McCallum’s agent hopes his scoring spices up in Switzerland


Senior forward Tre’Darius McCallum (Photo Courtesy of DePaul Athletics)

The newest member of the Swiss Basketball League-affiliated Pully Lausanne Foxes will bring Chicago flavor to the lakeside suburb of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Even though it’s an Americanized city with Subways and McDonald’s dotting the streets, maybe former DePaul Blue Demon forward Tre’Darius McCallum could bring over some more American culture in the form of Giordano’s pizza to endear himself to his new teammates. With or without the pizza, he will bring a professional basketball ready makeup to his new team when he boards his plane and makes the 4,384-mile journey from the Windy City to Lausanne.

“Obviously, we do our background research and kind of touch base with several people who knew him both as a player and a person and he’s exactly the guy we look for,” McCallum’s agent Adam Godes of ADS Sports Management said via a phone interview Friday. “Both a great guy on and off the court, he obviously had a good career at DePaul but a guy that in an expanded offensive role I think is going to flourish and show what he can do as a pro. I think he has a lot of upside as a basketball player, but I think he also more importantly is a very good person.”

McCallum, a two-year starter at power forward for DePaul, recently signed a professional contract to join Pully Lausanne for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. Prior to his tenure with the Blue Demons, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. native made two Junior College stops at Sheridan College in Wyoming and Indian Hills Community College in Iowa.

Now it’s off to a place half way around the world. Pully Lausanne is one of 12 teams that plays in the Swiss Basketball League which is the top-tier basketball league in Switzerland. McCallum leaves for Switzerland Aug. 20 and he told that this will be the first time he has ever been out of the country.

An athletic forward with some shooting range, McCallum averaged 9.9 points on 45 percent from the field and 6.3 rebounds in 63 games in a Blue Demon uniform. His rebounding and toughness stood out during his time at DePaul. But in order to become the do-it-all Swiss Army knife (pun intended) NBA teams covet, he’ll have to improve his shooting. He shot 28.2 percent from 3-point land on less than three attempts per game during his Blue Demon career which may not cut it either percentage or volume wise at this next level.

“I think it’s important to continue to show his versatility as a combo forward type,” Godes said about his client. “I think ultimately his value will be highest at the three spot so we want to keep developing him offensively where teams view him as a three that can play the four or maybe even a little bit of two as well. Continuing to expand his perimeter game and showing that he can stretch the floor and improve upon his shot from deep will help to improve his value and stock around the world.”

In his first season with DePaul, he was a third option offensively behind star guards Eli Cain and Billy Garrett. Last season, he was “demoted” to the fourth scoring option behind Cain and newcomers Marin Maric and Max Strus. Part of the strategy of sending him to Switzerland to play was giving him a chance to be a go-to option offensively in his first year as a pro instead of wasting away on a bench elsewhere (the Swiss Basketball League was not listed in a Jan. 17 ESPN article that ranked the top 12 non-NBA basketball leagues in the world).

However, Pully Lausanne had four players that averaged double-digit scoring last season, so he’s not going to warrant the keys to the offense by default. But that’s okay, he’s used to competing for attention with his teammates. McCallum didn’t lead his high school team in scoring his senior year at St. James High School in Myrtle Beach. He grinded through two years of JUCO ball before filling a sidekick role next to stars in his two years at DePaul.

He’s thrived as a second fiddle scoring option, but his agent now thinks that he’s ready to spread his wings.

“I preach to the guys that you don’t want to go somewhere where you are playing five minutes a game because that limits your upside in future seasons,” Godes said. “How they move up ranks is by putting up numbers. I think this is a good opportunity to start his career and really give him a good opportunity to jump up in levels the following season and really expand on his future financial earnings and his potential as well.”