GREENSBORO, N.C. (8/23/10) -- Four years to the day he left his home in Elkin, N.C., to attend Guilford College, Tyler Sanborn '10 is heading overseas as a professional basketball player for Grupo Iruna Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
The two-time NCAA Division III basketball All-American and recent Guilford graduate signed with the Spanish LEB Gold (second division) team in July. Grupo Iruna Navarra reached the LEB Silver semifinals in 2010 and earned a promotion to the LEB Gold.
"I could have taken a couple other offers, which were at higher levels in different countries, but this opportunity for a first-year player is really good," said Sanborn, who is sharing his experience in a blog. "Spain is one of the top foreign countries to play in. If I do well, I'll be able to possibly move up to the top league in Spain."
Sanborn attracted the attention of international professional clubs after competing for the Los Angeles Lakers' summer league team. He was the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year as a senior at Guilford after compiling 30 double-doubles and averaging 19.8 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 33 games. Sanborn helped Guilford to a 104-19 record, four NCAA Tournament appearances and two national semifinal berths in his four seasons.
"I'm excited to get the season started, and found out today that our first pre-season game will take place five days after I get there, against a first-division team," said Sanborn. "I'm expecting to learn a lot in the first couple of days there, and look forward to playing in a real game so quickly."
Sanborn joins former teammate Ben Strong '08 as recent Guilford graduates in professional basketball. Strong wrapped up his second season with Maccabi Haifa in the top Israeli professional league in the spring. Guilford has produced four NBA players: M.L. Carr '73, World B. Free '76, Greg Jackson '74 and Bob Kauffman '68.
Read Sanborn's blog at http://tylersanborn.blogspot.com