Aug. 19, 2008
Northridge, Calif. - Shortly after the end of the 2007-08 basketball season, three of the four outstanding graduating senior members of the Big West champion Cal State Northridge basketball team were weighing their options to play professional basketball overseas.
Calvin Chitwood, Jonathan Heard and Jayme Miller all had several offers to play professionally, and now all three have made their decisions. Chitwood, Heard and Miller are packing their suitcases and getting their passports in order to begin their new journey to different parts of the world.
Chitwood had several offers to play in Europe, but has spurned those offers to play professionally in Japan. Chitwood will play for Niigata Albirex BB. Chitwood, who was a four-year starter, and ended his career as the school's No. 10 all-time leading scorer (1,170 points), says he is excited to continue his basketball career where basketball is growing in popularity.
"I am just truly blessed and honored to play basketball in Japan," said Chitwood. "To have the opportunity to play basketball overseas will be a fun and exciting experience. A lot of players don't get the opportunity to continue their careers after college. I'm just truly blessed to have this opportunity."
Chitwood says pre-season games will begin in September. The regular season starts in mid-October and extends until late April. His new team chalked up a 26-17 record last year, and will be a top contender for championship honors in 2008-09.
Heard, who ended his four-year Matador career as the school's No. 3 all-time leading scorer (1,362 points) and No. 9 all-time rebounder (534), has signed a contract to play professionally for Team LoKoKo in Finland. Jayme Miller, who started all 30 games in 2007-08, and provided strength and leadership during his senior season, will be playing professionally for Aris Friesland (Holland) in the Dutch Professional League
"Jayme's very excited and so are we," said Miller's mother, Tracy Ross. "He will be leaving this Sunday, August 24th. Regular season play ends in April, 2009. Then the playoffs begin. He will get to come home for a short visit for Christmas."
Chitwood, Heard and Miller each played a major role in helping Cal State Northridge to a 20-10 overall record and a share of the Big West title with a 12-4 mark during the 2007-08 campaign. Heard gained first team All-Big West honors. Chitwood was accorded Honorable Mention All-League status, while Miller was the winner of the Pete Cassidy Coaches Award.
This trio of seniors combined to play 295 games, score 2,943 points and grab 1,267 rebounds during their Matador careers.