Already with three straight summertime The Basketball Tournament championships and over $500,000 in winnings, Kyle Fogg figured he'd sit this this out.
The general manager of the Guangzhou Long-Lions kind of hoped he would, too. That's because Fogg was his investment, a star guard who was halfway through a two-year, $2-million contract the Chinese pro team gave him.
"He was like, 'You need to be careful,'" Fogg said.
Fogg had been thinking the same thing. His overseas career has kept ascending since he left Arizona in 2012 — as he put up big numbers in pro leagues in Finland, Belgium, Germany, Spain and now China — and, well, he didn't really need to play this summer's TBT for his share of the $2 million winner-take-all prize.
"I wasn't gonna play because I didn't want to risk getting hurt," Fogg said. "But one of my teammates was like, 'Hey, man, we're gonna give it one more go.' And you look bad if a former MVP doesn't play."
Actually, a two-time former MVP.
Fogg was given the TBT's top honors in 2016 and 2017. When Overseas Elite won a fifth title on Aug. 3, Fogg played another key role. He had 38 points in the Overseas Elite's semifinal win and another 10 in the final before a crowd in Baltimore and a worldwide ESPN audience ... that included a nervous but proud boss back in Guangzhou. Fogg took home $147,000.
"He was extremely excited when I went," Fogg said. "He watched us as much as he could."
When it was over, Fogg headed home. To his two homes: First to Tucson to work out, visit friends and relax at Ventana Canyon. Then to Southern California, where he came out of Brea Olinda High School without a Division I scholarship until he attracted one of Lute Olson's final offers in 2008.
Now, Fogg's success is such that he can command looks from NBA teams. The guard said he worked out with a few of them over the summer before the Long-Lions exercised their option to bring him back for a second season.
The Star talked to Fogg last week about his successes and future plans. Here's what he said: