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After wrapping up his college basketball career at Miami (Ohio) University, Logan McLane thought he had constructed a resume worthy of playing professionally in some form or fashion.
So once his senior season with the Redhawks came to an end, the Greenfield School product went through the painstaking process of hiring an agent before returning to eastern North Carolina to fine-tune his game.
Following a number of offers around the globe, McLane made it official Wednesday as he signed a professional contract with the Wetterbygen Sparks of Sweden. The Sparks, former residents of the second-division Basketettan, will take up housing in the Basketligan — Sweden’s premier league — next season after the club earned promotion.
“After my senior season ended, I knew I had a chance to go play professionally,” McLane said in a telephone interview Thursday. “It’s always been a dream of mine, so I went through the agent-picking process and that took a month or a month and a half for me to find an agent that I was comfortable with and that I trusted. Once I picked my agent, he just went to work from day one finding teams.”
McLane, who transferred to Greenfield from Oakwood School in Greenville after his sophomore year, was handed a setback not long after taking the floor for the Knights. A skilled power forward with the propensity for finding the open man, McLane tore his ACL during his junior year, which reset the table in terms of his college offer sheet. He bounced back in a big way during his senior campaign, being named Player of the Year in the 1-A Coastal Plain Independents Conference and directing the Knights to a spot in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association title game, where it lost to Fayetteville Trinity Christian.
Nevertheless, McLane had proven worthy a Division I opportunity post-injury. He finished his senior season averaging a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while handing out six assists per game. With Miami of Ohio persistent in its interest even after McLane’s ACL tear, he rewarded the Redhawks’ loyalty by signing with the Mid-American Conference school.
“That was the main reason why I picked Miami of Ohio,” McLane recalled. “Just because they were the first school to offer me, and then they called me almost every day after I tore my ACL just to keep saying and keep putting it in my mind that ‘hey, we want you, you’re still our number one guy.’”
With the Redhawks, McLane made a considerable leap from his sophomore to his junior year. He went from averaging 3.4 points per game up to 11.8 per contest, and as a senior, led the team in blocked shots with 26. McLane tied for the team lead in rebounds at 5.4 per game and ranked third in scoring at 9.2 in just over 23 minutes of play.
McLane considered options in Spain, Japan, Iceland, Argentina and Saudi Arabia before opting for the Swedish league, which offered a contract this week. In working with Greenfield coach Rob Salter and Jeremy Jeffers during summer workouts, McLane will be asked to take on more of a stretch four role for Wetterbygen, pulling bigger defenders away from the basket and knocking down mid-range jumpers.
“When I had him in high school, I knew he had a chance,” Salter said of McLane’s pro prospects. “He had an injury, but he bounced back from it pretty good and he’s really worked hard the summer. He’s worked in the gym, and I think he’s going to have a really good pro career. He fits the European game terrifically.”
Indeed, it’s the finesse mindset around international basketball with the use of the trapezoid land and emphasis on limiting rough play around the basket that have both Salter and McLane convinced that the latter can do well.
“It’s definitely a lot more spread out international wise, at least from college and my college experience,” McLane said. “They do a lot more pick and rolls and it’s kind of like four corners — not four corners, but spread out like that to where you just have shooters all around the perimeter. I’ll have a lot more freedom to play my game overseas.”
That freedom will now lead towards a steady income stream — and the potential for a lengthy career in the international game.
“That was the main goal,” McLane said. “To get paid for playing the game of basketball.”