Have you watched an NBA game and noticed a guy that came off the bench, only to think “Wow, I forgot that guy was still playing.” It happens every now and then, and it also happens when you might be searching through the news and spot a familiar name that is now playing overseas.
Between players that were once NBA stars, hot prospects or fantastic college players, they can disappear from the limelight. That doesn’t mean that they gave up the game they love and are still making a career out of it (with a lot of them finding some success outside of the United States). One player that you might remember is Greg Oden, the first overall draft pick in 2007 that never panned out due to injuries after several years with the Trail Blazers and Heat.
Another one is Andrei Kirilenko, the Russian player that spent a decade with the Jazz and followed it up with a few seasons in Minnesota and Brooklyn. Both of these players ended up overseas in professional basketball after their NBA careers were over and certainly would have made this list had they not both retired in the past year because almost everyone had no clue that they were still playing.
So let’s focus on the guys that haven’t retired, but you still forgot about anyway. If you’re a die-hard basketball fan, you might have known that some of these guys were on rosters, but the casual fan wouldn’t have a clue. Here are 15 basketball players that you didn’t know were still playing.
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15 Scottie Reynolds
Scottie Reynolds was a hero at Villanova, sending the team to the Final Four in 2009. The next season, Reynolds became a First-Team All-American (only the fourth Villanova player at the time to do so) with the likes of DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall, two NBA superstars. Reynolds never got the red carpet rolled out by the NBA, and instead went undrafted in 2010, making him the first All-American to not get selected during a draft in more than 30 years.
Reynolds would get a chance to join the Phoenix Suns roster in 2010 for the Summer League, and performed fairly well. Instead of signing with the Suns, though, Reynolds landed with Prima Veroli in Italy. After spending a brief time there, Reynolds came back to the United States and was in the D-League as a member of the Tulsa 66ers for a day before being shipped to the Springfield Armor where he was named as a D-League All-Star. In total, Reynolds has played with 11 different professional basketball teams. Reynolds is currently with Hapoel Holon, signing in 2016. The most interesting team that Reynolds has played for in his career is the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters of the Philippines.
14 Josh Boone
Josh Boone didn’t make the All-American team in college like Scottie Reynolds did, but he still had a fine college career. Boone is the 6’10” big man from Sykesville, Maryland that committed to Connecticut. It was there that Boone helped the Huskies win a championship in his freshman season as he was one of just a few under Jim Calhoun that got to start right away out of high school. Boone would spend a total of three seasons at UConn, winning the 2005 Big East Defensive Player of the Year title. When his senior year came around, Boone instead decided to try at a career in the NBA and was drafted 23rd overall in 2006 by the Brooklyn (then New Jersey) Nets.
Boone started off hot at the Summer League in his rookie year, leading everyone in rebounding. Before the regular season got underway, Boone tore his labrum and was never really the same again. Boone saw reduced playing time throughout the first couple of seasons and left the Nets after the 2009-10 season. Zhejiang Golden Bulls in China. Boone made a couple of American returns to the D-League, but hasn’t been back in the NBA. Boone is now with the BC Khimki in Russia, signing in January 2016.
13 Mike Miller
Mike Miller came all the way from South Dakota to attend the University of Florida, where he made a large impact on the Gators program. Miller helped the Gators get all the way to the NCAA Championship Game in 2000, where they would end up losing to Michigan State. Miller was drafted fifth overall in 2000 by the nearby Orlando Magic after the loss, where Miller was named to the All-Rookie Team in 2001, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in the process, adding a 2006 Sixth Man of the Year title while he was a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. In the 2006-07 season, Miller was named to the USA Basketball roster, which is pretty strange to think about now.
Miller was averaging 16.4 points per game as recently as the 2007-08 season, but has fallen off the map since. However, Miller has never left the NBA and is still playing. Miller spent the 2015-16 season with the Nuggets, playing in 47 games and collecting two starts. It wasn’t a very successful run, though, as Miller scored just 1.3 points per game this season. Miller’s contract was a veteran minimum one and he is not signed for the 2016-17 season, so he might not be playing anymore though no announcement is made.
