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His high school is literally a stone's throw from his parents' backyard.http://bit.ly/1nmboWe";> His college was just a short drive up the highway.

But the next step in Jordan Loveridge's basketball career will take him much, much further — far beyond the state where he's spent his life playing the game.

The 6-foot-6 former Ute forward signed with Hungarian club Egis K├Ârmend on Friday morning, his first step to going pro overseas. And while the setting will be unfamiliar, Loveridge told the Tribune he's excited for the change.

"I'm ready to start a new chapter and make a little money playing basketball," he said. "It's definitely going to be different, but I think it will be fun to travel around."

After finishing his four-year Utah career with 1,568 points —http://bit.ly/22oxISs";> good for No. 13 in Utah history behind Nick Jacobsen and Andre Miller — Loveridge will join the Hungarian A League team which won the Hungarian Cup last year. Arizona State grad Gerry Blakes was listed on a recent roster.

Loveridge anticipates a more uptempo style than he played at Utah, which he hopes will give him more opportunities to showcase his skillset.

"In a different time of system, I'll be able to show I can do more things," he said. "I think it's will also help me to grow as a player and get better to play at that pace."

He also believes his best skill at Utah — he hit more than 40 percent of his 3-point shots as a senior — will serve him well.

A West Jordan graduate, Loveridge has stayed in the area to maintain his conditioning. He does his training and nutrition with John Madsen, and does skills training with local coach Tanner Lind.

He did travel during the offseason for a few NBA team workouts, http://www.sltrib.com/sports/3856119-155/utah-jazz-utes-jordan-loveridge-works";>including one with the Utah Jazz.

"It was definitely different, not knowing what the workouts were going to be and to meet some of the teams to get feedback," he said. "It was a great experience to work out in front of NBA scouts and coaches."

But Loveridge's future is in Europe, where he'll get a shot to play other Hungarian teams before traveling to other countries to face other clubs.

"I know that pro careers have ups and downs, but there's a lot to look forward to," he said. "To be at this level, you just know you're blessed."

kgoon@sltrib.com
Twitter: @kylegoon