Mavunga Embarks on Professional Career
It has been a busy summer for former men's basketball standout Julian Mavunga.
Shortly after his graduation from Miami in May, Mavunga headed to Las Vegas to begin working out and preparing for his professional basketball career. In early July, Mavunga was a part of the Indianapolis Pacers' summer league team and participated in a NBA summer league tournament in Orlando from July 9-13.
Mavunga saw his first action with the Pacers' summer league team on July 10, compiling six points and three rebounds in 13 minutes of action. The following day in nearly 28 minutes of action, he recorded eight points, three steals, three assists and a blocked shot, while leading all players with 12 boards. He cracked the starting lineup in his third appearance, posting 10 points in 22 minutes. In his final game of the summer league tournament, Mavunga played nearly 12 minutes and collected six boards.
"It was sweet," said Mavunga of his summer league experience with the Pacers. "It was a really good experience. You get a feel for the NBA game and how it's different. It was enjoyable. It helped me learn and to grow as a professional and a person. Just seeing what things are going to be different in the NBA."
Following the NBA summer league, Mavunga has continued to work out with the Pacers.
"They invited me to come workout in their individual workouts with the team ... almost as a part of the team," said Mavunga. "It was good experience getting a hands-on coaching from their staff. They have a really good coaching staff and one of the best assistant coaches in the league in Brian Shaw. Working out with NBA players and NBA coaches gave me a chance to learn more and grow as a player."
Although playing in the NBA is his ultimate dream and despite having been invited to the Pacers' training camp, Mavunga will be expanding his horizons overseas. Mavunga recently signed a contract with Italy's Angelico Biella and will be leaving the United States to join the program this week.
"There have been talks of (signing a professional contract with Angelica Biella) in the last three weeks to a month, but the Pacers invited me to training camp. Initially I was going to accept that and go to training camp with the Pacers, but the Italian team just really became more aggressive with their approach, and they gave me a deal that I thought was pretty good and it's a pretty good situation over there. It really picked up in the last couple of weeks," said Mavunga. "The NBA is certainly somewhere I want to get to someday, hopefully sooner than later, but I'm satisfied with where I'm at now."
In addition to beginning a professional basketball career, Mavunga is looking forward to seeing some of the world.
"It's just a blessing to be able to go and experience a different country and culture and see something different that's out there in the world," remarked Mavunga. "I look forward to it and I'm excited."