Cody Riley heads to Slovenia after men’s basketball career at UCLA

Another departing Bruin has put pen to paper and will head overseas to begin his professional career.

UCLA men’s basketball alumnus Cody Riley will travel to Slovenia for the upcoming Liga Nova KBM season. The five-year-old former striker has signed with KK Rogaska for the 2022-23 campaign, the team announced on August 17.

Riley will join forwards Urban Durnik, Ivan Milicevic and center Luka Kraljevic in the frontcourt for coach Peter Markovinovič. This will be Markovinovič’s first season as head coach of Rogaska.

Former Chatanooga goaltender David Jean-Baptiste will also begin his professional career with Rogaska. The 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 14.3 points per game in his final season of Division I basketball.

The Bruins’ outgoing class of players from 2022 have now all signed professional contracts around the world. In addition to Riley joining Rogaska, Peyton Watson plays for the Denver Nuggets, Jules Bernard for the Detroit Pistons and their G-League team, Motor City Cruise, and Johnny Juzang will go for the Utah Jazz and their G-League team, the Salt Lake City Stars.

Standing at 6-foot-9, Riley has played most of his time as the only big at UCLA, but he’ll likely transition into a more traditional power forward role in Slovenia.

The 24-year-old big man made his impact at Westwood from 2018 through 2022. Riley averaged 7.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.4 blocks per game in the during the four seasons he played for the Bruins.

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Riley spent his freshman year at UCLA as he was suspended for a 2017 shoplifting incident in China that also involved Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball. He was a regular fixture on the rotation a year later, however, and he was able to become a consistent contributor for the rest of his college career.

In 2021, former product Sierra Canyon (CA) played a major role in UCLA’s Final Four race. Facing Michigan’s Hunter Dickenson and Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Riley made it tough for his taller opponents.

Coach Mick Cronin brought Myles Johnson into the fold through the transfer portal the following offseason. The introduction of the 6-foot-10 big man, along with an MCL sprain for Riley in the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield, limited the veteran’s playing time on the hardwood in his final season. wearing blue and gold.

During this 2022 campaign, Riley has averaged 7.3 points on 46.2% shooting, 3.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.4 blocks per game.

Riley joins former UCLA teammates Thomas Welsh, Gyorgy Goloman, Alex Olesinski, Prince Ali and Jaylen Hands in playing professional basketball outside the United States since 2017.

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