Over the years, the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars has produced a number of talented NBA players who have gone on to achieve great success in the league. From Danny Ainge to Jimmer Fredette, these players have made a name for themselves on the biggest stage in basketball. Whether you’re a die-hard BYU fan or simply a lover of the game, it’s worth taking a closer look at these impressive athletes.
In this article, I’ll take a deep dive into the world of BYU NBA players. I’ll explore the careers of some of the most successful players to come out of BYU, and take a closer look at what makes them such talented athletes. Whether you’re looking to learn more about your favorite players or simply want to discover some new names to watch out for, this article has everything you need to know about BYU’s impressive NBA legacy.
History of BYU Players in the NBA
This college basketball program has produced some talented players over the years, some of whom have gone on to play in the NBA. In this section, I’ll take a look at the history of BYU players in the NBA.
BYU has a long and storied history in college basketball. The program has produced some great players over the years, including Danny Ainge, Jimmer Fredette, and Shawn Bradley. These players have gone on to have successful careers in the NBA, and they’ve helped put BYU on the map as a basketball powerhouse.
Danny Ainge is perhaps the most famous BYU player to make it to the NBA. Ainge played for BYU from 1977 to 1981, and he was a key player on the team that made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament in 1981. Ainge was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1981, and he went on to have a successful career in the NBA, winning two championships with the Celtics in 1984 and 1986.
Jimmer Fredette is another BYU player who has made it to the NBA. Fredette played for BYU from 2007 to 2011, and he was one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball during his time at BYU. Fredette was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2011, and he played for several NBA teams over the course of his career.
Shawn Bradley is another notable BYU player who made it to the NBA. Bradley played for BYU from 1990 to 1991, and he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993. Bradley played for several NBA teams over the course of his career, and he was known for his height (he’s 7’6″) and his shot-blocking ability.
Overall, BYU has produced some talented players who have gone on to have successful careers in the NBA. While the program may not produce NBA players as frequently as some other college basketball programs, the players who do make it to the NBA from BYU tend to be very successful.
Prominent BYU NBA Players
BYU has produced several talented basketball players who went on to play in the NBA. Here are some of the most prominent BYU NBA players.
Danny Ainge played for BYU from 1977 to 1981. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1981 and played for them until 1989. Ainge was known for his versatility and ability to play multiple positions. He won two NBA championships with the Celtics in 1984 and 1986. After retiring from playing, Ainge went on to become a successful NBA executive, serving as the general manager of the Celtics from 2003 to 2021.
Jimmer Fredette played for BYU from 2007 to 2011. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011 and was later traded to the Sacramento Kings. Fredette played for several NBA teams throughout his career, including the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, and Phoenix Suns. He also played overseas in China and Greece. Fredette was known for his scoring ability and was a fan favorite during his time at BYU.
Shawn Bradley played for BYU from 1990 to 1991. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993 and played for several NBA teams throughout his career, including the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz. Bradley was known for his height, standing at 7’6″. He was a strong defensive player and holds the record for the most blocked shots in a single game in Mavericks history.
Rafael Araújo played for BYU from 2002 to 2004. He was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 2004 and played for them for two seasons. Araújo also played for the Utah Jazz during his NBA career. He was known for his size and strength, standing at 6’11” and weighing 290 pounds.
Kresimir Cosic played for BYU from 1970 to 1973. He was the first European basketball player to be drafted by an NBA team, being selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1973. However, Cosic never played in the NBA due to political reasons. He went on to have a successful career playing professionally in Europe and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.
These are just a few of the many talented BYU NBA players. Their contributions to the sport of basketball have not only impacted the NBA but have also inspired future generations of basketball players.
BYU’s Influence on NBA Success
When it comes to producing NBA talent, Brigham Young University (BYU) has a rich history of success. Over the years, several BYU alumni have gone on to have successful careers in the NBA. These players have not only made a name for themselves but have also helped to establish BYU as a reputable basketball program.
One of the most successful BYU NBA players is Danny Ainge. Ainge played for the Boston Celtics from 1981 to 1989, winning two NBA championships in the process. After his playing career, Ainge went on to become the General Manager of the Celtics, helping to build another championship team in 2008.
