Former Tennessee standout Yves Pons signed with French basketball power LDLC ASVEL. The team announced Pons’ signing on its Instagram page Tuesday morning
Pons returns to his home nation after playing four years at Tennessee and one year of professional basketball for the Memphis Grizzlies on a two-way contract.
ASVEL plays in Villeurbanne — a suburb of Leon — and is 196 miles from Pons’ hometown Fuveau.
ASVEL is one of France’s best professional basketball teams, winning the Pro A league two of the last three and three of the last six years. The franchise won two French Cups in that same time frame.
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Pons’ new team has frequently played in the Euro League and the move allows him to compete against the best competition in Europe.
ASVEL has some serious ties to the NBA. Former San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker is the franchise’s president while Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum is its director of basketball operations.
Pons became Tennessee’s first SEC Player of the Year in 2020 and landed on the SEC All-Defensive Team his junior and senior seasons in Knoxville. The 6-foot-6 power forward was a dominant shot blocker, totaling 137 blocks in his college career.
The lefty averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in his senior season.
Pons signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Memphis Grizzlies last offseason before playing for the Grizzlies and their G-League affiliate the Memphis Hustle. The athletic forward averaged 1.1 points and 1 rebound in 12 games for the Grizzlies.
In nine games with the Hustle, Pons averaged 9.4 points and five rebounds per game.