MEDINA — He’s already played professional basketball in France, Israel, Germany, Mexico and Bra-zil.
Argentina will be next for Medina High graduate Tony Stockman, who will earn a high five-figure salary when he leaves to play for a powerful Penarol Mar del Plata team in early September.
“This will be the best team I’ve been on,” the 6-foot-1, 190-pound guard said. “I’m moving up — and moving up in money, too. This is easily my best job so far.”
Penarol has won the FIBA Americas League four straight years and also captured the South American championship last season. The team is coached by Sergio Hernandez, who led Argen-tina to a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics.
Stockman, who also considered playing in Australia, latched on with the team thanks to new agent Gus Gorini, who also represents former Medina First Baptist (now Christian Academy) star Greg Lewis, an Akron native.
“My agent loves Hernandez,” the 29-year-old Stockman said. “He’s won five championships in the Argentina League.”
Stockman, the co-winner of Ohio’s 2000 Mr. Basket-ball award as a senior at Medina before going on to play two years at Clemson and two more at Ohio State, doesn’t know any of the players on his new team, but he is familiar with the area, having played in Brazil last season.
In fact, he could play against his former club if both qualify for the South American championships, an eight-team tournament that features the four best squads from Brazil and Argentina.
Another positive is that Stockman’s wife, Brittany, and the couple’s three young sons will join him in Argentina in early October and stay through the end of May.
“The city’s right on the beach and you can’t beat the weather,” Stockman said. “(Brittany) didn’t want to do that flight to Australia. When she found out it was on the beach, she was really excited about that.”
Until departing for Argentina, Stockman will stay in Medina and conduct personalized clinics at the high school each Sunday in August.
Girls will practice from 2 to 3 p.m., followed by boys from 3 to 4. Cost is $15 per session. For more informa-tion, e-mail email@example.com.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.