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Nigel Williams-Goss signs with professional team in Serbia

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 28, 2017, 7:11 p.m.

Ex-Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss shoots over North Carolina forward Tony Bradley in the national championship game. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Ex-Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss shoots over North Carolina forward Tony Bradley in the national championship game. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Former Gonzaga standout Nigel Williams-Goss is heading overseas to begin his professional career.

Williams-Goss will play for KK Partizan in Belgrade, Serbia. The team announced Williams-Goss agreed to a two-year contract.

“I’m very blessed to have this opportunity and looking forward to working with such a prestigious club @PartizanBC!!!” Williams-Goss tweeted on Monday.

Williams-Goss was drafted in the second round with the 55th pick by the Utah Jazz. He had mixed success in seven games for Jazz summer league teams in Salt Lake City and in Las Vegas.

Williams-Goss tweeted his appreciation to the Jazz for a training camp invitation but it was in his best interests to “further my development” overseas.

Williams-Goss faced long odds to make the regular-season roster after the Jazz acquired presumed starting point guard Ricky Rubio shortly after the draft. The Jazz’s roster includes three other possible point guards: 2014 lottery pick and combo guard Dante Exum, 2017 lottery pick and combo guard Donovan Mitchell and two-year reserve point guard Raul Neto.

Williams-Goss said last week at his basketball camp at the HUB Sports Complex he was exploring his options, pointing out it might be better timing if he spent his first season overseas because of the future contract status of several Jazz guards.

“If not this year (with Utah) for sure in the future there is an opportunity,” Williams-Goss said last Tuesday.

Utah retains Williams-Goss’ rights and would be required to pay an affordable buyout – $500,000, according to international basketball reporter David Pick – to KK Partizan to bring him back.

Williams-Goss will make $130,000 next season, Pick tweeted. Players make $75,000 under the new NBA/G-League two-way contract and as much as $280,000 if the player spends 45 days with an NBA team.

Williams-Goss helped Gonzaga win 37 games and reach the national championship game by averaging 16.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals last season. He opted to bypass his senior season and enter the draft.

KK Partizan, a traditional power in the Adriatic Basketball Association, has two other Americans on its roster, former New Mexico State point guard Ian Baker and ex-VCU forward Jamie Skeen.

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