12 Da’Sean Butler
Da’Sean Butler came from New Jersey to West Virginia where he made a sudden impact with the Mountaineers by becoming the team’s best player in his freshman year. While attending West Virginia, Da’Sean Butler was considered to be a solid NBA prospect. Butler helped turn the Mountaineers from an NIT contender in his freshman season into a Final Four team during his senior year. During the Final Four in 2010, Butler tore his ACL and sprained MCL against Duke, hurting his chances at an NBA career. Butler had to spend months rehabilitating his injuries and was unable to attend any workouts.
Still, Butler was drafted in the second round by Miami, but didn’t make it to the NBA. He was signed by the Spurs after training camp once he was waived by Miami, and was sent down to the D-League with the Austin Toros. Butler played with BC VEF Riga that season instead since there was a lockout, and then returned to the D-League. Butler then went to Belgium to play for Okapi Aalstar for the 2013-14 season, winning the All-Belgian Forward of the Year title (yes, it’s a real award). Now, Butler is playing with Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany.
11 Jacob Pullen
Jacob Pullen didn’t have huge expectations coming out of high school like some of the players on our list, but he still made a huge impact while in college. Heading into the 2010-11 NCAA season, Kansas State had big expectations thanks to Jacob Pullen. Pullen ended the season as a third-team All-American as Kansas State didn’t quite live up to lofty goals, but Pullen still did become the highest career scorer in Kansas State history after his career ended with the Wildcats losing to Wisconsin in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
There was not much NBA interest for Pullen, who didn’t get drafted in the 2011 NBA Draft. Pullen instead moved to Italy, where he signed with Angelico Biella. After one season, Pullen returned to the United States with the 76ers Summer League team, but left after a few weeks to Israel this time, signing with Hapoel Jerusalem. Pullen has played with a few teams since then, but was most recently with Cedevita Zagreb in Croatia. Pullen has won the Spanish League, Croatian League and Croatian Cup during his career, and was an All-ABA 2016 selection. It hasn’t been a rough professional career for Pullen, even if it’s not a glamorous one.
10 Andre Miller
It didn’t take long for Verbum Dei (Los Angeles) alum Andre Miller to find a starting spot at Utah playing for Rick Majerus. Miller was teammates with guys like Keith Van Horn and Michael Doleac, and was able to help lead the team to the 1998 Final Four. Miller and the Utes didn’t win the title, but they did make it all the way to the National Championship Game against Kentucky, coming up nine points short. Andre Miller was a first-team All-American out of Utah alongside Rip Hamilton, Mateen Cleaves, Elton Brand and Jason Terry. No Utah player had more steals than Miller, and he was second in school history with 721 assists.
Miller was drafted eighth overall after his solid season, landing with the Cavaliers and making the All-Rookie First Team. After finishing the 2001-02 season with the most assists in the NBA, Miller then went to the Clippers. Since then, Miller has played for seven different teams, including two stops in Denver that totalled six seasons. Miller is now with the Spurs after having signed in February 2016. You had to have been paying close attention to know that Miller was still playing after averaging just 4.3 points this season.
9 Hakim Warrick
After making the All-State team in Pennsylvania in high school, Hakim Warrick decided to leave the Philadelphia area to attend Syracuse. The 2002-03 Syracuse basketball team was stacked with Gerry McNamara and perennial NBA All Star Carmelo Anthony. Another big piece of that team was Hakim Warrick, who helped the Orangemen win the national championship. When Warrick was a junior, Anthony was gone and he became the biggest scoring option for the team, averaging 19.8 points and then 21.4 points with 8.6 rebounds in his senior year. In that final season, Warrick was named as the Big East Conference Player of the Year and a consensus All-American, but his career ended in a heartbreaking loss to Vermont in the first round of the tournament.
