Former NBA star Kemp agrees to play basketball in Italy

Updated: August 18, 2008, 3:01 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

If more current players flee the NBA for Europe, they will see a familiar face.

The Italian team Premiata Montegranaro announced on Sunday that 38-year-old Shawn Kemp has agreed to play for the team starting in November.

"I am happy that a player that has made basketball history would come to Montegranaro," coach Alessandro Finelli said.

Finelli believed that the six-time NBA All-Star, who last played in the NBA in 2002-03, could still contribute.

"He is very motivated," Finelli said. "And he has been staying in shape to show up at our camp in good shape."

Kemp averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds over 14 NBA seasons. He played eight years with Seattle, three with Cleveland, two with Portland and finished with one season in Orlando.

Finelli did not know, however, if Kemp would be the key to the season for the Premiata, which plays in the top division of Italian basketball.

"We will discover with work in the gym if he will be a key player for our team," Finelli said. "Now, it's too soon to say that."

Kemp has flirted with attempting a comeback in the NBA many times since his last season in the league, working out for a number of teams but not sticking with any of them.