VERMILLION, S.D.— Former Coyote standout Trevor Gruis signed Tuesday to play with Jämtland, a Swedish basketball premier team.
The 6-10 center wrapped up his career at South Dakota in March with 102 consecutive starts for the Coyotes. Gruis finished with 1,340 points, 767 rebounds and 112 blocks.
“It’s definitely been a dream of mine to play after college in some aspect, so I’m definitely excited to go play there,” Gruis said. “I’m both excited and nervous. I think Sweden will be a good country, but I’m nervous to leave the United States and my family for the first time.”
Gruis, a native of Ellsworth, Minn., will depart for Östersund, Sweden, and begin training camp in mid-August. The club team will fight for a playoff berth in the Basketligan (Premier League) of Sweden.
“The team recently hired a new coach and has been looking to make changes to move up and become more competitive than they have been,” Gruis said. “I’m looking forward the opportunity, especially because Americans have a pretty big role over there.”
Gruis plans to make the best of this opportunity, taking the future one day at a time.
“It would be awesome if I got picked up by the D-league or something like that, but I’m not going to hold my breath on that opportunity,” Gruis added. “I’m going to make the most out of this by playing for a few more years until my body tells me I shouldn’t be playing anymore.”
Gruis will join Coyotes Charlie Westbrook (’12) and Tyler Cain (’10) at the professional level. Westbrook spent one season in Italy before joining the NBA D-league while Cain has played in Latvia for the past four seasons.
Courtesy: USD Britni Waller