"Have basketball will travel."

That's sort of the philosophy that Winchester's Erick Green has adopted about his professional playing career.

And for the well-traveled former Millbrook High School star, his sojourns will take him to uncharted territory later this year — China.

Green, 28, confirmed Friday that he has recently signed a one-year deal to play for the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

"I'm almost done with my second passport," Green said with a chuckle when asked about his basketball travels during a phone interview on Friday. "I've been all over the world."

Green, who has had stints with several European teams including Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul this past season, will make his first trip to Asia to play professionally.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Green, who also had short NBA stints with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. "It's a new adventure. It's something new for me."

Green said that the deal with the Chinese club, which is limited to no more than two American players on its roster, is for "seven figures." Aside from the lucrative contract, he likes some other benefits of the league.

"They reached out to my agent and we settled on a nice deal," Green said. "It's a six-month season, so it's a shorter season than Europe which is always good. It's a chance to try something new and make a mark out in China."

Green joins a team which finished seventh in the 20-team CBA. The Sturgeons, 27-19 during the regular, season lost 3-2 in the opening round of the league playoffs against the second-seeded Liaoning Flying Leopards.

"It's a big league, a very up-and-coming league over there," Green said. "I have a lot of friends and former NBA players who go over there and play. It sounds like a great league and it's a good team I'm on.

"Malcolm Delaney (Virginia Tech) was just over there last year playing. I have a friend Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State) who has been over there for three or four years. Those guys love it. They make a lot of money. They get to come home earlier and relax and chill with their families."

Green expects certainly he will have a different role than he had last season for Fenerbahce. He averaged 6.8 points per game, the fewest of any of his four pro seasons in Europe, as a reserve.

It was tough seeing limited minutes for someone who is recognized for his scoring ability. He led all of Division I as a senior at Virginia Tech with a 25-point scoring average and is an outstanding shooter, both inside and outside the three-point arc.

"In China, Americans are supposed to score the ball a lot and be the focus player," he said. "Our job is to score the ball, make plays and carry the team.

"It will be great to be able to go do what I love to do, to be able to play my game and not have someone to hold me back," he added. "It definitely feels good to be able to do that and to go out and make some noise in China."

Green says he'll leave for China in late August in preparation for the CBA season, which begins in October. The regular season ends in March, with the playoffs starting afterwards.

The 6-foot-3 guard is happy to have his decision made well before the start of the season. Last year, he joined Fenerbahce a couple of games after league play had started.

"It feels great. Now I don't have to stress as much," he said of his signing. "I can just enjoy the time with my family and friends. Take some vacations, just enjoy and stay healthy before the next season starts."

All of the time won't be relaxing as he works himself back into shape from an injury. Green suffered a strained Achilles tendon, his first major injury as a pro, in the playoffs.

"I'm finally back on the court, playing and working out," Green said. "I'm still not 100 percent, but I should be good and back playing at 100 percent before the season starts."

The Sturgeons are based in the Jinjiang, a city in the province of Fujian. Green says he doesn't know much about where he's headed, but it sounds great.

"I think we're like an hour away from Hong Kong," Green said. "They said where I'm at, it's like 90 percent I'm in shorts and a T-shirt and it's sunny. I'm happy about that."

And, he's ready to add another destination on that passport.

"I've heard great things about it," Green said. "It's definitely different. You're in a different world over there. You have to get used to the culture and adjust pretty quickly."

He's gotten pretty good at adapting.

"I've been everywhere, man," Green said. "There's nothing that you can throw at me or I haven't seen. I will be prepared for it."

— Contact Walt Moody at

wmoody@winchesterstar.com

Follow on Twitter @WinStarSports1

(1) comment

Conservative

Why does the Chinese league limit the teams to 2 American players? Sounds pretty racist to me. I look forward to the imminent failure of their economy which is based on intellectual property stolen from the USA.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.