Rome officially signed former Model High and University of New Orleans star Jermaine Spivey. He will be in uniform for the Gladiators’ final eight games of the season.
Rome starts a five-game road trip on Wednesday against the Raleigh Knights. Tipoff for that game is set for 7 p.m.
The Gladiators’ next home game will be on June 12 against Raleigh. Rome will play its final three regular-season games at The Forum.
The 31-year-old Spivey, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, brings a lengthy resumé to the Gladiators.
He has played professionally in Hungary for the last three years, spending this season with Albacomp in the Hungarian “A” Division.
Spivey, who arrived in Atlanta on Sunday, helped lead Albacomp to a 24-2 record in the regular season — the best record in the “A” Division — and a berth in the semifinals in the league’s playoffs before falling in five games to eventual runner-up Atomeromu.
Despite being hampered by a hip injury early in the season, Spivey still managed to score 22 points in the league’s mid-season all-star game and averaged about 17 points, four rebounds and four assists per game for Albacomp.
In 2002-2003, Spivey played for Dombvari VMSE and averaged 22.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest. His scoring average was good for second in the league.
Prior to playing in Hungary, Spivey competed in several professional leagues in the Unites States, Bolivia and Israel.
Spivey is just the latest player to be brought in by Gladiators coach Harold Ellis in an attempt to turn things around after a 2-7 start.
Four other players: small forward Kevin Frey, point guard Ty Shine and centers Duke Freeman-McKamey and Kevin Benton have been signed since May 20 and the changes have worked so far, as the Gladiators are 2-1 in their last three games heading into the road trip.
Going into Sunday night’s WBA action, the Gladiators were in last place with a 4-8 record, but they stood just 4½ games behind front-running Jackson (8-3), which lost to Rome 86-82 on Friday night, and only 1½ games behind Bristol (5-6) for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Along with adding Spivey to the active roster, the Gladiators have promoted center Kyle Davis from the taxi squad to the active roster. Davis missed Friday’s game against the Jackson Rage with a back injury but is expected to be healthy on Wednesday.
To make room for Spivey and Davis on the 12-man roster the Gladiators will carry for the remainder of the regular season, power forward Marcus Henderson — an Adairsville native — and small forward Bobby Brown were released.
Henderson averaged 0.3 points in four games and Brown — who was one of Rome’s top scorers in his first few games as a Gladiator before cooling off of late — averaged 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals in eight games (three starts)