TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State basketball players Michael Ojo and Xavier Rathan-Mayes have signed contracts to begin their professional careers – Ojo in Serbia and Rathan-Mayes with the New York Knicks. Ojo signed his first professional contract with FMP Belgrade, a club affiliate of Serbian giant Red Star Belgrade while Rathan-Mayes signed a free agent contract with the Knicks.
Ojo and Rathan-Mayes are the fourth and fifth players from the Seminoles’ 2016-17 NCAA Tournament team to sign professional contracts. Johnathan Isaac, the No. 6 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, signed his first professional contract with the Orlando Magic in July. Dwayne Bacon, the 40th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has signed a contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Jarquez Smith began his professional career in China earlier this summer.
Ojo signed a multi-year contact and will report to his new team immediately. FMP Belgrade is a member of the Adriatic Basketball Association and the Basketball League of Serbia. Jonah Bolden, a power forward for the team last season, was picked in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ojo finished his career ranked 19th in school history with 78 career blocked shots and tied for seventh in school history with 131 career games played. He averaged a career-high 4.9 points and 3.2 rebounds as a senior in 2017.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity to continue my basketball journey as a professional player in Serbia,” said Ojo. “Florida State has given me the tools to succeed beyond the campus, and I’m excited to show the world what I have to offer.”
Rathan-Mayes signed a free agent contract with the Knicks after averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 assists in 17.8 minutes played in four NBA Summer League games in July.
Rathan-Mayes played three seasons at Florida State, averaging 12.4 points and 4.5 assists in 100 career games. As a junior in 2017, he averaged 10.6 points on 45.3-percent shooting, 4.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds over 27.7 minutes in 35 games. He finished his career fourth in Seminole history with 451 career assists and earned 2016-17 All-ACC Defensive team honors.
“I’m blessed and honored to be a part of such an incredible and historic franchise,” said Rathan-Mayes. “I’m super-excited to help the Knicks get back to the winning ways that the great fans of New York are so accustomed to.”
Rathan-Mayes was one of three free agents signed by the Knicks along with forward Nigel Hayes of the University of Wisconsin and guard Jamel Artis of Pittsburgh.