Clarion Grad Andrews Signs Pro Hoops Contract with Team in Ireland

PIKESVILLE, Md. (EYT) – A 1 a.m. phone call in March 2013 changed BJ Andrews life.

(BJ Andrews singing his pro contract with the Kubs of Dublin, Ireland)

Andrews, a recent graduate of Clarion University, was a senior at McDonogh High School wanting to play college school basketball.

Long-time Clarion assistant coach Al Modrejewski had a relationship with Andrews’ high school coach Donta Evans and got Andrews’ number from Evans.

Modrejewski was out recruiting in Danville, Ill., and it was after midnight but he figured why not call and leave a message.

Andrews, though, picked up the phone and the two talked for over an hour.

One thing led to another and Andrews was soon a Golden Eagle. He turned out to be a great one too, scoring 1,285 points, the 13th most in school history.

And now Andrews gets to take his game to the next level after signing a contract Tuesday night to play for the Kubs Basketball Club in Dublin, Ireland, a team that plays in the highest level of basketball in Ireland.

“I just signed the contract about three hours ago,” Andrews told exploreClarion Tuesday night. “I talked to all of my coaches and let them know and thanked them for the opportunity. I’m probably heading over there in the next seven to 10 days.”

BJ Andrews at Kentucky

Modrejewski was one of Andrews’ first calls.

“Coach Al is my guy,” Andrews said. “That has been my guy since Day One. Once I got the deal, I called him. We were laughing. Four years ago he was in Illinois and called me at 1 a.m. He wasn’t expecting me to pick up, and I picked up and we talked for an hour. He has been my guy since the first day of my freshman year to the last day of my senior year when he was taking pictures with me in my cap and gown. That bond is something that will never be broken. I thanked him wholeheartedly for opening the door and turning and 18-year old boy from Baltimore into a man. We will always have a special relationship.”

Andrews said he realized during his time at Clarion that he wanted to play professional basketball, and Clarion head coach Marcus Williams, who coached Andrews his final three years at the school, sat down with him at the end of the year.

“Coach Will and I sat down and weighed my options,” Andrews said. “I was working hard in the gym and went to a couple of overseas showcase camps. But I didn’t really hear anything from those camps.

“At that point, I actually have a friend who played in Ireland in a lower league who is now working at a company that is doing tours for teams and said he had some connections. I sent my resume and my highlight tape, and the Kubs basketball team’s General Manager reached out to me and said he loved my highlight tape, my resume and that I was a guard who can score the ball. We Skyped for an hour-and-a-half on Sunday. He offered me a contract, and I talked to the coach, who said they are really excited to put the ball in my hands. It was kind of a no brainer to accept it. The Super League, which the Kubs play in, is the highest level in Ireland.”

Andrews said he wants to help the Kubs win.

“I definitely want to win,” Andrews said. “That is the main goal. The Kubs have been in the Super League the last few years and have struggled to win. The Americans they have had have been older guys. This is the first time they will have a younger guy coming in. I want to help them win and showcase my ability to play both sides of the ball, rebound, score and play defense. I want to showcase my talents and maybe get a chance to play at higher-level league next year.”

Andrews pointed out that his former teammates at Clarion – Tim Gill (Spain last year and England this year) and Rob Agurs (Italy) – who signed professionals contracts after the 2015-16 season as helping to open the door for him signing a pro contract.

“Man they kind of opened the door,” Andrews said. “I knew after my senior season my stats would be at a place where I could test the waters. I knew I would have enough film to put together a solid highlight tape and agents would be willing to help test the waters for me. Those guys kind of opened the door for me. Without them, I wouldn’t know how to go about the process. I want to do the same thing for guys like Cameron Grumley and Brandon Williams (current Golden Eagles) the next couple of years.”

His time at Clarion was very important in his development as a basketball player and as a person.

“I think Clarion helped me grow as a man,” Andrews said. “Coach (Ron) Righter, the things he taught me my freshman year were so important. I kind of learned the ins and outs of managing college basketball, classes and workouts. When Coach Will got there my sophomore year, it really taught me how to work hard. Obviously, I knew I had talent coming (into college). But they really pushed me to a level I didn’t think I could get to.”

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