Eric Mika and his wife served a LDS mission in Italy, and now they are heading back for the former BYU big man to play professional hoops.
Mika signed with club Pallancestro Pesaro, which plays in the top Italian professional league. Financial details were not immediately made available. Matt Carlino, a teammate of Eric Mika on the 2013-2014 BYU squad, played last year in the same league. Former BYU hoops player Jonathan Tavernari also plays in the league.
Playing time could come quick for Mika, as Pesaro finished second-to-last in league standings this past season.
Mika’s signing comes after a stint with the Miami Heat in the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues. Mika’s playing time was inconsistent, as he didn’t see the floor in a handful of the Heat’s Vegas summer league games.
For Mika, the signing may have been in his plans all along. During a press conference shortly after he announced his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft, Mika acknowledged playing overseas as a possibility. So while he thought the NBA would have been great, he may have realized he never had much of chance to make the league, and instead got a head start on his professional career.
Having Mika in Cougar uniform for 1-2 more seasons would have been great for fans, but it’s hard to fault Mika for his decision. He’s going back to a place where he and his wife already have connections, he avoids potential injury if he returns to BYU, he gets paid sooner, and he can always go back to BYU and have his education paid for.
In case you’re wondering how BYU’s roster shapes up this upcoming season, here’s a breakdown of every player on the roster.
Best of luck to Eric as he begins his professional career!