Ryan working out for NBA teams

Former UE star Colt Ryan will try to make an NBA roster this summer before starting his professional career in Belgium.

Former UE star Colt Ryan will try to make an NBA roster this summer before starting his professional career in Belgium.

As it turns out, Colt Ryan’s deal signed with a Belgian professional basketball team isn’t completely sealed.

UE’s all-time leading scorer has an NBA opt-out clause in the contract he inked in late May with Brussels Basketball of the Ethias League.

“If any team signs me or if I decide to go to an NBA team by a certain date, I can take that,” said Ryan, who worked out for the Utah Jazz on Tuesday and today will show his skills for the Phoenix Suns.

Ryan, a 6-foot-5 forward, doesn’t expect to hear his name during the June 27 NBA Draft. He actually considers himself “on the outside looking in” as far as securing an NBA Summer League roster spot.

The two-time all-Missouri Valley Conference first teamer is trying his luck anyway.

“It would take a good workout here or there for things to pull through,” Ryan said. “There definitely is a chance to make a summer league roster. I’m just working out with as many teams as I can.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Ryan worked out Tuesday alongside players such as Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams and Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin. Drills typically consist of basic combine tasks — vertical leap, bench press and agility testing — along with basketball skills tasks.

“It all varies from team to team because they all have their own way of doing things with their style of play and they tailor it to that,” Ryan said.

The Batesville, Ind., native averaged 20.1 points and 4 assists per game last season as a senior while leading UE to a 21-15 record. Ryan previously showed off in front of scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April leading up to signing his deal with Brussels Basketball.

Brussels will play next season in the 10-team Ethias League, Belgium’s top-level basketball association. The club’s season begins Oct. 6.

Before signing, “I didn’t really know them,” Ryan said. “My agent just contacted me and said there was a deal that had been put on the table. The coach really liked me. He had been following me and said I was the person they needed.

“They gave me four or five days to decide. If I didn’t sign with them the deal would get canceled. It was a really good decision for me with a good starting salary, so I had to take the opportunity.”

The next month or so will determine whether Ryan keeps it.

After the NBA Draft, the 22-team NBA Summer League runs from July 12-22 in Las Vegas. Even if a summer spot doesn’t land Ryan on an NBA roster, exposure from the NBA TV-broadcast league could boost his standing among overseas scouts from more prestigious clubs.

Either way, Ryan will become the fourth former UE player to join a professional roster in the past year, joining Denver Holmes and Shy Ely (Switzerland) as well as Kenny Harris (Israel).

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