Rudy Fernandez spent four seasons in the NBA, playing for the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets. He became one of the league’s more popular international players in that time.
Fernandez made an appearance on the NBA All-Rookie second team in 2009 after putting up 10.4 points on 39.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, Fernandez’s sharpshooting and ballhandling were never properly utilized in the NBA.
In turn, his minutes and production both dropped over the next two seasons in Portland. In Denver, injuries and a crowded depth chart kept Fernandez from achieving what he is capable of. As a result, Fernandez announced in July of 2012 that he would be returning to Spain.
Fernandez signed on with Real Madrid to continue his career on the international front. A wise move, as Fernandez is as decorated as they come from an international perspective.
He’s a two-time Spanish King’s Cup MVP, the 2006 FIBA European Young Player of the Year and the 2007 EuroLeague Rising Star. If that’s not enough, he has two Olympic silver medals, two FIBA European Championship gold medals and one FIBA World Championship gold medal.
With Real Madrid, Fernandez looks to add to his trophy case. With Spanish National Team members Sergio Llull and Sergio Rodriguez, Fernandez has Madrid is undefeated in Top 16 play and is considered to be one of Europe’s top players.
Sounds like Fernandez is doing well for himself. As usual.
6. Curtis Jerrells
From 2005 to 2009, Curtis Jerrells was one of the most dynamic players in college basketball. As a member of the Baylor Bears, Jerrells led the team in scoring and assists in each of his four seasons.
As a junior, coaches voted Jerrells as a consensus All-Big 12 first team selection. He finished that season with averages of 15.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game—he followed it with an All-Big 12 third team selection as a senior.
Upon graduating, Jerrells entered the 2009 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, all 60 picks came and went without the 6’1” guard hearing his name called.
Jerrells proceeded to spend the next year with the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League. He impressed the New Orleans Hornets enough for them to trade a second-round draft choice in order to acquire him. Unfortunately, Jerrells never played an NBA game.
Jerrells received a different type of break in August of 2012 when he signed with the famed Besiktas JK Instanbul. Per EuroBasket, Jerrells leads Besiktas in both scoring and assists in both EuroLeague and Turkish League play.
Per EuroLeague’s official website, he’s ninth overall in scoring per Euro League game.