OJ Mayo has FIBA clearance, interested in playing abroad in the fall

OJ Mayo has FIBA clearance, interested in playing abroad in the fall


OJ Mayo has FIBA clearance, interested in playing abroad in the fall

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Even though OJ Mayo was banned from the NBA for two seasons due to a failed drug test, he is able to play overseas in the fall if a team decides to sign him.

According to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, Mayo is eligible and may consider playing abroad (via SI.com):

He didn’t receive FIBA clearance until November 2016, and he hadn’t previously put any thought into playing internationally anyway … He’s interested in playing in China, Spain or Israel this fall, but he hasn’t yet fielded any offers.

Longtime coach Dwaine Barnes helped Mayo decide to not play at any level last season to “get his stuff together,” but it was the first time in more than 20 years he was not on a competitive court.

However, earlier this summer, Mayo said he ran into Milwaukee Bucks forward Tony Snell and Memphis Grizzlies forward James Ennis. They were working out with fitness coach Chris Johnson and trainer Travelle Gaines. He promised commitment if he could work out with the group.

Mayo is on a “zero-tolerance policy” and often worked to exhaustion with intense skill work and weightlifting sessions. He has given up alcohol and has been completely sober for three months. Mayo, who said he was fed up with his lifestyle, is also now a vegan.

The report says he looked impressive while playing against Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, Taj Gibson, Victor Oladipo and more:

During the games, Mayo looked steady and quick on his feet, crossing over behind his back for pull-up jumpers and slashing through the paint for floaters. He played quietly and left by himself. “O.J. is the best story in here,” Johnson said afterwards. “He’s fighting hard to clear his name.”

Still signed to the Landmark Sports agency, Mayo says if he does not go abroad, he can train with Johnson and Gaines in Minnesota (where both will live and work with Butler during the upcoming season).

He will be eligible to apply for NBA reinstatement on July 1, 2018. He would become an unrestricted free agent, but hopes to eventually rejoin the Bucks if he can rejuvenate his image and performance.

Mayo says he had great relationships with head coach Jason Kidd as well as top players on the team including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. He feels he owes it to Milwaukee to contribute at a high level after his sub-par performances for the organization prior to the suspension.

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