Arizona’s former players in professional basketball range from 40-year-old Jason Terry to 20-year-old Kobi Simmons, from playing in China to lacing them up in Canton (Ohio) and from a national championship 21 years ago with Terry to an NBA title last June with Andre Iguodala.
Twenty-six former Wildcats are active, six still from the Lute Olson era despite the Hall of Fame coach coaching his last game almost 11 years ago.
The number would be 28 if Solomon Hill was healthy, but he is missing the entire season with the New Orleans Pelicans because of a torn hamstring injury, and former Olson player Daniel Dillon, a 10-year pro from Australia, is sitting out the season with Melbourne United because of a torn Achilles’ heel.
This video shows Kyle Fogg scoring 113 points in two games in China:
Dillon has lasted this long professionally, also playing in Romania, Poland and Japan, despite being on the fringe of Olson’s rotations throughout his career at Arizona.
Solomon is passing his time taking a Harvard business class.
The top two scorers from Arizona playing professionally are two unlikely players — the workmanlike Kyle Fogg (averaging 35.6 points a game for Guangzhou in China) and the ageless Loren Woods (who at 39 is averaging 21.3 points and 18.3 rebounds a game in Bahrain).
Sean Miller has coached eight of the 12 players in the NBA, some of them having career years.
Orlando’s Aaron Gordon is averaging a career-high 18.4 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. Others with career-best numbers are Brooklyn’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (14.4 points and 6.5 rebounds a game), Stanley Johnson (8.7 points a game) and fan-favorite T.J. McConnell (7.3 points a game and owner of a triple-double last week).
Five more former Wildcats are in the NBA’s G-League, including 33-year-old guard Mustafa Shakur, a reserve with Oklahoma City. This is the 11th year of Shakur’s pro career, an odyssey that has taken him to Poland, Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Germany and Turkey in addition to what is now his fifth stint in the G-League (formerly the D-League).
When his career is done, Shakur can fall back on to his home care industry that serves seniors, disabled and recovering individuals in native Philadelphia.
The following are updated stats of Arizona’s players in professional basketball. This list does not include players who transferred from Arizona to another college program such as Will Bynum (Turkey), Daniel Bejarano (Finland), Angelo Chol (Japan), Lamont Jones (Germany) and Craig Victor (Rio Grande of the G League). Players in red are Lute Olson-coached players.
WILDCATS INTERNATIONAL (9)
|Mark Lyons||PG||6-1||200||Russia||Enisey Krasnoyarsk||29||1.8||3.8||12.2|
|Kaleb Tarczewski||C||7-0||250||Italy||EA7 Emporio||29||6.4||0.4||7.3|
|Ryan Anderson||F||6-9||235||Lithuania||Pieno Zvaigzdes||11||4.5||0.7||7.1|
WILDCATS IN THE G-LEAGUE (5)
|Mustafa Shakur||SG||6-3||190||Oklahoma City/Thunder||7||2.0||1.1||3.4|
.@_Bash21 is in 🔐down mode.
10 PTS | 8 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK pic.twitter.com/AkE6c9Gzim
WILDCATS IN THE NBA (12)
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.