Jean Montero

And-Ones: M. Gasol, Leunen, B. Ferry, Overtime Elite

After big man Ekpe Udoh suffered a serious knee injury last month, Virtus Bologna head coach Sergio Scariolo reached out to Marc Gasol to gauge his interest in joining the Italian club, Scariolo confirmed this week on Italian Twitch channel Area 52 (video link). As Marc Stein of Substack relays (via Twitter), Scariolo said Gasol turned him down in an “elegant way.”

Scariolo coached Gasol on the Spanish national team and as an assistant in Toronto, so he has an existing relationship with the veteran center. However, Gasol – who was traded to Memphis and then waived in September – appears content to spend time with his family in Spain rather than joining another NBA or EuroLeague team anytime soon. There were rumors last month that Gasol would be playing for Girona, the Spanish club he owns, but that hasn’t come to fruition yet.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Oregon forward Maarty Leunen, who spent the last 13 seasons playing overseas in various European leagues, has announced his retirement, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Leunen was the 54th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and has had his rights traded four times since then – most recently to the Pacers in 2019 – but never signed an NBA contract.
  • Former Washington Bullets general manager Bob Ferry, who ran the front office from 1973 to 1990, died at age 84 on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The father of Danny Ferry, Bob Ferry won two Executive of the Year awards and helped Washington win the only title in franchise history in 1978.
  • Jeremy Woo of SI.com shares his impressions of the Overtime Elite’s Pro Day, including his thoughts on the program’s three most notable 2022 draft-eligible players: guard Jean Montero, wing Kok Yat, and forward Dominick Barlow.

Jean Montero Becomes First International Prospect To Join Overtime Elite

Jean Montero, a 17-year-old point guard from the Dominican Republic, is signing with Overtime Elite, becoming the first international player to join the new basketball league for top high school prospects, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

As Givony explains, Montero – the No. 17 prospect on ESPN’s big board for the 2022 NBA draft – remains under contract with Gran Canaria, so he’ll be on loan from the Spanish team.

Montero, who debuted with the Dominican Republic’s senior national team last fall, played a little for Gran Canaria’s parent club in the EuroCup and ACB during the 2020/21 season. However, he saw more action for Gran Canaria II in Spain’s third division, averaging 18.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, and 2.5 SPG in 24 games (29 MPG) for the team, per Givony.

In addition to being the first international prospect to commit to Overtime Elite, Montero is also the first non-twin to sign with the league. Previously, OTE secured commitments from two sets of twins — Matt and Ryan Bewley and Amen and Ausar Thompson.

We shared more details on the new Overtime Elite league in a pair of stories earlier this year.