Another notable BYU NBA player is Jimmer Fredette. Fredette was a standout player at BYU, winning the Naismith College Player of the Year award in 2011. He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2011 and played for several other NBA teams before heading overseas to continue his professional career.
Other BYU NBA players include Kresimir Cosic, who played for the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1980s, and Rafael Araujo, who played for the Toronto Raptors and the Utah Jazz in the mid-2000s.
BYU’s success in producing NBA talent can be attributed to several factors. First and foremost, the university has a strong basketball program that emphasizes teamwork, discipline, and hard work. Additionally, BYU’s location in Provo, Utah, provides players with a unique environment that is conducive to both academic and athletic success.
Current BYU Players in the NBA
As of the 2022-2023 NBA season, there are two former BYU players currently playing in the NBA: Jimmer Fredette and Brandon Davies.
Jimmer Fredette was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft. Since then, he has played for several NBA teams, including the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, and Phoenix Suns. He is currently playing for the Golden State Warriors.
Brandon Davies went undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft but was signed by the Philadelphia 76ers. He has also played for the Brooklyn Nets and the New Orleans Pelicans. He is currently playing for the Utah Jazz.
While Jimmer Fredette and Brandon Davies are the only current BYU players in the NBA, there have been several other former BYU players who have had successful NBA careers. Some of these players include:
- Danny Ainge: Ainge played for the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns during his NBA career. He won two NBA championships with the Celtics in 1984 and 1986.
- Shawn Bradley: Bradley played for several NBA teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks. He was known for his height (7’6″) and shot-blocking ability.
- Rafael Araújo: Araújo was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft. He played for the Raptors and the Utah Jazz during his NBA career.
Future Prospects for BYU in NBA
BYU has a rich history of producing top-quality basketball players, and many of them have gone on to achieve great success in the NBA. As a fan of BYU basketball, you may be wondering what the future holds for the program in terms of producing NBA talent. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the current and upcoming BYU NBA prospects, as well as their chances of making it big in the league.
Current BYU NBA Players
Currently, there are three former BYU players in the NBA: Jimmer Fredette, Brandon Davies, and Elijah Bryant. While Fredette has struggled to find consistent playing time in the league, Davies and Bryant have both shown flashes of potential and could have bright futures ahead of them. Davies has played for several teams in Europe and is currently with the AS Monaco Basket, while Bryant is a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Upcoming BYU NBA Prospects
One of the most exciting prospects for BYU in the NBA is Matt Haarms. The 7’3″ center transferred to BYU from Purdue and has already made a big impact for the Cougars. Haarms is projected to be a second-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft and has the potential to be a dominant force in the league with his size and skillset.
Other potential BYU NBA prospects include Alex Barcello and Caleb Lohner. Barcello is a talented guard who has shown great shooting ability and could be a valuable role player in the NBA. Lohner is a versatile forward who can play multiple positions and has the potential to develop into a solid NBA player with his athleticism and shooting ability.
My Personal Opinion
In my opinion, seeing BYU (Brigham Young University) alumni succeed in the NBA is both inspiring and a testament to the university’s dedication to producing well-rounded athletes. BYU’s emphasis on excellence both on and off the court has nurtured players who excel in their basketball careers and as individuals.
As a fan of both college basketball and the NBA, witnessing former BYU players compete at the highest level brings a sense of pride and admiration. It showcases the university’s ability to develop talent and character, producing players who are not only skilled on the court but also display strong values and integrity.
How many BYU players are in the NBA?
45 players have been selected out of BYU in NBA draft history, 7 in the first round (0 during the last 10 years), 9 in the second round and 2 among the top 3 picks.
What NBA players played for BYU?
Very popular players like Elijah Bryant, Kyle Collinsworth, Brandon Davies, Devin Durrant and many more played for BYU.
Who was the basketball player who went pro at BYU?
Travis Mitchell Hansen (born April 15, 1978) is an American former professional basketball player. He played for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Hansen played college basketball for Utah Valley and BYU.
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