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Three men's basketball alumni ink pro deals in Europe

<h5>Amir Bell ’18 is entering his fifth pro season.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of @PUTIGERS /<a href="https://twitter.com/putigers/status/1065741716148371456?s=21&amp;t=ErdzOcRNsjWV57lkx3YSWA" target="_self">Twitter</a>.</h6>
Amir Bell ’18 is entering his fifth pro season.
Courtesy of @PUTIGERS /Twitter.

Within the last week, three Princeton University men’s basketball alumni have signed professional contracts to continue their careers overseas.

On July 8, Ryan Schwieger ’21 signed a professional contract with Rasta Vechta of the German ProA League. Five days later, Richmond Aririguzoh ’20 signed a deal with Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen of the BNXT League in Belgium. And on July 18, Amir Bell ’18 signed with Brose Bamberg of the German Bundesliga.

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Playing for the Rasta Vechta will mark Schwieger’s first-ever stint as a professional basketball player. He was a dominant guard during his time at Princeton, racking up career totals of 483 points, 168 rebounds, and 101 assists in just three seasons. He was the team’s third-leading scorer in the 2019–20 season, averaging 10.7 points per game, as well as leading the team in assists with 2.6 per game. Schwieger rounded out his college career with Loyola Chicago last season.

Schiweger will not be the first Princeton Tiger to join the club in Lower Saxony. T.J. Bray ’14 also played for Rasta Vechta during the 2018–19 basketball season. Rasta Vechta and the German ProA League will begin the 2022–23 season on Sept. 30.

For Aririguzoh, this will be his third professional basketball contract signed since graduating in 2020. He first began his career in 2020 with Horsens IC, posting 10.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He recently finished his second season as a pro with the HAKRO Crailsheim Merlins in the German Bundesliga.

Aririguzoh was a two-time All-Ivy honoree while at Princeton, and led the entire nation in true shooting percentage (72.1 percent) during the 2018–19 season. He posted career totals of 755 points, 437 rebounds, 117 assists, and 53 blocks, and also holds the second highest all-time career field goal percentage in school history (63.6 percent).

The 6’9” center joins a team poised to make waves in the upcoming season, playing alongside another former Tiger, Myles Stephens ’19. In this past season, Stephens was second on the team in scoring with 14.9 points, alongside a dominant 11.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Kangoeroes Mechelen (25–13) finished fifth in the standings in the 2021-22 season. 

As the veteran of the three signees, Amir Bell now has almost five years of professional basketball under his belt. After graduating in 2018, he joined the Italian Serie A2 Basket League, putting up a well-rounded 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in his first season. In the following season, his numbers grew tremendously playing in the ASEAN League in East and Southeast Asia, where he put up 15.8 points, 7.2 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game.

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For the last two years, Bell has stayed with Hapeol Be'er Sheva in the Israeli Winner League. He has put up roughly 10 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4 assists across those two seasons.

Bell was a standout player during his time in orange and black. He received the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year award during the 2017–18 season, and finished his career with 1,043 points, 390 rebounds, 313 assists, 105 steals, and 53 blocks. He played a major role in the 2016–17 Tigers Ivy Madness and regular-season championships. That squad was the most recent Princeton team to make it to the NCAA Tournament.

Matt Drapkin is a staff writer for the ‘Prince’ sports section who typically covers basketball. He can be reached at mattdrapkin@princeton.edu or on Twitter at @mattdrapkin.

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