By Ryan Alves

Four former Eastern basketball players have signed professional contracts with European teams for the fall season—Justin Stommes, Spencer Perrin, Nadia Mossong and Josh Taylor.

Stommes signed a pro contract with the Paderborn Baskets out of the German “A” league. The Baskets finished seventh out of 16 teams in the “A” league last year with a 14-14 overall record.

“It feels great to be given the opportunity to fulfill a life long dream of playing professional basketball,” Stommes said. “It’s a humbling experience knowing that a lot of people don’t get the chance.”

Stommes was a four-year starter at Eastern who graduated last year. While a Colonel, he amassed 1,277 career points and left Eastern as the program’s 15th all-time leading scorer.

“EKU was a great time,” Stommes said. “I had too much fun with my teammates at times, but it also taught me that hard work definitely pays off.”

Stommes said one of the hardest things to adjust to is the officiating and different rules in European basketball.

“You can’t use the jab step over here or they call a travel,” Stommes said.

Perrin, who transferred to Eastern in 2009 and graduated last season, was a staple in the Colonel’s offense and a force down low on defense.

As a senior, he led the team in scoring (14 points per game) and ranked 10th in the Ohio Valley Conference in rebounding with 5.5 rebounds per game.

The Danville, Ky., native has signed a one-year deal to play for KK Lirija in Macedonia, who finished in fifth place in the FYR-Macedonia Superleague last season.

Mossong has signed a deal with the OKE Panthers Osnabrück in Germany.

“Being able to play professionally in Europe has been a goal of mine for a while now, and it feels great to finally achieve it,” Mossong said in a press release. “Everything that I have experienced over the past years helped me to get to this point. I couldn’t be more excited to take the next step in my career.”

Mossong was a four-year letter-winner for the Lady Colonels, who graduated last season with a master’s degree in sports administration and a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and electronic media.

For her career, she averaged 4.8 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game with the Lady Colonels. She starts her season with the Panthers Sept. 25.

Taylor, who graduated in spring 2010, has also signed a deal to play in Germany, for the Hertener Loewen in the German “B” league. Taylor, who was a second team All-OVC forward his senior year, helped the Colonels reach the 2007 NCAA tournament by hitting the game-winning shot to beat Austin Peay in the OVC championship game.

Hertener Loewen posted a 16-6 record in the North division of the “B” league a year ago.

The European basketball leagues begin competition in September and run through April. Colonel fans can follow the progress of the players by logging on to www.eurobasket.com.