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Friday, August 19, 2011
Updated: August 20, 5:51 PM ET
Hawks' Keith Benson to play in Italy

Associated Press

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- Atlanta Hawks draft pick Keith Benson is headed to play in Italy.

The 6-foot-11 Oakland University product will join the Italian team Sassari. OU says Benson received an opt-out clause in his contract that would enable him to return to the Hawks once the NBA lockout is over.

Atlanta took Benson in the second round, making him the first Oakland player ever taken in the draft. Benson is the Summit League's career leader in blocked shots. He's also the only Summit League player to surpass 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocks.