Devine signs on to play professionally in Belgium

Chris DevineChris Devine, who completed his UCSB basketball career as the school’s third leading scorer and fifth leading rebounder, has signed a contract to play professional basketball for Voo Verviers-Pepinster, a team based in Pepinster, Belgium, and a member of the country’s first division.
“I am very excited,” Devine said.  “I really want to make the best of it, get my feet wet and build my career. They (Voo Verviers-Pepinster) are in a well-respected league and a lot of guys have started their careers there and gone on to great success.”

Devine completed his Gaucho career with 1,607 points and 723 rebounds and is one of only two players in school history to rank among the top-5 in both categories.  As a senior in 2008-09 he averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.  He was named First Team All-Big West, becoming just the second Gaucho player ever to be selected All-Big West four straight times.  Devine, a native of Eagle River, Alaska, was also named Big West Player of the Week on two occasions during his final campaign.
“I am not only excited to play but also for the overall experience,” he said. “I’ve never been to Europe and I am looking forward to seeing new things and meeting new people.”
Devine’s will leave for Pepinster on Aug. 13.  His contract will run from Aug. 15 through the end of May.  He will be coached by Jurgen Van Meerbeeck and will have a trio of fellow Americans as teammates: forward Darnell Wilson (Canisius), guard Anthony Hilliard (Elizabeth City) and center John Tofi (UTEP).
Devine will be the third Gaucho to play professionally in Belgium, joining a list that already includes forwards Gary Gray (1987-91) and Mike Doyle (1987-89).  Four other recent Gauchos played professionally in Europe during the 2008-09 season: Cecil Brown (France), Alex Harris (Poland), Ivan Elliott (Latvia) and Nedim Pajevic (Croatia).  Elliott is slated to play in Germany in 2009-10.
Voo Verviers-Pepinster’s first regular season game is scheduled for Oct. 3 against Leuven.