POMONA – Austin Swift, who led Cal Poly Pomona to its first NCAA Championship title this past season, has signed a two-year contract to play basketball with BC Vrijednosnice Osijek Darda in the A1 Croatian League, the Santa Cruz native announced Monday.
Terms were not disclosed for the 2010 Elite Eight Most Outstanding Player.
“It’s a dream come true to become a professional basketball player,’’ said Swift, who was a two-time All-CCAA guard and an honorable mention All-American this past season. “I’m excited and thrilled to have an opportunity to make a living at what I love doing, and to play overseas will be an added thrill. I can’t wait.’’
Swift led CPP to its best season in the 62-year history of the program when the unranked Broncos (28-6) defeated second-ranked Indiana, Pa., 65-53 for the national championship in Springfield, Mass., in March. Swift led his team in scoring (13.3) assists (3.3) and steals (1.1) per game for the season, but played at his best during the Broncos’ NCAA run. He led CPP in its six-game run, averaging 17.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game as CPP went on to set 20 school records during its historic season.
“Austin was a critical part of our success during the last two years and I couldn’t be happier for him,’’ said 2010 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year Greg Kamansky. “He becomes our sixth current alum in the last six years to go on and play professionally, which says a lot about how our program is perceived, both nationally and internationally. Our guys have proven that playing professional basketball is a possiblity.’’
“It also shows that you don’t have to have big-time averages to play at the next level. Austin played very well within our system, but there’s little question that he stepped up his game in March and became a go-to player – both on the offensive and defensive ends of the court.’’
Swift was a two-year starter and was a part of the Broncos’ back-to-back national title game teams. He joins former Broncos’ Larry Gordon (Netherlands), Walter Thompson (Mexico), Angelo Tsagarakis (France), Luis Pulido (Mexico) and Jeff Bonds (Spain), who all are currently playing in professional leagues.