Pitt Basketball

Three Former Pittsburgh Panthers Sign Pro Deals

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 22: Levance Fields #2 and DeJuan Blair #45 of the Pittsburgh Panthers react between plays late in the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the University of Dayton Arena on March 22, 2009 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Paul SieversAnalyst IJuly 28, 2009

Last month I wrote an article for Bleacher Report bemoaning how DeJuan Blair and Sam Young fell out of the first round in the draft. I openly wondered how this would affect Pittsburgh, a program that measures up to the big boys from November through February. However, it doesn't have the resume in March or June that all of the other big-time programs have.

This is the reason why it's nice to see Blair and Young sign deals.

Blair was the first to sign when he inked a three-year deal with the Spurs last week. His $4 million deal guarantees three years and $3 million, which is the same kind of contract given to late first-round picks. It's great to see the Spurs making Blair a priority.

According to his Agent Happy Walters:

"He ended up with a great team and they really wanted to develop him. They wanted to show a commitment to him. He's just happy to be playing basketball and now he's able to take care of his family."

Blair's journey from Hill District poverty to college stardom has been well documented. It's so great to see such a good kid who has done so much for the Panthers and the city of Pittsburgh get rewarded for his hard work.

A week later, it was Sam's turn to get paid.

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