July 12, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Two-time All-American Jacob Pullen has signed his first professional contract with Pallacanestro Biella, also known as Angelico Biella, of the Italian League.
The school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,132 points, Pullen will join a squad that posted an 11-19 overall record in the Series A of the Italian League, the highest level of professional basketball in the country.
Angelico Biella’s roster currently includes four other American-born players – Aubrey Coleman (Houston), Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Marc Salyers (Samford) and A.J. Slaughter (Western Kentucky) – as well as several notable international players, including former Michigan State standout Goran Suton. Coleman, who played two years at Houston from 2008-10, was the team’s leading scorer (20.7 ppg.) in 2010-11, while Sosa was second in scoring (14.1 ppg.) to go with a team-high 4.5 assists per game. Suton led in rebounding (7.4 rpg.).
The team is based in the town of Biella in northwest Italy, which has a population of around 50,000 at the foothills of the Alps. It is around 50 miles from Turin (site of the 2006 Winter Olympics) and Milan. The squad typically plays 30 regular-season games before an eight-team playoff.
“Jacob is a player who impressed us with his qualities on both sides of the field of personality and a very close relationship with the public, all characteristics that make a player from Biella,” said Marco Atripaldi, CEO and general manger of Angelico Biella (quote translated from Italian).
Pullen departs K-State as one of the school’s all-time greatest players. He ranks in the Top 5 of 17 career school records, including marks for scoring, games played (135), double-digit scoring games (105), 3-point field goals (299), 3-point field goals attempted (828) and steals (210). He also placed in the Top 10 in six career categories in Big 12 Conference history, including fourth in scoring.
A season ago, Pullen led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in his four-year career with a 23-11 overall record, including a tie for third place in the Big 12 with a 10-6 mark. He is just the third player in school history to lead the team to the postseason and to a 20-win season in each of his four years.
Pullen paced the team in 12 statistical categories in 2010-11, including scoring (20.2 ppg.), double-figure scoring games (29), field goals (191), 3-point field goals (74), free throws (170), assists (115), steals (49) and minutes (32.6 mpg.). He was selected to several All-American squads, including the third team by The Associated Press, The Sporting News and Yahoo! Sports and fourth team by FOXSports.com.
Pullen was also the 2011 winner of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top senior, six-foot and under, by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.