Former University of Illinois point guard Dee Brown signed a one-year contract with Banca Tercas Teramo in Italy on Thursday.
Brown spent last preseason with the Dallas Mavericks before being waived in October. He played four months in China and finally played 15 games in Puerto Rico. He left Puerto Rico before the end of the season to return to Chicago for family medical reasons. Brown previously played in Italy for Air Avellino in 2010.
"I signed with Teramo pretty much because they were going to make me the focal point of the team," Brown said. "I'm the first person they're going to sign and will build the team around me."
Heading into this summer, Brown was concerned where he would end up due to the NBA lockout. With NBA players like his friend and former Illinois teammate Deron Williams choosing to play overseas, Brown understands there are less spots for players like himself.
"I was super worried," Brown said. "Teams want players who played in the NBA last year. The market is shrinking."
Brown is still optimistic he can return to the NBA. He was drafted by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2006 draft and played the 2006-2007 season there. He also played for the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns during the 2008-2009 season.
"I just think I need the right situation, right team," Brown said of the NBA. "I've been watching a lot of my games. When I watch it, my game has matured, my game has developed. Am I still in a position to get back?
"I think so. I'm going to go over there and continue to work on my game and hopefully get a chance. If not, I'm going to continue playing basketball for a living."
Brown has been spending these days on the basketball court as well as the recording studio. On Aug. 5, Brown will release his third mix tape album, "New Hobby." His first two mix tapes were only available underground, but this one will be available for the general public.
He plans on holding a couple release parties and signing events in the coming weeks.
"I've been doing it since I was 14," Brown said. "I've been recording for five years. I've recorded all over the world. A lot of guys plays golf. I just need that outlet. Basketball will take over your life. Music is that outlet."
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.