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Marcus Keene signs professional contract with Italian side Cagliari Dinamo Academy

Keene was a hidden gem in the NBA Summer League after a standout season at Central Michigan.

Kenneth Bailey

Marcus Keene, whose electric performances resulted in one of the bestsingle-season individual efforts in collegiate basketball history, will begin his professional career overseas in Italy.

Keene is listed as a point guard for Cagliari Dinamo Academy on their official website, though no official press release has been released by the club. CMU Athletics reported the signing earlier Wednesday morning.

Cagliari Dinamo Academy plays in Serie A2, Italy’s second level of basketball and the higest amateur level in the country. They are recognized by the FIP (Italian Basketball Federation) and FIBA Europe.

Keene, a San Antonio, Texas native, was one of the nation’s most productive point guards from an offensive standpoint, averaging 30 points per game in his lone season at Central Michigan University, including a career-high 50 points vs. the Miami RedHawks and four 40+ point games.

Keene was the first player in NCAA Division I since Long Island University’s Charles Jones in 1997 to hit the 30 point per game mark in a single season.

Keene also hauled in 4.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, shooting at a 44.7 percent clip from the field and 36.8 percent from three-point range. Keene also shot 81 percent from the free throw line in 2016-2017.

Keene, who stands at five-foot-nine and 180 lbs., declared for the 2017 NBA Draft, foregoing his senior year. He went undrafted, but eventually signed with the Washington Wizards as a Summer League prospect.

Keene dazzled in limited action, playing in four games, averaging 11.3 points per game in 16 minutes while shooting 50 percent from the field for the Wizards. He also collected some highlight reel plays, including a three-point buzzer-beater.

Ultimately, Keene was the odd man out in Washington due to recent acquisitions and bench depth.

Keene, primarily known as a scoring option due to CMU’s need for points in the 2016-2017 season, was originally a more balanced guard in his tenure at Youngstown State and showed a good eye for playing the point in the Summer League.

Time will tell if he gets another invitation to the Summer League or get signed to a G-League contract, but Keene proved he could play with the pros at basketball’s highest level and if he has a good season in Italy, he could return stateside sooner than expected.