HARROGATE, Tenn. — Former Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball standout Lorenza Ross (Savannah, Ga.) has signed a professional contract with Starwings Basket Regio Basel of Switzerland’s Pro-A league (LNA). It was announced via EuroBasket.com.
Ross joins an illustrious group of former Railsplitters to sign a professional contract, following most recently in the footsteps of Vincent Bailey (2014), who played this past season with SC Rasta Vechta in Germany’s Pro-A league. D’Mario Curry (2011) and Desmond Johnson (2012) represent the first two players of Josh Schertz’s tenure to take their talents overseas.
“Lorenza is the epitome of a guy who it’s hard to look at a stat sheet and have an appreciation for what he does,” said LMU head men’s basketball coach Josh Schertz. “He just impacts winning. He was the base, the starting point for everything we did at both ends of the court. Accolades were spread around, but none of what we have accomplished over the last few years would have been possible without him.”
Starwings Basket Regio Basel is based in Basel, Switzerland, the third-most populous city in Switzerland with a population of around 195,000. Sitting right alongside the river Rhine, Basel is located where the Swiss, French and German borders collide in the northwest portion of Switzerland.
Starwings Basket Regio Basel finished with a 4-6 record last season in the Swiss Pro-A league, which is composed of eight total teams. Starwings missed out on the playoffs but avoided relegation with their fifth-place finish.
Behind Ross, the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and a Division II Bulletin All-American, the Railsplitters put together arguably the most accomplished season in SAC and program history. Lincoln Memorial went 30-3, breaking the league’s single-season record for wins and winning percentage while matching LMU’s 1976-77 team for the most wins in program history.
The Railsplitters became the first team in SAC history to win three consecutive outright regular season championships, finishing eight games ahead of the three teams tied for second place with a ridiculous 21-1 SAC record.
The Railsplitters went on to host the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional for the first time in program history, advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive season. Lincoln Memorial started the season with 20 straight wins – the second-longest winning streak in SAC history – and spent two weeks ranked No.1 in the nation.
Ross was the engine that made the Railsplitters’ beautiful offensive machine go, as he handled the rock for nearly every minute of his team-leading 1,079 minutes played. Ross finished averaging 12.2 points, 5.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game, shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 46.4 percent from three-point range.
With Ross setting the pace, the Railsplitters finished 18th in the nation and first in the SAC in field goal percentage with a 49.4 percent mark. The Railsplitters compiled the nation’s seventh-best three-point field goal percentage offense (41.5 percent).
The Savannah, Ga. native completed his tenure in the blue and gray ranked second in career games played (122), second in minutes played (3,298), fourth in assists (441) and ninth in assist average (3.6). He is ranked 20th in career points with 1,143.
More importantly, the Railsplitters went 109-18 in Ross’s four-year stay, racking up three SAC regular season titles, one tournament championship and four NCAA tourney appearances. He, along with fellow seniors Keenan Peterson (College Park, Ga.) and C.J. Wakeley (Alachua, Fla.), is the winningest player in school and league history.