Ex-Lions' star signs to play in Denmark

Nicole Ballestero, the NAIA Player of the Year as a senior for the Vanguard University women's basketball team last season, has signed to play professionally for the Aabyhoj Club team in Denmark's top pro league.

The team's sixth-month season runs from October to March and Ballestero is scheduled to leave for Europe on Aug. 19.

"I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to further my basketball career," Ballestero, a first-team All-American in 2013 and 2014, said in a statement released by the school. "I am excited to experience another culture and travel the world while doing something that I love. Being at Vanguard these past two years has prepared me to be able to handle this new culture and to compete at the professional level. I have been told that our [Aabyhoj] team's goal next year is to develop our young players into national team players and players that can play college basketball, in the states."

The 2013-14 Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year was second in the nation in scoring (23 points per game), seventh in free-throw percentage (.843) and scoring (666 points), ninth in three-point accuracy (43.8%), and 10th in three-pointers made per game (2.8).

Her 53 points in a March 7 game against Hope International were a school single-game record. She scored at least 30 points seven times as a senior and scored at least 20 in 17 contests.

The Aabyhoj roster consists primarily of players born in 1994 and 1995, making it the youngest team in the Dameligaen. It is known for its aggressive style that includes full-court-pressure defense and an accelerated offensive tempo.

— From staff reports

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