Update: Moore praises Rutty for going pro

Matt Eisenberg

Matt Eisenberg/Chronicle

Former Quinnipiac basketball star Justin Rutty wanted to play professionally after he graduated. Now he’ll get his chance.

Rutty, the Northeast Conference’s all-time leader in rebounds, signed with Aguada, a professional basketball team in Uruguay, according to Hinchada Aguatera.

“I am extremely proud of Justin Rutty, and very excited for him and his family, as he begins his career in professional basketball,” Quinnipiac men’s basketball head coach Tom Moore said. “It has been a long, emotional process since the end of our season as he has worked very hard searching for the right professional opportunity.”

Rutty was named the NEC Player of the Year in 2010 when he averaged 15.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, which was first in the country. Rutty helped the Bobcats be known as one of the country’s leading rebounding teams in the country, as Quinnipiac was first in the country in total rebounds and offensive rebounds, and was fourth in the nation in rebound margin. He ranked fourth with four offensive rebounds per game last season.

“He impacted our program so profoundly as a terrific player, incredibly diligent student, and valued member of the Quinnipiac community,” Moore said. “We have been in constant communication over the last few weeks and he leaves for Uruguay in great physical condition and excited to begin this chapter of his life.”

Another Uruguayan publication reported that the 6-foot-7 Rutty will replace Phillip Michael Jones, a 6-foot-10 forward who has averaged 6.3 points and 9.3 points per game in three games this season.

Marcelo Capalbo, who played on Uruguay’s 1991 and 1995 Pan-American teams, coaches the team that is based out of Montevideo, the country’s capital.

According to Latin Basket, Aguada plays Welcome tonight, which would be the first game Rutty will be on the roster for.

UPDATE: Rutty scored 10 points and brought down six rebounds in his professional debut. Rutty played 17 minutes off the bench in Aguada’s 68-64 victory against Welcome Wednesday night. He was 3-for-6 from the field and nailed all four of his free throws.

Stay with QUChronicle.com for more updates on Rutty.