Iowa State NBA Players 2024: Surprising Insights You Didn’t Know

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You’ve probably noticed the increasing number of talented Iowa State NBA players making their mark in the league. From seasoned veterans to freshly drafted rookies, these athletes are showing off their Cyclone pride and adding an exciting dimension to professional basketball.

Iowa State NBA Players – The Start

In the late 1960s, Zaid Abdul-Aziz, a talented power forward from Brooklyn, led the way for Iowa State players in the NBA. Known for his scoring and rebounding abilities, Abdul-Aziz played for various teams throughout his career, notably including the Lakers.

Following Abdul-Aziz’s footsteps, big man Victor Alexander made his mark in the early 1990s as a power forward. At the same time, other Cyclones like Chris Babb, Will Blalock, and Craig Brackins also saw NBA playing time during their careers. Not to be outshined, Kelvin Cato, a standout 6’11” shot-blocking center, dominated the paint and left a lasting impression on college basketball and his time in the NBA.

Iowa State also produced some exceptional guards like Diante Garrett and Jeff Grayer, who showcased their skills as primary ball handlers in the NBA. Another guard from Iowa State, Justin Hamilton, managed to carve out a decent career spanning several teams while providing valuable contributions off the bench.

One of the most well-known Iowa State NBA players is Fred Hoiberg, who was a prolific scorer and became a successful coach in college and pro basketball. An exceptional player in his time at Iowa State, Jeff Hornacek etched his name in NBA history as a sharpshooting guard, even reaching the NBA Finals with the Utah Jazz.

As the years progressed, Iowa State continued producing premier talent, with players like Abdel Nader and Marial Shayok showcasing their abilities in the league. However, Cyclone legends like Barry Stevens, Jamaal Tinsley, and Jackson Vroman also left their mark on the NBA, each with varying levels of success.

From standout point guards, exciting shooting guards, to dominant centers, Iowa State University has contributed a wide range of skilled players to the NBA. As a fan, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride as you watch these former Cyclones ply their trade on the biggest stage of professional basketball. So, when you revisit the careers of these talented individuals, remember that they all had their start at Iowa State, building on their foundations as Cyclones to reach the highest levels of the sport they love.

Current Notable Players

Tyrese Haliburton has quickly become one of the bright young stars in the NBA. Drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2020, Haliburton has proven to be a versatile guard, showing off his scoring, passing, and defense skills. With his all-around game and charisma, he’s quickly becoming a fan favorite and a promising talent for the Kings.

Another Iowa State alum making a splash in the NBA is Talen Horton-Tucker. Playing for the prestigious Los Angeles Lakers, Horton-Tucker has shown an ability to contribute as a valuable role player on both ends of the court. Known for his tenacious defense and improving offensive capabilities, he’s a player to watch.

Georges Niang has been a reliable forward for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. A former second-round pick, Niang has carved out a nice career for himself as a versatile PF who can stretch the floor and knock down three-point shots. His offensive solid skillset and ability to defend multiple positions make him a valuable asset for the Bucks.

Another former Cyclone guard making waves in the NBA is Monte Morris. Now a key member of the Denver Nuggets, Morris has been lauded for his consistent play and excellent decision-making as a point guard. He has established himself as a reliable floor general, providing strong production off the bench and stepping up when needed.

Lastly, Lindell Wigginton has also taken his talents to the professional level. Although not currently on an NBA roster, he has showcased his abilities in the NBA G-League and overseas, continuing to develop his game and striving to return to the NBA.

These Iowa State NBA players are making their alma mater proud, and they are certainly worth watching as their careers progress. Each of them has the potential to continue impacting the NBA at the highest level.

Stats and Achievements

Iowa State has produced quite a few talented players who went on to find success in the league. As of the 2023-2024 season, 5 players were in the NBA. Throughout history, 35 players have made it to the NBA, and their stats and contributions make them an integral part of the Big 12 Conference’s storied basketball tradition.

Some standouts from the past include Jeff Hornacek, who had an illustrious NBA career with the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, and Utah Jazz. Hornacek was known for his shooting ability and is the only Iowa State player ever inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

As for present-day Iowa State NBA players, notable names like Georges Niang and Monte Morris have solidified themselves as valuable rotation players. Niang, a second-round pick in 2016, has been a consistently productive bench asset, while Morris, a guard drafted in the same year, has proven himself to be a reliable playmaker and scorer off the bench.

A key component of Iowa State player success in the NBA is their development within the Big 12 Conference. Being part of a competitive college basketball landscape has helped these athletes hone their skills and gain the experience necessary to make an impact at the professional level.

2023-2024 Season

iowa state nba players

For starters, the Sacramento Kings have significantly benefited from the skills of one of their Iowa State alumni. The player has showcased remarkable agility on the court, with fans crediting them for helping the Kings maintain their strong standing.

