Marquette Well Represented In Professional Ranks
Oct. 14, 2014
The Marquette University men's basketball team is well represented in the professional ranks around the world. Former Golden Eagles are not only participating in the National Basketball Association, but are also members of rosters in countries including Chile, Spain and Japan.
Marquette alums have also moved into the coaching ranks, highlighted by Doc Rivers (head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers) and Jim Boylan (assistant coach with Cleveland Cavaliers).
Dwyane Wade is entering his 12th season in the NBA, all with the Miami Heat. Wade helped lead the Heat to an NBA Championship in 2006 and played a large role in the 2012 and 2013 championships won by Miami. He also helped lead Team USA to a Gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, while averaging 16.0 points per game during the games.
Jimmy Butler is entering his fourth season in the NBA, all with the Chicago Bulls after being selected 30th overall in the 2011 draft. The 2011 graduate has started games for the Bulls the last three seasons and helped the team reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2013. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014.
Steve Novak is entering his ninth season in the NBA, and the 2014-15 campaign will mark his first with the Utah Jazz. Novak has helped his teams to three division championships and most recently helped Toronto to the playoffs in 2014. Novak shot 47.2 percent (led the league) from beyond the arc in 2011-2012 with the San Antonio Spurs.
Wesley Matthews is entering his fifth season with the Portland Trail Blazers, and his sixth in the NBA. Matthews has twice made it to the Western Conference Semifinals with Portland, most recently in 2011. Matthews had a career year in 2013-14 by averaging 15.7 points per game while shooting 49.0 percent from the field.
Jae Crowder is entering his third season in the NBA, all with the Dallas Mavericks. Crowder helped lead the Mavericks to the 2014 playoffs before losing to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.
Jerel McNeal has had three stints with NBA teams before playing in China in 2013-14 where he tallied 21.5 points per game while shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc. He had signed to play in Spain in 2014-15, but is currently a free agent.
Maurice Acker is entering his fifth season playing internationally and will play for the Bakken Bears (Denmark-Ligaen) in 2014-15. Acker had a career year in 2012-13 while playing for the Spisska Nova Ves (Solvakia-Extraliga) where he put up 23.9 points per game while leading his team to the Solvakian League Semifinals.
Ousmane Barro will begin his first season with BC Mures Targu-Mures (Romania-Liga Nationala) and seventh international season. In 2014, Barro was named to the Romanian League All-Star Team (playing for BCM U Pitesti) by recording 11.6 points per game and averaging 8.5 boards per game. He also led his team to the Romanian Cup Semifinals that season while being named All-Romanian League Defensive Player of the Year.
Dwight Burke will be the starting forward this season for the Asociacion Basquetbol Ancud (Chile-Liga Nacional) in his sixth season overseas. After playing on three teams in 2011-12, Burke signed with BK Decin (Czech Republic-NBL), where he played a large role in leading the team to the Czech Republic Cup Finals that season.
Chris Otule, a 2014 graduate first signed with Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi (Turkey-TB2L) for the 2014-15 campaign and is now competing for Crailsheim (Germany). He is averaging 5.0 points per game in the opening weeks of the season.
Dan Fitzgerald has played six seasons overseas, most recently in Spain. A well-regarded 3-point shooter, Fitzgerald has continued to show the ability to score, especially in 2011-12 when he averaged 18.5 points per game. In 2012-13, Fitzgerald helped his team become a Swiss Cup Finalist by averaging 17.0 points and 4.0 boards per game.
Dwight Buycks will play with Valencia Basket (Spain-Liga Endesa) after playing with the Toronto Raptors in 2013-14. Buycks had a career year in 2012-13, when he averaged 18.0 points per game and led his team (BCM Gravelines) to the EuroChallenge Semifinals.
Darius Johnson-Odom was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 2012 and traded on draft night to the Los Angeles Lakers where he made his NBA debut. DJO eventually signed with the Sichuan Blue Whales (China-CBA) where he averaged 20.5 points per game and later moved to the Springfield Armor (D-League) where he scored 22.0 points per outing that season. The 2014-15 campaign will mark his first with Acqua Vitasnella Cantu (Italy-Serie A).
Lawrence Blackledge is entering his sixth season of international basketball and third with the Iwate Big Bulls (Japan-BJ League). Last season, Blackledge averaged 14.0 points per outing and 7.4 rebounds per game while helping his team to a runner-up finish in the Japanese BJ League Eastern Division.
Vander Blue earned an invitation to the Washington Wizards training camp this fall after playing with a handful of different teams in 2013-14. Most notably, Blue played for the Delaware 87ers (D-League) and averaged 18.6 points per game. He finished his first professional campaign with the Idaho Stampede (D-League) averaging 14.4 points per game.
Junior Cadougan enters his second professional season, and first with Sidgas Avellino (Seire A). A 2013 graduate, Cadougan played with Basketball Club Batumi (Georgia-Superleague) where he averaged 21.8 ppg and 6.2 assists. He also helped lead his team to the Georgian League Semifinals.
Joe Chapman is entering his ninth professional season and first with the Shimane Susanoo Magic (Japan-BJ League). Chapman has showed the ability to score by averaging at least 20.0 points per game in his first five professional seasons and finished last year with a season scoring average of 16.1 ppg.
David Cubillan has made several stops on his professional career since graduating from Marquette in 2009-10. He has played in Israel, Mexico and is currently on the roster of Trotamundos in his native Venezuela. He has been an all-league performer in Venezuela and has also made multiple appearances on the national team representing his country.
Davante Gardner will begin his first professional season with Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (France-ProB). The 2014 graduate, and most valuable performer of the Golden Eagles' 2013-14 season, saw action in four Summer League games with the Chicago Bulls.
Trent Lockett will join Basketball Loewen Braunschweig (Germany-BBL) for his second professional season after signing with the Sacramento Kings in 2013. Lockett was then moved to the Reno Bighorns (D-League) and averaged 11.0 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Oluoma Nnamaka enters his 12th professional season and third with Uppsala Basket (Sweden-Basketligan). He helped his team reach the Swedish Semifinals in 2013 and 2014.
Jake Thomas begins his professional career with SAM Basket Massangno (Switzerland-LNA). A 2013 graduate, Thomas led the Golden Eagles in 3-point shooting last season and will look to do the same as a member of the starting five in Switzerland.
Jamil Wilson starts the 2014-15 campaign in training camp with the Phoenix Suns. A 2014 graduate and recipient of the Hank Raymonds Sportsmanship Award for the Golden Eagles, he will look to make the Suns opening-night roster.
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