Vermont's Ben Shungu signs professional basketball contract overseas

Ben Shungu has fulfilled his professional basketball dreams.

The former University of Vermont and Rice Memorial High School star has inked a one-year deal with Riesen Ludwigsburg of the Basketball Bundesliga, the top pro level in Germany. Ludwisgsburg announced the signing on Friday.

"Ben is a talented young player who has had a very successful college career," Ludwigsburg head coach Josh King said in a news release. "He is physically strong, can play offensively on both the one and the two and defend variably. That's exactly the type of player we're looking for."

In the Ludwigsburg news release, Shungu said he's ready to get to work.

"I'm excited for the experience of living in Europe and competing at this high level. I'm ready to become part of the team, to work on myself and to do my part to make it a success," Shungu said. "I have high expectations of myself and the team. I'm looking forward to settling in, enjoying the journey and helping to reach our full potential in the new season so we can start another run in the Champions League."

Prior to Friday's signing, Shungu had a pre-draft workout with the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.

Ben Shungu's stats

Shungu, 24, closed out a decorated and successful six-year career this past winter with his hometown Catamounts. A former redshirt walk-on who had to earn a scholarship, Shungu was a key contributor and then leader as Vermont won four America East regular-season titles and reached two NCAA Tournaments since the start of the 2017-2018 season.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound guard averaged 16.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals a game this past season, to earn all-league first-team honors. Shungu was also named the America East tournament's most outstanding player as the Catamounts routed their way in record fashion to the league championship. Shungu and UVM fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Arkansas, which reached the Elite 8.

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Shungu surpassed 1,000 career points in this year's conference semifinals. His three all-defensive team selections include the league's top defender award in 2019-20. At Rice, Shungu was twice named the Free Press' "Mr. Basketball" and steered the Green Knights to three Division I state crowns in four title-game appearances.

Trae Bell-Haynes, Shungu's former UVM teammate, also got his pro start in the Bundesliga league. Bell-Haynes, 26, is now with Río Breogán of Liga ACB, the top league in Spain.

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This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Vermont basketball: Ben Shungu signs contract in German Bundesliga