Ex-Cats

Ex-Cat Derek Willis changing teams but not countries.

UK celebrates veteran trio, Derek Willis proposal on Senior Night

Prior to the Wildcats' final regular season home game against Vanderbilt, Kentucky honored its three seniors and was surprised by a proposal from senior Derek Willis to his girlfriend Keely Potts.
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Prior to the Wildcats' final regular season home game against Vanderbilt, Kentucky honored its three seniors and was surprised by a proposal from senior Derek Willis to his girlfriend Keely Potts.

Former University of Kentucky basketball player Derek Willis is on the move.

Willis, who played at UK from 2013 through 2017, will play for the second season in a row for a professional team in Germany.

Willis, who played for Goettingen last season, is moving about 270 miles south to Ulm — just outside Munich — for the 2019-20 season. Both teams play in the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), the highest level of professional basketball in Germany and compete for the German Cup championship.

Willis, 24, is joined on his new team, known as Ratiopharm Ulm, by eight other American players who played collegiately in the United States — Seth Hinrichs (Lafayette), Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington), Katin Reinhardt (Southern Cal), Ryan Thompson (Rider), Gavin Schilling (Michigan State), Grant Jerrett (Arizona), Ra’Shad James (Iona) and Patrick Miller (Tennessee State).

The BBL season tips off in late September and continues through the end of May.

The 6-foot-9 Willis started 25 of the 35 games he played for Goettingen last season, averaging 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game. He made 42.6 percent of his three-point attempts (63 of 148), 49.3 percent of his overall field goals (150 of 304) and 80.3 percent of his free throws (61 of 76).

Willis, a graduate of Bullitt East High School, spent his rookie season playing for Grand Rapids (Mich.) in the NBA’s G-League.

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