OKLA. CITY —
Will Reinke isn’t done playing basketball quite yet.
The former Oklahoma Christian standout, who thought he’d given up on ever again playing pro basketball, instead has signed with Gotha of the Germany Pro A League. He will report to the German team in early August.
Reinke’s pro career started last summer with Aires Trikala BC in Greece, but the 6-10 center from Lawton quickly left that squad and signed with CS Energia Rovinari of the Division A league in Romania. He ended up appearing in only six games for the Romanian team, averaging 6.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game. He left the squad last November.
Reinke said his agent contacted him about the possibility of playing in Germany and Reinke decided to give it a try. Gotha has an American coach, Chris Ensminger, who played collegiately at Valparaiso before embarking on a pro playing career in Europe.
“I’m very excited to get the chance to play for an American coach who also was an inside player,” Reinke said. “I think I will learn a lot from him and hopefully it will be a successful season. I am thankful for the opportunity to play and it should be a great experience.”
In a press release on the club’s website, Ensminger had high praise for Reinke.
“Will is an all-around solid player who fits in with our team concept,” Ensminger said. “His athleticism, his rebounding and his high understanding of the game are qualities we can really use at the center position. I look forward to working with him.”
Gotha finished 17-13 last season, good for seventh place in the 16-team Pro A League, the second-highest level of pro hoops in Germany behind the well-known Bundesliga. Every year, the top two teams in the Pro A League move into the Bundesliga while the bottom two Bundesliga teams are relegated into the Pro A League.
Reinke, who had a pre-draft workout with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013 before embarking on his pro career, is the latest in a long line of former Oklahoma Christian standouts who have played professionally overseas. That list includes Cory Cole, Brad Wedel, John Nottley, Fred Garcia, Brandon Kephart, Jon Jonnson, Michael Hill, Jacques Vandescure, Keith Harris, Lionel Saban, Casimiro Laguna and, most recently, Jarred Merrill, who retired from professional hoops in 2011.
Reinke was the most dominant post player in the NCAA Division II Heartland Conference during the 2012-13 season, averaging 19.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.6 blocked shots and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 58.4 percent from the field and 76.1 percent from the free-throw line. He led the Eagles to a 19-12 record and a berth in the National Christian College Athletic Association championship game.
In just three seasons with the Eagles, Reinke scored 1,527 points, good for 20th on OC’s career list. His 220 blocks ranked him second on the Eagles’ career list in that category.