ABA

Garrick Averett played eight games with the Bennington Martens of the ABA during the 2021-2022 season. Averett has since signed with professional sports agency Baseline Sports in hopes of signing a professional contract.

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Garrick Averett’s dream has always been to be a professional basketball player. Today, he’s one step closer thanks to his hard work, dedication and the opportunity given to him by the Bennington Martens.

Averett was named as a Martens captain this fall during their inaugural season competing in the American Basketball Association (ABA), a semi professional basketball league.

The former guard lit up the competition in eight games, averaging north of 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game.

Those numbers, along with Averett’s film, caught the attention of the professional sports agency Baseline Sports out of Los Angeles. The agency, responsible for helping clients sign professional contracts overseas as well as in development leagues like the NBA G-League, recently signed Averett as a client.

Since agreeing to terms with Baseline last week, Averett has stepped away from the Martens to focus on beginning his professional sports career.

Averett was overwhelmed when he got the news that Baseline wanted him as a client, realizing his dream is one step closer to reality.

“It made me smile, it made me happy,” Averett said. “It made me realize I can’t take basketball for granted anymore. If you take the game seriously, these people find you.”

The 27 year-old Albany, New York resident continues to put in the work on the court and in the gym. Averett works out in the morning and again in the evening. He finds time to work on his jump shot three or four times a day, all while holding down his day job of moving furniture for Rent-A-Center.

“Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,” he said.

For Averett, it’s always been about putting the work in. That is what has put him in a position to reach his goals.

His path to the pro game has been unconventional. At 27, he’s older than some of the players he’s bidding against to get his first pro contract. After finishing his high school basketball career in 2012 at Hempstead High School in his hometown of Long Island, Averett played in basketball leagues in New York City for a few years.

He moved upstate and played for Tompkins Cortland Community College during the 2018-2019 season. After that season he decided to pursue a professional basketball career. Averett signed with the ABA’s Atlantic Coast Cardinals of Orange County, New York for the 2020 season.

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“Obviously I wish I could have gotten this opportunity when I was younger because I feel like I was ready then, but I feel like everything happens for a reason,” Averett said.

At the end of the day, he says he’s proud of the route he has taken.

“It does feel a little sweeter that I’m a junior college kid, and I can show kids from junior colleges that you can still play professional basketball at a high level,” Averett said.

Averett had offers from a few ABA organizations ahead of the 2021 season. He chose to play for the Martens because of the opportunity the organization offered him. His story is proof that the Martens can help lead to better opportunities for its players.

“Playing for them as a semipro team can be useful for anybody trying to play overseas or sign to an agency,” Averett said.

Martens coaches Chris Kidd and Shawn Pratt released the following statement regarding Averett’s signing with Baseline.

“As an organization we are very proud for Garrick to have this opportunity.”

The former Marten is excited about where the game of basketball is taking him. Averett has never traveled outside of the United States, but may soon call a foreign country his home. That’s part of what has him excited about his next journey.

“What it’s like to be a pro, how to play the game, how to live by myself in a foreign country; those are the things I’m looking forward to,” he said.

Where that ends up being doesn’t matter much to Averett. He just wants to sign with a team that truly wants him and that will prolong his career.

Wherever that may be, Averett knows it will be a special moment.

“Putting that first jersey on, it’ll be a dream come true; I might cry,” he said.

Michael Mawson can be reached on Twitter @Mawson_Sports or via email at mmawson@benningtonbanner.com.

Sports Reporter

Michael Mawson is the sports editor for Vermont News & Media. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire in 2019. Michael was the sports editor of UNH’s student newspaper where he covered NCAA Division I athletics.


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