Warrick was then drafted 19th overall by Memphis in 2005 and was solid in his second year with 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The future looked promising for Warrick, but he fell off fast and bounced around the league until the 2012-13 season. After a short stint with Charlotte, Warrick took his talents overseas. He has played for four international teams, and is currently with Olympiacos after winning the NBL Best Sixth Man award with Melbourne United earlier in 2016.
8 Ekpe Udoh
Ekpe Udoh originally committed to the University of Michigan, and spent two seasons with the team. The Oklahoma native would end up moving closer to home, attending Baylor University for his third and final season in college. Throughout his college career, Udoh averaged 8.4 points with 6.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, and was an honorable mention for the All-American team in his final season. Udoh had one more year of eligibility left, but the 6’10” player with a wingspan of more than 7’4” started to see that there were teams that wanted to draft him into the NBA since shot blockers are at a premium in today’s league.
It was thought that Udoh’s game would translate well into the NBA, which is why he was drafted sixth overall by the Warriors in 2010. Udoh signed with Bnei Herzliya of Israel during the 2011 NBA lockout. Udoh would return and play just one more game for the Warriors before being shipped to Milwaukee. After never really taking off there (or with the Clippers), Udoh went overseas. Since 2015, Udoh has played with Fenerbahce. Udoh helped the team win the 2016 Turkish Cup and was named to the All-Euroleague Second Team.
7 Luke Harangody
After a long period of being very mediocre, Notre Dame basketball has seen a resurgence in the past decade and it started in earnest with Luke Harangody. Harangody looked like a typical Indiana farm boy with a lot of size and talent, and helped Notre Dame collect a lot of wins. A mildly touted recruit, Harangody was an All-State player in Indiana, which is not an easy task to accomplish. Harangody would then become the only player in Notre Dame’s history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, although the Harangody teams never got as far as Notre Dame has in the past two NCAA Tournaments.
Harangody was a second round pick by the Celtics in 2010, spending one season with them and then one with the Cavaliers. Harangody didn’t see much playing time in the NBA, but did have his best game in 2011 where he scored 17 points and pulled in 11 rebounds against the raptors. After spending a couple of years in the D-League (including a stint in nearby Fort Wayne, Indiana in addition to Canton, Ohio), Harangody has since decided to go the international route. He is currently playing with Darussafaka S.K. in Turkey.
6 Stephon Marbury
Stephon Marbury was part of the famous 1995 McDonald’s All-American high school team that featured players such as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Marbury would end up committing to Georgia Tech. Marbury spent just one season with the Yellow Jackets, averaging 18.9 points and 4.5 assists per game, and helped get the team to the Sweet 16 in 1996. After Marbury was named to the Third Team All American squad by the Associated Press, he decided to give professional basketball a shot and declared himself for the draft.
Perhaps the biggest NBA star on our list, Stephon Marbury was drafted fourth overall by Minnesota in 1996 and became a two-time NBA All-Star, getting his own line of shoes in the process. Marbury’s best season came in the 2000-01 season with the Nets when he scored a career-high 23.9 points per game with 3.1 rebounds and 7.6 assists. Marbury played his final NBA season in 2009, leaving the Celtics after less than two dozen games. Since 2011, Marbury has played for the Beijing Ducks and the now-39-year-old has been a star. Marbury is a six-time CBA All-Star that has won three CBA Championships with the Ducks.
5 Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem was a standout player in the high school scene in Miami, Florida, and decided to go upstate to the University of Florida to play with fellow list member Mike Miller and the Gators. Haslem was a big part of Billy Donovan’s teams, and he was able to help the squad reach the NCAA Tournament in all four of his seasons, including the 2000 National Championship Game. Haslem started all four years, and is the third highest scorer in the program’s history, and is in the top 10 for rebounds.
After not getting drafted out of Florida in 2002, Udonis Haslem decided to go to France to play for Chalon-sur-Saone. Haslem spent just one season there before signing with the Miami Heat in 2003. Haslem has more rebounds than anyone else in Heat history, and he has been a part of three NBA Championships with the team. Haslem topped out his production in 2007-08 with 12 points and nine rebounds per game. Did you know that Haslem is still with the team? He played in 37 games in the 2015-16 season, and didn’t start a single one. After averaging just 1.6 points per game, it looks like Haslem might be done this summer.
