Former Iowa star Gatens signs for shot at NBA

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Posted: Friday, June 29, 2012 2:08 am

Former University of Iowa basketball star Matt Gatens will get the opportunity to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA after all.

Gatens, who finished his Hawkeyes career as the program's sixth all-time leading scorer, tweeted early Friday morning that he will join the Phoenix Suns entry in the NBA's summer league next month.

"Appreciate the support hawks. Looking forward to pursuing my career with the Phoenix Suns summer league squad!" Gatens tweeted just before 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Gatens, who was not among the 60 players selected in Thursday's NBA draft, led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 15.2 points per game in 35 contests as a senior. He shot 46.9 percent from the field and made 75 of 183 3-pointers. He was an 85.4 percent free-throw shooter and added 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

He scored 1,645 points as a four-year starter at Iowa. He reached double digits in scoring 89 times in 128 career games and on 18 occasions hit the 20-point mark. He was a two-time captain and joined Roy Marble Sr. as the only Hawkeyes to total 1,600 points, 450 rebounds, 250 assists and 125 steals.

Gatens was a second team all-Big Ten Conference pick as Iowa qualified for the postseason and advanced past the first round of the National Invitation Tournament in March.

Gatens, who prepped at Iowa City High and was named Iowa's Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in 2008, signed with Wasserman Media Group earlier this year, according to a Hawk Talk Daily article posted at hawkeyesports.com. The company also represents Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Russell Westbrook. One Wasserman agent who met with Gatens was former Hawkeyes and Chicago Bulls star B.J. Armstrong.

"The ultimate goal is the NBA," Gatens told Hawk Talk Daily in May. "We all grow up dreaming of that. I have heard there is a chance. ... If it doesn't happen, I am open to (going) overseas and (finding) a good situation over there where I could get paid to see the world."

Phoenix opens the Las Vegas-based summer league schedule on Sunday, July 15 against the New York Knicks' entry. The Summer Suns will also play Cleveland, New Orleans, Memphis and an NBA Developmental League team.

Former Kansas star Markieff Morris and 2012 13th overall pick, North Carolina's Kendall Marshall, are also expected to play for Phoenix this summer.

All games will be televised on NBATV. 

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