Scotty Hopson signs with team in Greece

Tennessee guard Scotty Hopson runs a drill during practice at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday, March 17, 2011.  The Vols will play Michigan on Friday during the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Scotty Hopson runs a drill during practice at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday, March 17, 2011. The Vols will play Michigan on Friday during the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Scotty Hopson's basketball journey will take him to Greece to play for Kolossos Rhodes, a member of the HEBA A-1 League.

Neither Hopson nor his agent, Al Ebanks, disclosed the terms of the one-year deal, which was made official on Tuesday.

"This deal gives me an opportunity to jump-start my career in a great place,'' said Hopson, who has been working out in New Jersey since not being selected in the NBA draft.

"I've been working out two or three times every day, just focusing on defensive intensity and always being around the ball.''

Hopson said he has not given up on his goal to play in the NBA, but once the NBA summer leagues were canceled and the league continued its lockout, European basketball offered the former All-SEC shooting guard the best option.

"I've had a few offers over the past month, but I wanted to wait for the right one,'' said Hopson, whose agent said he also had offers in Italy, Hungary and Siberia. "I've been getting feedback from my agent and other guys who have played overseas, as far as what would be good for me.''

Greece's Kolossos Rhodes club has been in existence since 1963 but didn't move up to the Greek A-1 League until 2006.

The team plays in 1,300-seat Venetoklio Indoor Hall in Rhodes, Greece, a tourist-driven city of approximately 80,000 on the Aegean Sea coastline.

"I treat every game the same, regardless of where it's at or who it's against,'' Hopson said. "It's about honoring the game and doing everything with two hands, showing tenacity.''

Hopson said he has been focused on getting ready for his professional career the past month, but he also has kept up with the goings on at the University of Tennessee.

"It's great me and Coach (Bruce) Pearl are jump-starting our careers on the same day,'' said Hopson, referring to Pearl's new deal as vice president of marketing for H.T. Hackney of Knoxville. "The news on Coach (Pat) Summitt was tough; Tyler (Summitt) was my roommate, so I reached out to him immediately to let him know their family is in my prayers.

"I've always admired Coach Summitt; there were a lot of times I'd go over and sit in on her practices, just to watch how she conducts herself.''

Hopson said there have been times he has wondered how things would have gone had he stayed at Tennessee for his senior season.

"I've missed Tennessee and my teammates,'' Hopson said. "There was nothing like playing in front of 22,000 fans that were there for me with every step I took. It was hard to give it up, because those fans were always great to me.

"I'm a Vol for life, so I'll be staying in touch and watching every game I can on TV.''

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 19

give_him_6 writes:

Good luck Scotty. But you really could have used another year in school.

winbigvols14 writes:

Coach CM could have done Scotty some good. He would have helped him between his ears and taught him to play defense. Then Scotty could have gotten drafted. Wish him well in Greece.

voloffaith writes:

Remember if you step in Greece you may fall.....Slip n slide watch me glide in the air so many will stare at me and my hair and you say au contraire do not despair Scotty will be there...

Curious how much he develops his game. European players are not sluffs as evidenced by NBA rosters these days.

VFL00 writes:

He isn't European he is American and will go do what all other guys who leave college early and don't get drafted. Go to Europe play 2-4 years and come home out of work and without a degree.

AlcoVOLic writes:

Good luck, wish you had stuck around

orangeman1 writes:

in response to VFL00:

He isn't European he is American and will go do what all other guys who leave college early and don't get drafted. Go to Europe play 2-4 years and come home out of work and without a degree.

Maybe, but at least he can always finish his last year to get his degree for about $10,000. The life experience he will get from traveling the world and playing a game for a living is something I wouldnt pass up and consider a great opportunity. Sounds like you're just jealous or bitter. Do you even know how much they make in Europe? I wasnt always happy with Hopson's play , but in general I liked seeing him playing for UT. Seemed like a good guy.

VOLsince68 writes:

Who'd a thunk it!!! Wish he would have stayed, but it's almost FOOTBALL time in Tennessee.......

GO VOLS!!!!

LJS1984 writes:

Good luck Scotty, here's to eating plenty of odd foods, foreign languages and being across the world from family and friends! Was one more year of school in the good ol' US of A that bad?

LJS1984 writes:

in response to VFL00:

He isn't European he is American and will go do what all other guys who leave college early and don't get drafted. Go to Europe play 2-4 years and come home out of work and without a degree.

Pretty much the truth, but he will probably grow up over there and come home for his degree in a few years when he learns what's important in life. It's a shame for Scotty, because Cuonzo would have probably done wonders for him and maybe even gotten him into the NBA.

volaholic45 writes:

predictable

VOLliven2it writes:

Hate to say I told me so but many of us predicted this. I hear Greek food is very good this time of year. My guess is if he had stayed at UT one more year and improved he'd be drafted next year. But I understand concern over penalties which did not come. Best to you Scotty and maybe, just maybe you still get a chance in the NBA. It's a long climb.

UCFgradVOLatHEART writes:

Not to be insensitive but it's football season. The adventures of Scotty Hopson can wait.

SummittsCourt writes:

Funny how hard he is working when dollars are at stake when he spent three years coasting at UT.

I guess that is proof UT isn't paying its players.

tovolny writes:

Take the money, call your CPA, don't spend more than you absolutely need to survive, and when you return in a couple of years you might have enough to get you by until you find a job. By the way...you might need a new agent.

utnick98#238353 writes:

What's wrong with yall? Scotty will make a couple hundred grand and live on the Greek coast for a year! Wish I could be so lucky. Good luck Scotty! VFL

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to SirDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Opah!!

Prostar writes:

The arena holds 1,300. Not that there are that many at the games. Should be a lovely place to visit and play. One year under Coach Zo would have done wonders for your game; but, that's all water under the bridge now. Make the best of it and move on, we certainly will.

reg_mza#219136 writes:

Got to love those temps while playing ball overseas. The Mediterranean air and 70-75 degree climate will make it feel like a vacation over there while playing ball so enjoy Scotty and see you back on this side of the ocean again soon.

AllVol52 writes:

Scotty congrats. He has a chance to play the game he loves and gain some culture while doing so. He will make six figures for only playing about 6 months of the year. Sounds like a good gig to me.

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