Aside from having one of the greatest names in basketball history, Von Wafer was one of the most impressive high-flyers in the nation. He put that on display by being named a McDonald’s All-American and finishing second to LeBron James in the high school Dunk Contest.
See, folks? LeBron has been in a Slam Dunk Contest! You know, before the world knew to watch it.
As for Wafer, he proceeded to attend Florida State University. As a freshman, Wafer developed into one of the more respected shooters in the ACC with 45 three-point field goals made during his first year on campus. That includes four three-point field goals during a first round victory over Wichita State in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
The following season, Wafer would elevate his game to a new level. He finished with six 20-point outings, including a 30-point performance against Chris Paul and Wake Forest Demon Deacons—a team that was 15-1 before Wafer led a 91-83 overtime upset.
This set the fire under Wafer to follow in CP3’s footsteps, as the FSU Seminole opted to forego his junior and senior seasons, thus entering the NBA Draft. Wafer would proceed to be selected 39th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Unfortunately, Wafer’s NBA career was marred by inconsistent playing time and injuries. This led the shooting guard to playing for seven different franchises during six seasons in the NBA—that includes the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.
With the Rockets, Wafer averaged 9.7 points on 39.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He averaged 19.4 minutes that season and started 11 games for. Oddly enough, that led to scarce opportunity elsewhere.
In between his NBA time, Wafer also played for Olympiacos of Greece and Vanoli Cremona of Italy. After his Orlando tenure finished in 2012, Wafer opted to make a full-time move overseas—a wise decision.
As a member of the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, a team in the Chinese Basketball Association, Wafer has been absolutely phenomenal. He’s currently averaging 26.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 56.8 percent from two-point range and 45.1 percent from beyond the arc.
An NBA return could be on the horizon for this supreme athlete and standout scorer.
Two weeks ago, we reported that former Georgetown point guard Chris Wright was starring in the NBA D-League. This week, we have an update –Wright has signed a 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks.
Wright had been playing for the Iowa Energy prior to Dallas’ decision to bring him on. In that time, Wright averaged 15.5 points, 7.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest.
More importantly, Wright has become the first in NBA history to have a known case of multiple sclerosis.
The auto-immune disease was believed to have derailed Wright’s career, as his body simply should not be able to permit him to play at a high level. Not only has he defied the odds, but Wright has managed to become one of the best point guards in the D-League.
This inspirational story continues as Wright pursues his dream with an NBA team.
That wraps it up for this week’s edition of “Where Are They Now?” If there’s anyone you’d like to see in future columns, please don’t hesitate to reach out via Twitter or the comments section.
We’ll track them down, study their game and get back to you with another edition.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: EDITION 1: From Jonny Flynn to Gilbert Arenas
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: EDITION 2: From Juan Dixon to Gerry McNamara
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: EDITION 3: From Sean May to Marcus Fizer
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: EDITION 4: From Jonathan Bender to Jordan Farmar
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: EDITION 5: From Acie Law to Shelden Williams