By now, we have all seen Hassan Whiteside with the Miami Heat and talking about how he wants to “get his 2K rating up.” What not a lot of people pay attention to, or have seen before, is his journey to the NBA.
He started at Marshall University where he averaged 13.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 5.4 blocks per game in his freshman year. Whiteside was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft, but he was sent to the D-League after not getting much playing time with the team. For a total of 65 games, Whiteside played with four different D-League teams and he averaged 7.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game.
So, you’re probably wondering how he was called up with underwhelming numbers like that. Well, in his last season in the D-League, he played only four games but averaged 21.8 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game while shooting 87% from the floor. Of course, it also helps to be a 7-footer who can be a defensive anchor with a ridiculous wingspan. However, this goes to show to all the young hoopers that are trying to make a name for themselves that you always have to be ready to take any opportunity possible. Hassan Whiteside was ready to be turned loose, and he received a call up to the NBA because of that preparation.
For your enjoyment, here’s some Whiteside highlights from the D-League: