopes of getting drafted, but the call never came. He averaged 20.3 points on 52.8 percent shooting from the floor, just months after he returned home from his LDS mission. He also was a monster on the glass where he averaged 9.2 rebounds a night to go along with 1.9 blocks.
He showed he was ready to have a big year during his first game of the season when he posted a 26-point, 18-rebound performance in a win over Princeton, and kept rolling from there.
His most impressive performance of the year came in a stunning win over then No. 1 ranked Gonzaga at the Kennel when he totaled 29 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the floor while adding 11 rebounds in one of the Cougars’ best wins ever.
He also provided a ridiculous two-handed block on Zach Collins that BYU fans won’t soon forget.
Mika joins a team in the best league in Italy that didn’t have much in the way of success in ’16-17 winning just 10 of 30 games in league play.
It also a league that Cougar fans should get to know because many former BYU players have landed there in the last few years. Brandon Davies played with Openjobmetis Verese in ’15-16 while Matt Carlino played the second half of ’16-17 with Vanoli Cremona.
It is also league that has former BYU sharpshooter Jonathan Tavernari who signed a deal to play for Dinamo Sassari earlier this month.
2 thoughts on “BYU basketball: Eric Mika signs to play in Italy’s top league”
I’m really sorry for Mika. I mean when he first started this thing about going to the NBA, I don’t think that his intent was to go off to Europe and play basketball there. What can you say. I mean, if he had stayed in College for two more years, the worst that could have happened to him, is that he would have ended up in Europe like his is now. And the best thing that could have happened is that it would have given him two more shots, in successive years, at getting into the NBA. I’m truly sorry for the kid.
Don’t be sorry for Eric. He and his wife both went on LDS missions to Italy and know the language, the area, and the culture. I’ll bet he learned about pro ball in Italy before he came home, and it is probably a dream come true to move his new family to Italy and get paid a ton of money to live and travel around a country he loves, while playing a sport that he loves. He took a long shot at the NBA, but didn’t hesitate a minute to grab the Italian brass ring after his sophomore year. No more school classwork and “Lone Peak Three” pressure, just a fully-paid year-long honeymoon. That’s not a bad choice!