Austin Dufault signs contract with pro basketball team in Czech RepublicAustin Dufault is now a professional basketball player.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
By Dustin Monke
Aside from knowing next to nothing about the country’s language, Austin Dufault said he is excited to be the newest professional basketball player in the Czech Republic.
The Killdeer High School and University of Colorado graduate has signed a contract to play for BK Prostejov of the Czech Republic’s National Basketball League.
“I’m just excited to head over there. I have to leave pretty soon,” said Dufault, who leaves the United States on Aug. 12 to join his team for training camp. “I’m excited to get over there and get started.”
Dufault revealed he was signing a pro contract Wednesday on Twitter, writing: “Looks like me and (Lauren Sandford) are moving to the Czech Republic!!!”
Dufault said he’s excited that Sandford, his longtime girlfriend, is moving to the country with him, saying she will be a great support system as he embarks on a huge life change.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while now,” Dufault said. “I was planning on ending up in Europe or overseas somewhere.”
Dufault’s agent, Ben Pensack, said the 6-foot-9 forward has signed a one-year contract that includes a furnished two-bedroom apartment, a car and a cell phone. Pensack would not disclose any more about the contract, including what Dufault will be paid.
Pensack said he had been “shopping him around to different kinds of leagues overseas” when BK Prostejov expressed the need for a forward. Pensack said the team’s coach, Zbynek Choleva, came calling after viewing Dufault’s game film.
“He really liked what he saw and thought Austin fit the profile of exactly what he was looking for,” Pensack said.
Rich Dufault, Austin’s father and a former Killdeer boys basketball coach, said he is excited for his son to have the opportunity to play professionally at any level, even if it is in Europe.
“We’re apprehensive as, I think, most parents would be,” Rich Dufault said. “(Austin’s mother) Karen has YouTubed about every video she can of the city he’s going to be in. It’s a neat deal. It’s a neat opportunity.”
Austin Dufault averaged 11.1 points per game as a senior for Colorado, helping the team to the Pac-12 Tournament championship and the NCAA Tournament.
Dufault played in Europe last summer as a member of Athletes in Action, which made him interested in playing there professionally.
As a high school player in North Dakota, Dufault was the 2008 Mr. Basketball award winner and a two-time Class B all-state selection.
Dufault joins a team that lost in the NBL finals last season.
BK Prostejov’s top scorer last season was former NCAA Division II player of the year Jamar Smith, who is currently on the Boston Celtics’ Las Vegas Summer League team.
The team plays in Prostejov, a city of approximately 46,000 located on the eastern side of the country north of its second-largest city, Brno.
“It’s a pretty good league,” Dufault said. “It’s not the best, but it’s far from the worst league over there. It’s a really good place to just get started and try and build my career.”