4 Jason Maxiell
Texas native Jason Maxiell couldn’t pass up the chance to play for coach Bob Huggins, committing to the University of Cincinnati in 2001. As a freshman, Maxiell was named the sixth man of the year in the Conference USA, and was on the all-freshman team. By his senior year, Maxiell was the second most prominent shot blocker in the school’s history, swatting away 91 shots in his senior year. Maxiell is still one of the highest scorers in Bearcats history with 1,566 points.
Pistons fans will certainly remember Jason Maxiell, the team’s first pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. Maxiell never really came into his own as a scorer, but did see increased time off of the bench for several years. Maxiell’s best season came in his third year when he averaged 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game with 1.1 blocks to go along with it. In his final year with Detroit, Maxiell started 71 games, but then signed with Orlando. After a year, Maxiell was waived and then signed with Charlotte. After another season without much success, Maxiell became a member of the Tianjin Ronggang squad in China in 2015, and is still with the team.
3 Jordan Hamilton
Coming out of high school in 2009, Jordan Hamilton was considered to be the best small forward in the class, a five star recruit that was highly touted. Hamilton decided to sign with Texas, and was named to the All-American in his sophomore season thanks to 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Hamilton would only play two seasons with Texas, declaring for the draft despite not being considered a lottery pick prospect by most scouts.
In the 2011 NBA Draft, Jordan Hamilton was picked 26th overall by the Mavericks. Hamilton spent his first three seasons with the Nuggets (with a stint in the D-League), topping out in 2013-14 with 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Hamilton signed with Houston the next season, playing in just 21 games but still averaging 6.6 points. After the season was over, Hamilton played in just 14 more NBA games (with the Clippers) before signing with Krasny Oktyabr. Hamilton came back to the NBA’s D-League in 2016 for a brief period, but is now with the Bucaneros de La Guiara of Venezuela. In his debut with the team, Hamilton led them to a win with 10 points, 12 assists and five rebounds.
2 Will Bynum
Standing out in Chicago as a high school basketball player is a big accomplishment, and Will Bynum did just that, signing with the University of Arizona in 2000. Bynum didn’t get a lot of playing time in his first season, and then left the team shortly into his sophomore season, deciding to join Georgia Tech. Bynum played two seasons with Georgia Tech, earning All-Tournament ACC honors in his final season, finishing with an average of 12.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
Will Bynum never really saw a shot that he didn’t like, which always made him fun to watch. Bynum was undrafted in 2005 and was with the D-League for a bit before signing with the Warriors in 2006. Bynum then went to Israel for two years before finding a landing spot with the Pistons. From 2008 to 2014, Bynum fired up a lot of shots and averaged 10 points per game in his best year. Bynum left for China after his tenure in Detroit was up, and returned for seven games to the Wizards before heading back to the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Bynum is still signed with the team, and has made the CBA All-Star team in each of the past two years.
1 Robbie Hummel
The hype was huge for Robbie Hummel, the Northern Indiana boy that signed to play with Purdue in college. Hummel was named to three All-Big Ten Teams and was a second-team All-American in 2010. There were hopes in West Lafayette that Hummel alongside E'Twaun Moore could bring the Boilermakers a basketball championship for the first time 1932, or at least their first Final Four since 1980. Instead, the Boilermakers never made it farther than the Sweet 16, as Hummel was dealing with a multitude of injuries.
Hummel never really found his prime since he had to deal with so many injuries, but was still one of the most recognizable players in college basketball. Hummel was drafted in the second round of 2012’s NBA Draft by Minnesota, but instead spent his first pro year with Blu:sens Monbus. Hummel then joined Minnesota for two seasons, but made him a free agent in June 2015. Hummel signed with Emporio Armani Milano, but suffered a serious shoulder injury. He is not on an active roster right now due to the injury, but has said that he is not retired. Once his latest injury is recovered, Hummel plans to sign with another international team as long as they will have him.
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