Former Aggie basketball greats Spencer Nelson and Gary Wilkinson have been hanging around the USU campus lately, appearing at several recent basketball games in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Don’t get used to it. Both players have signed deals to begin playing in Greece and they ship out today. Wilkinson and Nelson share more than just an alma mater, they also have the same sports agent. Ben Pensack has informed us that the two big men will begin playing for Greek team Peristeri. According to thehoop.blogspot.com, Peristeri has decided to replace Will Daniels (SF/PF) and Shaun Pruitt (C) with Spencer Nelson (SF/PF) and Gary Wilkinson (PF/C). Nelson played for Aris last season in Greece and Gary Wilkinson started the season in South Korea but was unexpectedly let go nearly two weeks ago. Nelson has played for Bamberg, Benetton Treviso, Fortitudo Bologna and last season in Aris he averaged 9.4 points 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 32 games. Gary Wilkinson graduated from Utah State last season and in South Korea he averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14 games. After the game Wednesday night, Al Lewis caught up with Gary and interviewed him during the post game show: On his new situation: “It’s a good league. Korea was a great experience. I felt like I did everything I could do there but things just didn’t work out. I think the opportunity I’ll have in Greece is going to be something to help pave the way for my future.” About Peristeri “They’re just outside of Athens. They’re middle of the pack right now. I look forward to heading out and helping them improve a little bit.” Spencer Nelson on same team: “That’s something that helped me make that decision, for sure. Spencer Nelson’s going to be on team. I’ve obviously heard a lot about him playing at Utah State. He’s a great guy off the court and I look forward to playing with him.” On joining the team right before Christmas: “I think that’s unheard of. I’ll play three games and they let us off for Christmas so I’ll come back and pick up the wife and head back over for the rest of the season. It’s something I look forward to, for sure.” On his time in Korea: “I loved it. It was a great situation. We were in first place. We were winning and doing everything we needed to do. I felt like I was putting up the points and the rebounds. But the culture was amazing and the experience was amazing. It was interesting to be able to go over there and put yourself in that situation, experience it and not just pass through. And we made a lot of friends and had a great time and unfortunately it just didn’t work out the way they wanted it to, I guess. They didn’t like being in first place because they’re not there anymore.” The world he’s seen in the last year: “All the doors basketball has opened for me is something that’s just tremendous, I’ve been so grateful for it. Now I get to go from Seoul, South Korea to Athens, Greece. Things that I’ve never imagined.” On how Utah State looked against BYU: “They played great. I think they came out with some jitters, that’s to be expected in a game like this. A sign of their true character, they came out and finished the game, they stayed positive and kept going. Especially Matt and Jared and Tai and Nate, all of the guys, Preston Medlin is playing great. It’s fun to watch them. I miss being here. I miss the fans, the whole situation but they played great.”
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