BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Bellingham Slam has announced that center Evan
Matteson has signed a contract to play professionally in Norway this winter.
The 6-foot-10 native of Edmonds, Wash., and former Meadowdale High School
standout will be departing next week to Bergen, Norway to join the Gimle BBK
Matteson will be tasked with helping improve Gimle’s fortunes in Norway’s BLNO
league, the country’s premier men’s basketball division. The team has finished
with losing records in the previous three seasons and most recently lost in the
first round of the 2012-13 BLNO playoffs. The 2013-14 season tips off on
October 4 and runs through March.
Matteson was a key figure in the Slam’s 2013 International Basketball League
championship season, helping the team to an 18-2 record and posting averages of
15.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He was also Bellingham’s leading shot
blocker with 1.5 per contest.
His biggest moment of the 2013 IBL campaign came on May 27, when he nailed a
buzzer-beating three-point shot to give the Slam a 106-104 win over the
Portland Chinooks and helped preserve what was then an eight-game winning streak
for the club.
This will be Matteson’s first experience playing professionally overseas. Last
fall, Matteson was drafted by the NBA Development League’s Rio Grande Valley
Vipers, becoming the first Slam player to earn that distinction, and
participated in training camp and several exhibition games with the Vipers
before being released.
This summer, Matteson participated in the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro League in
Seattle, earning First Team All-League honors and had the opportunity to play
alongside Crawford, Isaiah Thomas and NBA All-Star Blake Griffin.
Matteson originally returned to Washington to suit up for the Slam for several
games in 2012 after competing collegiately for Texas A&M International,
where he led the Dustdevils in scoring as a senior with 12.6 points per game and helped his team to a 21-7 record and first place in the NCAA
Division-II Heartland Conference.
Matteson will become the second Slam player to compete in Norway’s BLNO league.
Swingman Paul Hafford, who played for the Slam from 2008 to 2012, competed for
the Ulriken Eagles during the 2009-10 winter season.