The basketball dream isn’t quite over yet for Miles Jackson-Cartwright.
Penn’s now-graduated captain has signed with the Rival Sports Group, aiming to jump-start his professional career.
Rival Sports has its share of star basketball clients, including the Phoenix Suns’ Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff) and the Lakers’ Jordan Farmar.
But instead of heading to the NBA, Jackson-Cartwright will be headed abroad to Europe.
Where, exactly? The guard isn’t exactly sure yet.
“I’d rather be in Western Europe,” said Cartwright, who fondly recalled preseason trips to Belgium, Germany and Italy with his teammates. “I want to be in a situation where I can grow as a player, to be able to develop.”
When making the decision to sign with an agent and go abroad, Cartwright received some advice from a fellow Penn basketball alum that has since gone overseas — Zack Rosen.
Rosen, who has successfully latched on with Maccabi Ashdod in the Israeli Basketball Super League, relayed some key pointers to Jackson-Cartwright about the impending transition around graduation.
“He told me to keep working, really,” Jackson-Cartwright recalled. “He told me stuff to look for in terms of the style of play.”
“It’s a culture shock for many people, but I’m just looking forward to it ... not many people get this opportunity so I’m just blessed to be able to continue my playing career.”
Another crucial factor for Jackson-Cartwright was coach Jerome Allen, who has plenty of experience of his own in the realm of European basketball. Allen spent 12 years playing in Europe following his NBA career, including a 2009 stint as a player-coach for Italy’s Snaidero Cucine Udine.
“[Allen] pretty much helped me through the process of seeking an agent,” Jackson-Cartwright said. “He knows so much about what to look for in an agent, and also what to look for in a [playing] situation.”
But a move abroad also entails a ton of change, and Jackson-Cartwright readily acknowledges the challenges that will come not only in keeping up with his former Penn teammates, but also his younger brother, Parker.
Miles knows that Parker — an incoming freshman for Arizona ranked 57th in the ESPN 100 — will have his own challenges to face.
“I just told him to get ready for a whole new basketball experience,” Miles said. “The first thing I told him is that the honeymoon is over... I told him the first thing they’re going to do [at Arizona] is just be on him, day one.
“But he’s so ready, so motivated and there’s really not much else I can tell him.”
Now a bit removed from Penn basketball, Miles won’t make a definitive statement on what his class’ legacy for the program is just yet, but he has an optimistic view of the Quakers’ prospects in 2014-15, as the squad returns key wing Tony Hicks and center Darien Nelson-Henry.
“Everybody’s just really ready to prove that we’re not a function of the last season that we’ve had,” Miles said. “Everybody’s really motivated.”
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