The 20th Big 12 Tournament begins Wednesday at the Sprint Center. We look back at the event’s two decades in a language familiar in basketball: Teams of honor.
Their NBA readiness was questioned. They provided the answers. Here are five whose professional success exceeded expectations.
Mikki Moore, Nebraska (1993-97)
Moore played his senior season in the Big 12, was honorable mention all-conference and went undrafted. During an 11-year NBA career, Moore earned more than $25 million according to basketball-reference.com.
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DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M (2007-08)
Averaged 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds in his lone season at College Station, and now he’s one of NBA’s top rebounders who averages a double-double.
Linas Kleiza, Missouri (2003-05)
Didn’t see 400-plus games in the NBA coming after two solid seasons at Mizzou. He was honorable mention all-conference as a sophomore.
Avery Bradley, Texas (2009-10)
Jumped to NBA after freshman season and has steadily improved as a pro after his honorable mention all-conference season. Perhaps no program felt the impact of early departures like Texas.
Tarik Black, Kansas (2013-14)
He started 15 games for Kansas as a senior after transferring from Memphis and went undrafted by the NBA. But Black started 39 games for the Rockets and Lakers last season and continues to see time with the Lakers.
Big 12 overall top-three NBA Draft picks
1997: No. 3, Chauncey Billups, Colorado
1998: No. 3, Raef LaFrentz, Kansas
2006: No. 2, LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas
2007: No. 2, Kevin Durant, Texas
2008: No. 2, Michael Beasley, Kansas State
2009: No. 1, Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
2014: No. 1, Andrew Wiggins, Kansas