Former Hawkeye Aaron White signs deal with Russian team

Chad Leistikow

Former Iowa basketball player Aaron White has signed with one of the top teams in Russia.

White confirmed in a text message Friday that he had signed with Zenit St. Petersburg, bypassing a chance to compete for a roster spot with the NBA's Washington Wizards. He said the contract is a “one plus one” two-year deal, with the second year being a team option.

Aaron White drives to the hoop during the Las Vegas summer league in July while playing for the Washington Wizards, who still maintain his rights.

After being chosen No. 49 overall by the Wizards in the 2015 NBA Draft, White — Iowa’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer and No. 3 rebounder — played his first season of professional ball in Bonn, Germany, where he averaged 13.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

The power forward participated in the Las Vegas summer league for the Wizards, averaging 7.2 points in five games. By signing now, according to CSN Washington, he will earn more in Russia than the NBA league minimum ($543,471).

White, 24, said he would depart for Russia in mid-August. The Wizards maintain his NBA rights.