The Denver Nuggets have also had a positive experience with adding a former Iowa State player to their roster. With impressive offensive skills, the player has contributed to the Nuggets’ overall performance and established themselves as an essential team member.

Over in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia 76ers proudly represent another of Iowa State’s NBA players. Consistently displaying top-notch defensive abilities, this player has become a valuable asset to the 76ers. Their teamwork and dedication have allowed the team to clinch crucial wins throughout the season.

Finally, the Utah Jazz are also enjoying the talents of a former Iowa State player. With an incredible work ethic and a knack for breaking through defenses, this athlete has further bolstered the Jazz’s formidable lineup.

Iowa State in NBA Drafts

Iowa State has a rich history of producing talented NBA players. If you’re a fan of the Cyclones, you’ve likely followed some of your favorite Iowa State NBA players as they moved onto the big league.

Over the years, Iowa State has seen 43 players drafted into the NBA. Some of these athletes have had standout careers, making significant contributions to their respective teams and even earning accolades on their journey.

Several Iowa State players have also secured spots in the first draft of the NBA draft. Out of the 35 former Cyclones who have played in the NBA, ten were drafted in the first round, showcasing the excellent talent that emerges from this prestigious university.

As of the 2023-2024 NBA season, five former Iowa State players are making their mark in the league. Their performances are closely tracked by fans and fellow alumni, making them a continuous source of pride for the Iowa State community.

Iowa State’s success in spawning top NBA talent is a testament to the strength of its basketball program. As a fan, seeing the next generation of Cyclone stars leap to the professional level is always exciting. Whether they’re making headlines in the draft or contributing to NBA teams, Iowa State NBA players are keeping the Cyclone’s legacy alive and well in the league.

Team Affiliations

You might be familiar with Tyrese Haliburton, a standout Iowa State alumnus who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings and now plays for the Indiana Pacers. His skill set and versatility have made him a valuable asset to the Pacers organization.

Another notable Cyclone is Monte Morris, who has played an essential role with the Denver Nuggets. As an efficient guard, he contributes to the team’s success.

Iowa State NBA players aren’t limited to just the Pacers and Nuggets. Over the years, Cyclones have been associated with various teams, including the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Historically, several Iowa State players have left their mark on the NBA. For instance, Jeff Hornacek, a Cyclone alumnus, played for the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, and Utah Jazz. He later transitioned into coaching roles, even serving as the head coach of the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns.

As you can see, numerous Iowa State NBA players have made significant contributions across the league. From trailblazing alumni like Fred Hoiberg, who played for the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Timberwolves, to more recent Cyclones, such as Deonte Burton and Naz Long, who spent time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, these athletes continue to showcase their skills on the big stage.

Playing Positions

As a point guard, your primary responsibility is to run the team’s offense and turn your teammates into scoring threats. Over the years, several Iowa State alumni have excelled in this crucial role. From skillful ball handlers to exceptional passers, these players have proven themselves as offensive leaders on their respective teams.

Another vital position for Iowa State NBA players is the forward position. Combining versatility with athleticism, players at this position score points, grab rebounds, and defend against opponents. As a forward, you’ll find yourself operating both inside the paint and outside the perimeter, making it a challenging yet rewarding role.

The center position is where Iowa State’s big men have made their mark in the NBA. As a center, your primary duties are to protect the rim, grab rebounds, and be a strong defensive presence in the paint. Success in this role often comes down to size, strength, and basketball IQ, and Iowa State has produced some remarkable players who excel in all areas.

When it comes to individual statistical achievements, several Iowa State NBA players have managed to make their mark on the league. With point guards dishing out assists and big men securing rebounds, it’s not uncommon to see Iowa State alum topping per game charts in those categories throughout the season.

In the world of professional basketball, versatility is vital. Iowa State NBA players have undoubtedly made compelling cases for their skills and talents covering various playing positions on the court. So, as you watch the next NBA game or follow the stats of your favorite players, don’t forget to cheer on those talented Iowa State alumni!

My Personal Opinion

As a basketball fan, I greatly appreciate the contributions of Iowa State NBA players to the sport. It’s impressive to see how many talented athletes from the university have made a name for themselves in the professional league. Whether dominating on the court or showcasing their leadership skills, Iowa State alumni have significantly impacted the NBA.

What stands out to me is the players’ passion and dedication to the game. Watching them play, the Cyclone spirit shines through in every move they make. Witnessing how their college experiences have molded them into successful and respected athletes at the highest level is inspiring.


Who is the NBA All Star from Iowa State?

Former Iowa State men’s basketball player Tyrese Haliburton has been named to the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. The starting point guard for the Indiana Pacers, Haliburton joins Jeff Hornacek in 1992 as the only Cyclones to be selected to the game.

What city has the most NBA players born?

The birthplace of the most NBA players is Los Angeles.

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Fabian Kühar
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