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Former SUNY Poly, Whitesboro basketball standout Gregory signs professional contract with team in Austria

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WHITESBORO, N.Y. - Josh Gregory has worked for a long time and spent countless hours around local gyms to one day be able to call himself a professional basketball player.

Now, his wait is over.

The SUNY Poly and Whitesboro grad has signed his first professional contract with UBSC Raiffeisen Graz of the Austrian Basketball Bundesliga, the top pro league in Austria.

"[I'm] super excited," Gregory told NEWSChannel 2. "It's something I've been working for ever since I got seriously into basketball, and I've never had a Plan B, so I'm full in for it."

After graduating from SUNY Poly this past spring, Gregory signed an agent. From there he played in a showcase camp out in Las Vegas in July, where representatives from UBSC Graz were attending.

He said that team staff members were there because one of their players from last season was attending, and was actually teammates with him during the camp.

After getting to know some of the team's contingent there, he returned home where, soon after, he received an offer from the team through email.

Needless to say, he happily accepted.

"[It didn't] feel real at first, but now that I've had a couple of days to kind of let it sink in, it's amazing," said Gregory. "I can't describe it. It just shows that all of the hard work has paid off."

The 6'8" forward finished up his fifth and final season for SUNY Poly this past winter, and was named the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Player of the Year, after averaging 21.4 points per game on 50.9% shooting, as well as, collecting 9.3 rebounds per contest.

In 109 total games in a Wildcats uniform, Gregory scored 1,891 career points, an average of 17.3 points per game, while shooting 47.8 % from the field, and hauling in 8.3 rebounds per game.

He was a three-time conference first team selection during his collegiate career, after a stellar high school career at Whitesboro, where he was a Tri-Valley League first team and Class A All-State selection.

"I've been here my whole life, surrounded myself with great people and they just always kept me level and always pushed me to be my best," said Gregory of growing up in the Mohawk Valley. "Not having to go explore somewhere, like I will be going soon, where I have to figure out the whole life aspect, I could just focus on basketball and focus on getting better every single day.

"Being around those people who push me to be my best, it just took me to new limits I didn't even know existed."

As of now, Gregory is the only American on his new team's roster. Being in an entirely new country overseas, it'll be his first extended time away from home, and he knows it may be an adjustment at first.

However, as nerve-racking this move may be at first, it's a challenge that he gladly accepts.

"I'm going to miss my closest family and friends, and I'll obviously stay in touch with everyone while I am over there," he said. "But this is something that I've wanted to do for so long. I'm locked in for it and ready to go. I don't think anything could've taken me away from it."

Gregory's contract begins on September 1, and so he will head to Austria around the end of the month for training camp.

The regular season for the Austrian Basketball Bundesliga begins in October.

"Now that it's actually happening, it's kind of surreal and it won't hit me until I'm actually over there," he said. "But I'm super excited for it."