NEW YORK (JTA) — An American high schooler signed a contract to play professionally for an Israeli basketball team next season.
Jeremy Tyler on Wednesday became the first basketball player to turn pro by playing for a team overseas before graduating from high school, according to reports.
The 18-year-old from San Diego will play for the Maccabi Haifa Heat and reportedly will earn an annual salary of $140,000.
"I think I made the right decision," he was quoted by The Associated Press as saying Wednesday evening. "I think this team is a good fit for me and it’s the right country."
The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Tyler announced in the spring that he was skipping his last season at San Diego High School because the basketball had become "boring."
Maccabi Haifa Heat is owned by American businessman Jeffrey Rosen, who in recent years has invested large sums of money to turn the franchise into a powerhouse and challenge Maccabi Tel Aviv’s dominance.