Former SMU basketball player keeping the dream alive overseas

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

DALLAS - A year ago, Mylo Luttman was playing for SMU. Last month, he was playing professionally in Iceland. Next week, he'll be doing the same in Spain.

"There are definitely times when it can be very daunting to think about, 'Well, my life is in this bag, and wherever I put that bag is my home,'" Luttman said. "But there's also a wonderful freedom."

Luttman is just beginning his life as a professional basketball player playing overseas, and he's one of the lucky ones. Luttman is doing it because he wants to, not because he has to.

"I'm definitely rare in that I have my degree, and for me it's a dream and something to follow, but I'm not wrapped up in the hoop dreams thing," he said. "For me, it's just an experience that I really, really wanted, not really, really needed, and I'm very lucky because of that."

According to the web site, usbasket.com, more than 6,700 Americans are playing basketball somewhere overseas, and that's just in the last five years. It's a much more viable option now than it's ever been.

"It's a great opportunity, because it's gotten bigger," said SMU assistant coach Jerry Hobbie. "I think there's more opportunity to make money overseas."

Hobbie played in Nottingham, England, for two seasons in the mid-1980's. SMU's Director of Operations, and former player, Gerald Lewis played six years in Croatia in the late-1990's.

"Today, in this day and age, the experience is greater, even - you don't get homesick," Lewis said. "You don't get lonely. You have Skype, you have all these different media outlets and internet outlets to get yourself back home."

As a five-time all star, Lewis had stability, something that Luttman says is not the norm.

"The running theme for most European players is, one day you can be in one country playing, and the next day you can be in another country playing," he said.

But no matter where it is, it's still basketball.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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