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Former Oklahoma Sooner Andrew Fitzgerald Signs Pro Basketball Contract

Sometimes the easiest route is not always the best route. Through much adversity, Andrew Fitzgerald has found his way and inked his name on a professional basketball contract.

Jamie Squire

From the time Andrew Fitzgerald stepped onto court at the high school level, adversity found him. Playing at four different schools before finally signing with the Oklahoma Sooners in 2009, Fitz found himself garnering much attention. Averaging 22 points and 8 rebounds per game, he was ranked No. 68 in the 2009 class and found himself as the No. 9 center. However, adversity dogged Fitzgerald during his four year stay at Oklahoma.

During Fitzgerald's freshman year, minutes were limited as he quickly found out just how tough the Big 12 Conference was. In order to compete at the same level as his competitors, it was necessary to shed a few pounds...and so began the hard work. At 270, Fitz worked on his game adding a mid-range jump shot to the mix. Much to his delight, the more work was put in at the gym working on his game, the more weight that was lost until Fitzgerald suited up at 6-8 238 allowing him to run the floor more effectively.

The following season Fitz became a staple of the Oklahoma offense, averaging double-digit scoring and attaining the stability he had longed for throughout his career. That was until the NCAA handed the Sooners a list of infractions while forcing sanctions upon the program coupled with the firing of Jeff Capel in 2011.

Deciding to stick it out, Fitz once again averaged double figures in scoring and started every game under the direction of Lon Kruger. Due to recruiting and transfers, Fitzgerald was placed in a rotation as he lost his starting job for the first time in two years as complication to this man's career struck yet again. But, through it all, Fitzgerald remained true to himself and displayed his work ethic as well as his team mentality.

After graduation, a handful of Sooners, including Sam Grooms and Fitz, signed with Higher Level Sports Agency in pursuit of a career in basketball. With so few spots in the NBA Draft, it came as no surprise that Fitzgerald remained undrafted and would go on as an unrestricted free agent. Through the adversity and complications, Fitzgerald has finally signed a professional contract to play on the next level in Poland.

Hard work and dedication continues to pay off. Congrats Fitz on the signing!