Monday, August 31, 2015

Three Former Union College Players Sign Professional Contracts for 2015-16

Three former Union College players have signed professional contracts for the 2015-16 season.

Deante Johnson has signed with Mapfree Ya~am ve Spor in Cyprus.

Daniel Fernandez Munkholm has inked with Randers Cimbria in Denmark's Basket Ligaen league.

Earlier this month, Fitzgerald White signed with Units pel Bàsquet Gandia of Liga EBA in Spain.

Here are the releases from UC:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Two more former Union College men's basketball players were given the opportunity to further their careers as Deante Johnson and Daniel Fernandez Munkholm signed to play professionally overseas.

Johnson signed to play for Mapfree Ya~am ve Spor, a team in Cyprus, while Munkholm will be playing for the Randers Cimbria in the Basket Ligaen in Denmark.

"Being healthy and able to compete at any level is a blessing," Johnson said of getting to continue his basketball career. "Being able to say I graduated college, played on a great historical record-breaking team and now get the chance to play pro basketball is a dream in itself."

"I always dreamed with playing basketball professionally," said Munkholm. "My father played professionally in Spain, so I always had something in me telling me to pursue the same."

The duo helped Bulldogs post the best season in program history in 2014-15 as they rolled to a 30-5 overall record and the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships. Union also recorded its first-ever victory in the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament and ended the campaign ranked No. 15 in the nation.

A 6-foot-8 forward, Johnson was a three-year member of the Bulldogs, finishing with 1,216 career points to rank him 23rd in program history. Twice named to the All-AAC First Team, he earned NAIA All-American Third Team honors in 2014-15.

Johnson led Union in scoring last season at 14.6 points per game and led the NAIA in field-goal shooting, hitting 71.3 percent of his shots.

"I am excited that Deante is getting to live out his dream of playing professional basketball," said Union coach Kevin Burton. "He has certainly earned this opportunity with his high caliber play over the past few seasons. Deante has matured into a fine person that everyone has enjoyed knowing. He will be a successful pro and a success in life after basketball."

"Playing at union helped my dreams become future goals and my future goals become a present reality," Johnson said. "Being able to play with other talented players under the guidance of a great coach brought the best out of me, and I'm grateful for that."

Complete Release

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Former Union College men's basketball standout Fitzgerald White has signed a professional contract, inking a deal to play for Units pel Bàsquet Gandia of Liga EBA in Gandia, Spain.

"I'm really happy for Fitz," said Bulldog head coach Kevin Burton. "He is now getting an opportunity to pursue his lifelong dream. Fitz was instrumental in our success the past two seasons with his versatile play and will be a successful pro player."

White, a native of Miami, Florida, was a key component in Union's recent renaissance in men's basketball, helping the Bulldogs capture back-to-back Appalachian Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships in 2014 and 2015, along with consecutive trips to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Championship.

In two seasons, White averaged 11.7 points a game and 5.1 rebounds per contest, while dishing out 3.5 assists per game, as well. For his efforts, White nabbed a spot on the All-AAC Team in both of his seasons in Barbourville, earning Third-Team honors after the 2013-14 season, and First Team accolades this past season.

Complete Release

Photo: UC Athletics

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