Former Northern Michigan University guard Raymont McElroy will continue his professional basketball career with Al Ahli Jeddah, a basketball team in the Saudi Arabian Premier League (SPL).
“(It) is a huge blessing,” McElroy said. “I’m very excited.”
McElroy played last season with RST Tangier of the top Moroccan league, where RST finished second in their division and lost in the league’s semifinals. But the SPL is considered to be one of the top basketball leagues in the world, attracting many Asian professional players and NBA’s third-best single season free throw shooter Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
“(The) top league in Morocco is a pretty decent league, but as far as professional basketball in the Middle East, Saudi Premier League is where you want to be,” McElroy said. “Good competition. Very respected league.”
Like many smaller leagues across the world, the SPL put a limit on how many American players they could have on the roster. However, the SPL has expanded that policy to include two players. Al Ahli Jeddah added McElroy as their second American, as they have signed Eric Frederick, a 2012 NAIA All-American forward from Texas Wesleyan.
The additional slots for Americans was something that McElroy’s new agent Eric Mays of ARG Sports was able to capitalize.
“This summer, I had to make a huge decision by not signing back with my agent from last year,” McElroy said. “One of my trainers sent my info to an NBA agent, who liked my film and signed me.”
McElroy was GLIAC Freshman of the Year for the 2008-2009 season and finished fifth in the league in assists his sophomore season, but saw less playing time as former NMU head coach Doug Lewis replaced the retiring Dean Ellis. McElroy transferred to West Virginia Wesleyan for his senior year, where he averaged 21.5 points per game including a 48-point performance against Ohio Valley. He was named first team all-Atlantic region his senior year, when the team went to the NCAA DII tournament.
Winning is the first goal for McElroy with Al Ahli Jeddah, but furthering developing his personal game is still in his sights.
“(It) doesn’t mean I have to average the most points,” McElroy said, “but I want to be the best all-around player.”