Basketball Pargo's Israeli Adventure Comes to a Grizzly End

Jeremy Pargo joins an increasing list of players who have made Maccabi Tel Aviv a stepping stone to the NBA, by signing a two-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Jerry Mittleman
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Jerry Mittleman

Jeremy Pargo joined an increasing list of players who have made Maccabi Tel Aviv a stepping stone to the NBA when he signed a two-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. At present, the Grizzlies only have 11 players under contract, so it's almost certain that the former Maccabi star, 25, will be on their opening day roster.

The 1.88-meter Chicago native took a big risk by refusing to re-sign with coach David Blatt's team this summer, in the belief that his time to make to the NBA had finally arrived. It was only after it was clear that Pargo would not be returning to Israel that Maccabi decided to turn to Jordan Farmar.

Jeremy PargoCredit: Seffi Magriso

Spurs in pursuit

Pargo was hotly pursued by the San Antonio Spurs before the onset of the NBA lock-out and later by several other teams.

Undrafted after graduating from Gonzaga University three years ago, Pargo has established a reputation for himself during two highly successful seasons in Israel.

The 2010-11 season was a breakout year for Pargo, with him averaging 13 points a contest for Maccabi. He was named to the second Euroleague All-Star squad and was a key factor in helping his team reach the Euroleague title game.

The Grizzlies have had Pargo in their camp on several past occasions. It's no surprise that Memphis was his final destination since Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace is a longtime Israel admirer and close observer of the local basketball scene.

Pargo's ability to play both guard positions, quickness in driving to the basket as well as scoring from outside, plus his high energy on offense and defense, gives him a good opportunity to become a viable NBA role player.

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