SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The NBA season started this week and one former South Dakota Coyote was a part of a roster.
Stanley Umude, who played four seasons at South Dakota before transferring to Arkansas, made his NBA debut last year for the Detroit Pistons. This year, Umude signed a two-way contract with the Pistons and started the season on the team’s 17-player roster.
NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players in 2017 and each NBA team can have up to three players under “two-way contracts” where players can play in both the NBA and the NBA G League. Umude joins Matt Mooney as former Coyotes to play in the NBA.
Chuck Iverson (1969) is the only former Coyote to be drafted by an NBA team. Iverson was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics but was cut before the regular season started and declined a professional offer in Europe, according to the South Dakota Hall of Fame.
There’s been seven players from South Dakota State that have been drafted in the NBA with Nate Wolters being the most recent in 2013. Wolters, who was drafted No. 38 overall in the second round, played 84 games in four seasons, scoring 461 points with 209 assists.
He played for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Tortono Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans before playing professional basketball in Turkey and Serbia, according to basketball-reference.com.
According to SDSU, other Jackrabbits drafted by NBA teams include Steve Lingenfelter (1981), Lee Colburn (1973), Raul Durarte (1969), Guy Mackner (1969), Tom Black (1964), Don Jacobsen (1961) and Jim Sutton (1957). A number of recent former Jackrabbits play professional basketball in the G League and European leagues including Mike Daum who still plays in the Italian professional league.
LIST: South Dakota natives who played in the NBA
While there’s been a number of NBA players that graduated from South Dakota colleges, there’s only been five South Dakota natives to play in the NBA according to basketball-reference.com. That list does not include players who were not born in South Dakota but played high school or college basketball in South Dakota before making it to the NBA.
- Mike Miller (2001-2017), Mitchell
Miller is the most known former NBA player from the Mount Rushmore State. The Mitchell native and former Flordia Gator played in 17 NBA seasons and won two NBA championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013.
Miller finished his career with more than 10,000 points and picked up NBA Rookie of the Year (2001) and Sixth Man of the Year (2006) awards.
- Jon Sundvold (1984-1992), Sioux Falls
Sundvold was born in Sioux Falls and was a first-round draft pick in 1983. He went to high school in Missouri and played college basketball at Missouri. In nine NBA seasons, Sundvold scored more than 3,800 points.
- Med Park (1956-1960), Britton
Born in northeastern South Dakota, Park also grew up in Missouri and played college basketball at the University of Missouri. He played six NBA seasons and scored more than 1,900 points.
- Jared Reiner (2005-2007), Tripp
Jared Reiner played in 46 NBA games in two NBA seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls. A high school standout for Tripp-Delmont, Reiner played college basketball at Iowa. He finished his NBA career with 54 points, 13 blocks and 109 rebounds. He also played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
- Ray Ellefson (1949-1951), Brookings
Born in Brookings, Ellefson played college basketball at a number of different schools and played in three NBA games for the New York Knicks in the 1950-51 season. According to an online obituary, Ellefson died in Sioux Falls in 1994.
Eric Piatkowski, a South Dakota Hall of Fame member, graduated from Rapid City Stevens and was a first-round draft pick in 1994. Nicknamed the “Polish Rifle” Piatkowski sank 865 3-pointers in 14 NBA seasons (1994-2008). Piatkowski was not born in South Dakota but moved to Rapid City before his sophomore high school season and played college basketball at Nebraska.
Colton Iverson, a Yankton high school standout, was drafted in the 2013 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers and was traded to the Boston Celtics. Colton is the son of Chuck Iverson, who was a standout Coyote and also drafted by an NBA team. Colton played during the NBA Summer League but never played in a NBA regular season game while playing a number of years in European leagues.
Terry DuPris, a South Dakota Hall of Fame member, scored more than 2,300 points at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte and played at Huron College. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1980 but never played in the NBA.
Gordon Fosness, a South Dakota Hall of Fame member, grew up in Lyman County and led Dakota Wesleyan University to 11 conference titles as a coach. He was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957 but never played in the NBA.
Mel Klein, a South Dakota Hall of Fame member, was a standout basketball player for Northern State University. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1961 but never played in an NBA game.
Arvid Kramer, a Minnesota native that played basketball at Augustana in Sioux Falls, was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 1979 and made his NBA debut for the Denver Nuggets in 1980. He played in eight games and scored two points.
Brett Szabo, an Iowa native, played college basketball at Augustana. Szabo signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics in 1996 and played in 70 games during the 1996-97 season. He finished his NBA career with 153 points, 32 blocks and 165 rebounds, according to basketball-reference.com.
Nate Tibbetts and Becky Hammon are South Dakota natives that are both currently serving as head coaches in the WNBA. Hammon spent 15 years in the WNBA as a player with the New York Liberty and the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any players that may have been missed.