Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Press ReleaseOREM -- When Ryan Toolson's agent approached him about the possibility of playing professional basketball in Turkey, Utah Valley University's all-time leading scorer wasn't in for it at first.
He was apprehensive about the culture, the language and to a certain degree, the European style of basketball.
"My agent had to open up my eyes on the league over there," said Toolson, who signed with Pinar Kariaka of the Turkish League and will begin practice there on Thursday.
"The more research I do the more excited I get," he said.
Toolson played for the Sacramento Kings' Summer League team in Las Vegas in July, and he said he intends to use his time in Turkey refine his shooting and ball-handling skills in an effort to earn another shot to make an NBA team in the future.
"I hear it's a great league," said Toolson, who scored 2,163 points in his four-year college career. "A lot of great guys play in that league every year and they make great money and have a chance to come back to the NBA."
Toolson left for Turkey Monday.
"I firmly believe Ryan is an NBA player, however timing is everything and right now I'm excited for him to prove his abilities in Europe," UVU basketball coach Dick Hunsaker said.
In addition to being Utah Valley's all-time leading scorer, Toolson (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) holds 11 more records: games played (113), minutes played (3,644), field goals made (677), field goals attempted (1,421), free throws attempted (526), assists (282), three-point field goals attempted (730), three-point field goals made (315), three-point field goal percentage (43.2 percent), and free-throws made (494), career free throw percentage (93.9 percent).
Toolson, a member of the 2008-09 All-Independent First Team, ranked eighth in the nation in scoring at 23.8 points while starting all 28 games for the Wolverines his senior year. He finished his career ranked second behind current Utah Jazz player Ronnie Price (22.2 ppg) in career scoring average at 19.1 ppg.
(Courtesy UVU Athletic Department)