We're all aware of our three Boilers playing in the NBA, but those three are hardly the only former basketball players getting paid for their talents now. Several players are plying their trade over in Europe and have been for several years. In the spirit of tracking the NFL players that Thomas did during the season here is an update on how the pro basketball boilers are doing.
Robbie Hummel - Minnesota Timberwolves - Rob is in and out of the rotation, sometimes playing as much as 20 minutes and sometimes not playing at all. He I averaging 11.1 minutes per game in 27 minutes and 2.9 points per game. Twice this season he has reached double figures with 10 points each against Philadelphia on December 11th and Cleveland on November 13th. Both of those were wins.
E`Twaun Moore - Orlando Magic - Smooge is playing a little more than Rob and is a regular rotation member in Orlando with three starts. He is averaging 19.1 minutes and 5.8 points per game, but has had a handful of big games. His best was a 14-point game in a 101-99 loss to Miami on November 23rd. He was 4 for 4 from three in that game.
D.J. Byrd - Kirchheim (Germany) - D.J.'s first season in Europe has nee a success as he is averaging 12.4 points per game for Kirchheim. He is shootings an excellent 42% from three and 88% from the line too. Kirchheim is 9-7, and the league is the Pro A league, which is the second level on the German pro pyramid. Like European soccer, the top two teams in the Pro A league can win promotion to the basketball Bundesliga for the next season.
Chris Kramer - EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Germany) - Kramer's team played in the Basketball Bundesliga, which is the top level in Germany, so Kramer won't face off against Byrd at least this year. Oldenburg likely won't get relegated to the Pro A league either, as they were the German runner-up last season. That was good enough for them to reach the qualifying round of the EuroLeague (think UEFA Champions League, but for basketball) when they lost in the second round to a Lithuanian team. So far this season Kramer's team is 10-5 and in a playoff position. Kramer is averaging 9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.
Chris Booker - Krka (Slovenia) - Booker, who derailed the 2003-04 season by getting himself academically ineligible after Purdue started strong, is still kicking around over in Europe. He is averaging 7.7 points in 25 minutes per night in the Slovenian league, which I didn't even know existed before today.
Nemanja Calasan - Vichy (France) - Chally was one of my favorite players in his time at Purdue because he was a JuCo guy that came in and filled an important rolled exactly as we needed. He's a professional over in France for Vichy, averaging 12.4 points per game in five games. I figured he would have success in European since he grew up playing the European style.
Willie Deane - Krasny Oktyabr (Russia) - Willie Deane was a gunner in his day at Purdue and he is still playing over in Europe. In nine games this season he is averaging an impressive 18.1 points per game. As his team's point guard he is also dropping 6.2 assists per game.
Keaton Grant - Ludwigsburg (Germany) - Germany is a popular place for European Purdue basketball players. Ludwigsburg plays in the Basketball Bundesliga as well, and Keaton has already faced off against Kramer once this season on November 2nd. Kramer's team won 90-86, but Keaton had 17 points to Kramer's 2. Ludwigsburg is currently 8-8 and is just outside the playoff picture. Keaton is averaging 15.3 points per game.
Lewis Jackson - Erie BayHawks (NBA D-League) - LewJack might be the closest Purdue player to the NBA as he plays in the D-League for the Erie Bayhawks, who are directly affiliated with the New York Knicks. As we have seen, however, the Knicks don't know jack shit about player development or bringing in the right guys, so LewJack needs a new organization. LewJack has played in 10 games so far and is averaging 9.8 points 4.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists.
JaJuan Johnson - Giorgo Tesi PT (Italy) - JJ has had a busy few seasons as he has moved from former First round draft pick, to the D-League where he played with three teams in one season, and now the Italian League. He is having a good year at 14.1 points, and 7.1 rebounds per game in 29.3 minutes per night. His team is 6-8 in the top Italian League.
Scott Martin - Newcastle Eagles (England) - The wounds have healed and he is no longer The Traitor. Martin played for Purdue, so we accept as a pro. Despite injuries ending his collegiate career early he has resurfaced in England, where he is averaging 18.3 points per game for an 11-4 team in the British Basketball League.
Brandon McKnight - LrMNKY (Finland) - Yes, there is a Finnish professional basketball league and Brandon McKnight, the 2005 Purdue grad, is still playing there. He is even thriving at 17.9 points per game in 15 games. His team is 5-15, but McKnight is the starting point guard and also averages 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
David Teague - Bohemios (Uruguay) - Stepping away from Europe for a moment, Teague is playing down in Uruguay for a team that is 3-3 on a young season. Teague is averaging 15.6 points per game in five games.
Chris Lutz - Petron Blaze (Philippines) - Lutz was a transfer away from the program like Martin above and finished his career at Marshall, but has turned it into a decent overseas professional career. He is averaging 15.4 points per game in 10 games this season for an 8-3 team. Lutz also has Filipino ancestry, which likely led to him playing professionally there.
Gary Ware - St. Polten (Austria) - The final player on the list is another forgotten player from the unfortunate end of coach Keady's tenure in West Lafayette. He has played in 16 games in the Austrian league this year and is averaging 14.8 points per game.