The upstart National Rookie League seems to have paid off for its players -- at least for former Penn basketball stars, anyway. First, last year's Ivy League Player of the Year, Michael Jordan, was invited to play with the Philadelphia 76ers' team in the Shaw's Summer League in Boston in July. Then, Paul Romanczuk, the heart and soul of the 1999 Ivy champions, announced the fulfillment of his quest to play professionally. Romanczuk, who left a consulting job with Arthur Andresen earlier this year, has signed to play with a team in Calpe, Spain. "I couldn't be more happy," said Romanczuk, who left for Europe on August 15. "I'm trying to learn Spanish as quick as I can. I got some of those Olearn Spanish in 24 hours' CDs." But while Jordan started for the NRL's Force, Romanczuk was a role player off the bench who saw limited action. He and Calpe found each other through more than just the Force. "I've had a lot of different connections through coaches and my agent," Romanczuk said. "My uncle deals with a broker in Madrid who played for one of the top teams in Spain. "I sent the team he represents now a highlight tape of a few games I played at Penn, and then they offered me a contract." While Romanczuk gets to chase his dream, he's not giving up a great deal, money-wise. "I'll be making pretty much as much as I made at Arthur Andersen," Romanczuk said. "Obviously, I wanted to get as much money as I could. But, since I've been out of it for a year, everybody I talked to said I couldn't expect that much. So this is really good." Romanczuk's season starts on September 15 and could run as late as early April, and the 6'7" forward said he would use this year as a trial run. "If this is the only year that I play, fine," Romanczuk said. "If I like it, maybe I'll go back.Comments powered by Disqus
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