Prior to his days in the NBA, Dwyane Wade was a star at Marquette University. Working in the backcourt alongside him was none other than 6’1” point guard Travis Diener.
Diener stayed for all four years at Marquette and started 94 games in that time. For his career, he averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals on 41.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
In 2002-03, Diener and Wade led the Golden Eagles to a 27-6 record. They went 14-2 in Conference USA and made an improbable run to the Final Four.
It was the school’s first Final Four appearance since 1977.
In 2004, his first year without Dwyane Wade, Diener proved that he was a star in his own right. Diener posted averages of 18.8 points, 6.0 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game—he did so while shooting 44.8 percent from distance.
As a senior, Diener continued his productive ways with averages of 19.7 points, 7.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He shot 40.5 percent from beyond the arc and posted a 2.76 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The following Summer, Diener was selected with the 38th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic.
Diener would play five seasons in the NBA, registering 179 games and 21 starts. He left the NBA after the 2009-10 season with a career 35.3 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
So where is he now?
Diener has been with Banco Di Sardegna Sassari of the Italian Serie A since 2010. In 2012-13, he’s done nothing but establish his star power in Italy’s highest caliber league.
Diener is averaging 16.8 points and 7.8 assists, per EuroBasket. He is widely-regarded as one of the top point guards in Serie A.
Much like he did at Marquette, Diener has found his niche and dominating as his talent suggests.
Juan Dixon was a two-time All-American, three-time All-ACC selection and the 2002 ACC Player of the Year. 2002 was also when Dixon elevated Gary Williams and the Maryland Terrapins to the status of legends.
With backcourt mate Steve Blake, Dixon led Maryland to winning the National Championship. In the process, Dixon won the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament award.
Dixon finished 2002 with averages of 20.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.6 steals. He did so with a slash line of .469/.397/.898.
According to the official Maryland Terrapins website, Dixon is the school’s all-time leader in scoring, 3-point field goals made and games played. He’s also one of the greatest players in ACC history.
Following his senior season, Dixon went on to be drafted 17th overall by the Washington Wizards. Dixon would proceed to spend seven seasons in the NBA, with his best year coming in 2006.
Dixon started 42 games for the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging a career-best 12.3 points with 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He posted a slash line of .435/.382/.804 that season.
Dixon’s NBA career came to a close when he was cut by the Atlanta Hawks mere days before the 2009-10 regular season began.
Later that year, Dixon began his career in Europe by signing with Greek club Aris Thessaloniki. Dixon attempted to continue his career in Spain, but that hit a snag when Dixon tested positive for steroids and was suspended indefinitely by the International Basketball Federation.
In March of 2011, Dixon returned to play for Banvit of the Turkish Basketball League.
The latest news came from CSN Maryland in November of 2012, as Dixon is now working with the Maryland Terrapins coaching staff to make an NBA comeback. Sources say he remains intent on fulfilling that dream.