ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis University guard Javon Bess has signed a free agent contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, the team announced.
Bess was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was a second-team All-Conference pick in 2018-19. He led Saint Louis to the A-10 Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance after averaging 15.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg.
Bess also had the reputation of being one of the top defenders in the NCAA. This past season, he held 22 of 32 players he guarded to below their season averages, including elite scorers Myles Powell (Seton Hall) and Kamar Baldwin (Butler).
In two seasons with the Billikens, he averaged 14.3 ppg and 7.1 ppg. He started all 69 games for the Billikens and averaged 36.5 minutes per contest.
Bess began his collegiate career at Michigan State, playing two years for Tom Izzo including the 2014-15 season when the Spartans went to the Final Four.
Bess likely will play with the Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Summer League, which begins July 5.
Recent Billiken NBA products include Larry Hughes, who was selected in the first round (eighth overall) of the NBA draft by Philadelphia in 1998. He would go on to play in 727 games, the most of any Billiken in the NBA. Willie Reed, who played at SLU two years from 2008-10, has played in 152 games in part of three seasons with Brooklyn, Miami, Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit.