'Nix in the Pros

Green Bay in elite company with multiple active NBA players

With Phoenix legends Alfonzo McKinnie and Keifer Sykes both signing NBA contracts this week, UW-Green Bay joined a pretty impressive list of schools with multiple players currently in the NBA according to Spotrac.

As of Tuesday, Green Bay is one of only 43 schools in the country with at least two active players on an NBA roster and, depending on your definition of a mid-major, is the only true mid-major school represented on the list.

McKinnie is playing his fifth consecutive NBA season after signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls for the rest of the season this past Sunday. He had been on a 10-day contract after getting called up from the G League where he had been dominant this season averaging 24.1 points and 9.7 rebounds in 10 games for Mexico City.

He has made an immediate impact for Chicago this season averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 50% from behind the arc including a 16 point, 5 rebound performance on 4-6 three point shooting in a victory against the Houston Rockets on December 20th.

Unfortunately for McKinnie, he was placed in the NBA’s COVID health and safety protocols on Sunday so he has missed the Bulls last few games and is expected to be out for the next few games as well.

He has previously played for the Raptors, Warriors, Cavaliers, and Lakers and will earn $1.09 million this season with Bulls according to Bobby Marks of ESPN.

For Sykes, he is finally getting a shot at playing regular season NBA basketball with the Indiana Pacers after playing professionally all over the world including stops in South Korea, Turkey, Italy, China, Greece, and Australia. He was leading the G League in assists this season at 7.5 per game and scoring 16.5 points per game for the Pacers affiliate in Fort Wayne before being called up on Monday.

He has played several NBA summer league seasons and had training camp invitations before but until now had never been brought up to a regular season roster.

Sykes signed a two year deal with the Pacers according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, though the second year of the contract is a team option. He will make $558,345 in salary this season which would bump up to more than $1.5 million next season if the team picks up his option, according to Spotrac.

“Keifer’s an energetic guy,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’ll play a 94-foot game both offensively and defensively. He’s going to go hard.”

“He’s a guy that has a good feeling for what this kind of moment can be about. He’s a total team guy too, all that stuff is really important.”

If McKinnie is able to get out of the COVID protocol, the two former Green Bay players will square off in Indianapolis on New Years Eve when the Pacers host the Bulls at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Active NBA players by college, per Spotrac:

COLLEGEACTIVE PLAYERS
Kentucky32
Duke24
Kansas16
Texas14
UCLA13
Arizona12
Michigan12
North Carolina12
Gonzaga10
USC10
Michigan State9
Virginia9
Washington9
LSU8
Tennessee8
Villanova8
Florida7
Florida State7
Indiana7
Louisville7
Arkansas6
Connecticut6
Wake Forest6
Arizona State5
Colorado5
Georgetown5
Marquette5
Ohio State5
Stanford5
Syracuse5
Texas A&M5
Georgia4
Georgia Tech4
Memphis4
Oklahoma4
Fresno State3
Saint Mary’s3
San Diego State3
UW-Green Bay2
Boston College2
Butler2
Pittsburgh2
Washington State2
Wisconsin1

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