Brandon Jennings Heads to Italy: Senātus Populusque Rōmānus (SPQR)
SPQR is an initialism from a Latin phrase, Senātus Populusque Rōmānus ("The Senate and the People of Rome" or "The Senate and Roman People"). This is a phrase Oak Hill Academy star guard Brandon Jennings might become all too familiar with, since you can find it on almost every parchment and manhole in Rome. It's even on the city's coat of arms.
According to Italian source basketcentral.it, Jennings has received an offer from Lottomatica Roma (Virtus Rome). Reports are the contract being offered is somewhat in the range of a one-and-one year deal worth around $300,000. Jennings prefers a one-year deal.
Looking from the outside in, this might be a perfect fit for someone who is trying to blaze a new trail for high-school standouts. Lottomatica finished second overall in Serie A league play with a 23-11 record, and made it to the Italian Serie A finals before losing four games to one.
If Jennings signs with Roma, he would team up with former Villanova guard Allan Ray. That backcourt could get Lottomatica over the top.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves, as this is only one offer by one team. At this point, Jennings has stated that he will not be making a choice of team until August 1st. This definitely keeps the door open for other offers to be presented and considered.
There's also the matter of which shoe contract he will sign with. Nike, Reebok, and Adidas are all fighting to land the all world point guard, and the team and location in which he chooses could be a major indicator of who he signs with.
- Sonny Vaccaro, who is acting as an advisor to Jennings and his mother, Alice Knox, said Friday that he will meet with Jennings Sunday in Las Vegas, where he will attend the NBA summer league.
- According to Vaccaro, Brandon will have a European agent who only deals with European contracts, and he will pick a marketing firm that is not connected to his American based agent.
- Jeff Valle (Jennings Attorney) said Jennings could be open to a multi-year contract overseas, although his primary goal is to play in the NBA, beginning in 2009-10. The NBA confirmed once Jennings signs a pro contract overseas and is 19, he will become eligible for the 2009 draft. But Vaccaro said a longer-term deal with a buyout is a possibility for Jennings since it would give the overseas club leverage with an NBA franchise and give Jennings some security.
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