From time to time, the world graces us with phenomenal basketball talents that simply do not make it in the NBA. Whether this is an issue of mentality, diminished talent or discipline, we’re often left wondering what could have been.
And more to the point: Where are they now?
This is a question that Sheridan Hoops will be answering on a consistent basis. Once a week, we will be taking a look at the players that you may have loved yesteryear but lost track of today.
As a first-time special, we have tracked down 10 former big names.
1. Joe Alexander
In the spirit of alphabetical order, we start with former West Virginia star and All-Big East selection Joe Alexander, who made his name by leading West Virginia to the Sweet Sixteen during the 2008 NCAA Tournament. He averaged 16.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 blocks that season.
For the tournament, Alexander put up averages of 18 points and 9.6 boards. Stardom established.
Later that year, Alexander was drafted eighth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. But he was an extraordinary bust, playing just 67 games in the NBA before his career came to an end.
So where is he now?
Alexander played last season for Karsnie Krilya in the Russia league. He was most recently seen playing for the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters in the Chinese CBA. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as planned and Alexander is now done with that organization. Per sources, Alexander is currently a free agent.
2. Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas was once one of the most respected players in the NBA. He was a three-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection between 2005 and 2007.
On December 17, 2006, Arenas set a Washington Wizards franchise record by scoring 60 points against the Los Angeles Lakers. For his career, Arenas finished with three 50-point games and 26 outings with at least 40. Arenas also set NBA records with 16 points in one overtime period and 46 points in less than 30 minutes. The latter was a record for the shot clock era.
Arenas averaged a career-high 29.3 points per game in 2006.
Unfortunately, Arenas is out of the NBA at the age of 31. Injuries and the infamous “gun in the locker room” incident are a major reason why.
The former Arizona Wildcat continues to battle injuries as he plays for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese CBA. He is teammates with former NBA player D.J. White. (Former NBA All-Star Yao Ming owns the Sharks.)
According to Cindy Boren of The Washington Post , Arenas suffered an injury during his debut and was on temporary leave until he recovers to 100 percent. He has since returned from injury and is playing quality minutes.
3. Dee Brown
From 2002 to 2006, Dee Brown was one of the most dynamic playmakers in college basketball. He led the Illinois Fighting Illini to four years of consistent tournament success and emerged as a star in the Big Ten.
In 2005, Brown led Illinois to a 37-2 record and an appearance in the National Championship Game. Brown was the Big Ten Player of the Year that season and made the All-American team.
For the season, Brown averaged 13.3 points, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals on a slash line of .499/.434/.772.
Unfortunately, Brown saw a severe decline in his shooting percentages the following year. From the award-winning numbers to .359/.321/.757, to be specific.
As a result, Brown’s draft stock plummeted. Brown went 46th overall to the Utah Jazz in 2006 and was offered a non-guaranteed contract. Brown spent two years in the NBA before continuing his career in Europe.
After spending multiple seasons with high-profile European franchises, Brown never seemed to find his comfort zone. Brown has since left the likes of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Brown now plays for Turk Telekom B.K. in the Turkish Basketball League averaging 16.1 points and 5.8 assists per game.
4. Joey Dorsey
From 2004 to 2008, Joey Dorsey was one of the nation’s most highly-acclaimed college basketball players. Dorsey averaged 8.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals for Memphis as a junior, shooting 61.4 percent.
In 2008, Dorsey was drafted in the second round by the Portland Trail Blazers. He would proceed to play 61 games over the span of four years, seeing time for the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors. He finished with career averages of 2.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per game. For what it’s worth, he shot 51.2 percent from the field.
The NBA wasn’t the place for Dorsey. Europe has been.
In 2012, Dorsey won the Euroleague Championship with famed Greek League team Olympiacos. He also won the Greek League Best Defender award.
Unfortunately, Dorsey was released for publicly criticizing the organization. This comes as a result of being paid later than he had expected.
Shortly after his release, Dorsey signed with Gaziantep BSB and was recently named the Turkish Basketball League All-Star Game MVP.
5. Jonny Flynn
As a college point guard at Syracuse University, Jonny Flynn was one of the most popular and decorated players in the nation. He averaged 15.7 points and 5.3 assists as a freshman, thus earning co-Big East Rookie of the Year honors. In 2009, Flynn proceeded to average 17.4 points and 6.7 assists. He’d win the 2009 Big East Tournament MVP award and led the Orange to their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 2004.
From there, Flynn declared himself eligible for the NBA draft and was selected sixth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
During his rookie season, Flynn averaged 13.5 points, 4.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 28.9 minutes per game. Unfortunately, Flynn would fail match any of those numbers during his next two seasons. After playing for two teams in 2011-12, Flynn officially left the NBA.
Still only 24, Flynn has since signed with the Melbourne Tigers of the Australian National Basketball League, currently averaging 17.5 points and 6.1 assists per game.