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Eastern Washington University Basketball

Former Eastern Washington, Shadle Park standout Tanner Groves signs free agent deal with Oklahoma City

Eastern Washington forward Tanner Groves (35) works has way to the basket as Idaho State center Zach Visentin (32) defends during the first half of a college basketball game, Wed., March 3, 2021, at EWU in Cheney, Wash.  (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Tanner Groves will have a chance to start his professional career not far from where he finished his college career.

The Spokane native, who starred at Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington before transferring to Oklahoma, has signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the player’s trainer, Reid Ouse, announced after Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The deal means Groves will join the Thunder for the upcoming NBA Summer League, set to take place July 7-17 on UNLV’s campus in Las Vegas. From there, Groves will have a chance to earn a two-way contract or a spot on the franchise’s G-League team, the Oklahoma City Blue.

After two standout seasons at Eastern Washington, Groves transferred to Oklahoma and the Big-12, where he averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game last season while earning All-Big-12 Honorable Mention. Groves posted 11.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game during his initial season with the Sooners.

During his final season at EWU, Groves, the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, averaged 17.2 points, 8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 block per game while leading Shantay Legans’ Eagles to a Big Sky championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament. Groves and the Eagles nearly pulled off a first-round tournament upset of third-seeded Kansas before losing 93-84.

Groves’ younger brother, Jacob, also played at EWU and Oklahoma but recently transferred to Virginia for his final year of eligibility where he’ll play under former Washington State coach Tony Bennett and alongside Lake City High standout Blake Buchanan.