In the weeks after the NCAA tournament, Tyler Griffey allowed himself to experience life as a regular college kid for the first time during his time at Illinois.
“I kind of got away from basketball and enjoyed myself for a little bit,” the former Illinois forward said.
Griffey wasn’t sure if he had played his last competitive game of hoops in that loss to Miami. He considered attending graduate school or physical therapy school and didn’t think much about a professional basketball career.
But during the graduation process, the 6-foot-9 Griffey decided he wanted to give basketball another whirl.
“I stayed in shape after the season and decided I wanted to try to play while I still could just for a couple of years and see how it goes,” Griffey said.
Griffey signed with Ohio-based agent David Saltzman, who represents former Michigan guard Stu Douglass, and is in the process of figuring out where he’ll end up playing next season.
“A real low-profile guy, doesn’t have too many clients, and that’s what I was looking for; I didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle with guys who have bigger clients,” Griffey said. “Stu really liked him, and I went ahead with that. He’s been great so far. It’s still early in the process, but we’re confident I’ll be able to get something.”
Though he won’t end up in the NBA, Griffey was invited to a workout with the Brooklyn Nets last week.
“They had one guy drop out and I got the call, so I got to go out there. It was on short notice, but I’m happy I got to do it,” he said.
While working out with the Nets, Griffey spent some time with former Illini Deron Williams, Brooklyn’s All-Star point guard.
“It was good. He was working out when we were there, too,” Griffey said. “He was going real hard. Nisar Qureshi, one of our head managers, is interning up there, so it was all three of us Illini grads hanging around talking.
“It was unbelievable. I got to meet Jason Kidd, got to hang out with Deron a little bit. I talked to other teams. It was a real good experience.”
More than likely, Griffey will land a pro basketball gig overseas, possibly in a European league.
“I love traveling and getting around,” he said. “I don’t really see myself living in Europe (long term), but it will be good to get away from America for a while when I still can. I’ve been over there seven times, so I know I can do it.”