Woodside to play basketball in France

Published 8:36 am Thursday, August 13, 2009

Albert Lea High School graduate and North Dakota State basketball standout Ben Woodside will play basketball in France.

The Fargo Forum reported Wednesday Woodside signed a contract to play professionally with BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque. BCM stands for Basketball Club Maritime. The team is based in Gravelines, France, a city on the English Channel about 20 miles west of Dunkirk. The team finished sixth last season in its 16-team league — the highest basketball league in France.

Woodside, the all-time leading scorer for ALHS and NDSU, leaves Saturday for training camp and is expected to start as the team’s point guard. He did not disclose his salary to the Forum but said an option is open until early September to sign with another team.

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The 5-foot-10 inch athlete who could be found shooting buckets until dusk at Valley Park in Albert Lea as a boy went undrafted in late June in the NBA draft in New York. He said he hadn’t expected to be drafted, though he had worked out for 10 teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He also sought attention at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in July 10. Signing with BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque ends Woodside’s bid to play in the NBA. The team’s first game is Oct. 3.

The NDSU Bison caught national attention in March when made the NCAA tournament in its first season of eligibility for Div. I postseason play. Teammate Brett Winkelman of Morris in July signed with Edimes Pavia in Italy. Mike Nelson of Madison, Wis., likely will play professionally in another country, too.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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