Youngstown -- Former Youngstown State men's basketball player Mikko Niemi has signed a professional basketball contract to play for Lappeenranta NMKY basketball team in the Korisliiga League in Finland, YSU Head Coach Jerry Slocum announced Tuesday.
"This is a great opportunity for Mikko to continue his playing career at the professional level and in his homeland," Slocum said. "We are all really proud of Mikko and wish him the best." Since 2005-06, Niemi appeared in 104 games and started 15 times.
As a junior, Niemi played in all 30 games and appeared in the starting lineup 10 times. Last season, Niemi dished out five assists in the Penguins' 69-66 win over Weber State on Nov. 13, 2007, and set a career high with seven assists against Slippery Rock on Dec. 29, 2007.
He scored a career-high eight points against UIC on Feb. 2, 2008, including nailing two 3-pointers.
As a sophomore, Niemi appeared in all 31 games and made two starts.
He is one of only seven players to have played in a school single-season record of 31 games.
Niemi also set a career high with 39 minutes played in YSU's 76-71 win over Loyola on Dec. 30, 2006.
In 2008-09, the native of Kangasla, Finland, appeared in 19 games and made two starts.
For his career, Niemi scored 82 points with 106 rebounds, 106 assists and 22 steals.