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Waves in the NBA - Men's Basketball

Pepperdine has sent dozens of players on to professional basketball, including the NBA, ABA, overseas and various U.S. minor leagues. A total of 17 Pepperdine products have seen action in the NBA. The Waves had a remarkable streak of 34 consecutive seasons with at least one alum on an NBA roster, which began in 1976-77 after the ABA/NBA merger and ended with the 2010-11 season. Mychel Thompson (2011-12 Cleveland Cavaliers) is the most recent Wave to play in the NBA. The full list includes such notables as Dennis Johnson (a 2010 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee, the 1979 NBA Finals MVP and a three-time NBA champion) and Doug Christie (a 15-year NBA veteran who was a mainstay on the All-Defensive Team).

Alex Acker
Detroit Pistons 2006, 09; Los Angeles Clippers 2009

Selected in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons (60th overall) ... Appeared in five games for the Pistons in 2005-06 ... Spent the next two seasons playing in Europe ... Returned to the Pistons in 2008-09, playing seven games, before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers midseason ... Played in 18 games for the Clippers, averaging 3.5 points ... Returned to Europe in August 2009 with Olimpia Milano (Italy).

Brandon Armstrong
New Jersey Nets 2002, 03, 04

Selected in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets (23rd overall) ... In a draft-day trade, was sent to the New Jersey Nets ... Over three seasons with the Nets, averaged 2.2 points in 108 games ... Went to Europe in 2005 and has also played in the NBA's Development League.

William "Bird" Averitt
San Antonio Spurs (ABA) 1974; Kentucky Colonels (ABA) 1975, 76; Buffalo Braves 1977, 78; New Jersey Nets 1978

Selected in the fourth round of the 1973 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers (55th overall), but instead signed with the San Antonio Spurs of the ABA ... Averaged double-figures in points in each of his three ABA seasons, including a career-best 17.9 ppg with the Kentucky Colonels in 1975-76 ... Won an ABA championship with Kentucky in 1974-75 ... When Kentucky was disbanded as part of the ABA-NBA merger, went on to play two seasons in the NBA ... Played in 130 games and averaged 8.3 points over two seasons with the Buffalo Braves and the New Jersey Nets.

Gerald Brown
Phoenix Suns 1999

Signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns in January 1999 ... Played in 33 games and averaged 2.4 points ... Saw action in the first round of the NBA Playoffs ... Later played in the CBA, ABA and in Europe.

Doug Christie
Los Angeles Lakers 1993, 94; New York Knicks 1995, 96; Toronto Raptors 1996, 97, 98, 99, 00; Sacramento Kings 2001, 02, 03, 04, 05; Orlando Magic 2005; Dallas Mavericks 2006; Los Angeles Clippers 2007

Selected in the first round of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics (17th overall) ... During a 15-year career, made the NBA's All-Defensive Team four times (once on the first team and three times on the second team) ... Had his most success with the Sacramento Kings, helping the team to two Pacific Division titles and to the 2002 Western Conference Finals ... Made 1,555 steals in his career, ranking in the NBA's all-time top 30 at the time of his retirement ... Tied an NBA record when he made eight steals in one half against Philadelphia in 1997 ... Averaged 11.2 points in 827 regular-season games.

Yakhouba Diawara
Denver Nuggets 2007, 08; Miami Heat 2009, 10

Spent his first season out of college playing in the French and Italian leagues ... Signed by the Denver Nuggets as a free agent in August 2006 ... Played two seasons with the Nuggets, averaging 3.7 in 118 games ... Signed as a free agent with the Miami Heat in August 2008 ... In the last two seasons with the Heat, has averaged 3.2 points in 69 games ... In his four-year NBA career, has averaged 3.5 points in 187 games ... Has seen action in the NBA Playoffs three times in four years.

Harry Dinnel
Anaheim Amigos (ABA) 1968

Selected in the eighth round of the 1963 NBA Draft by the San Francisco Warriors (65th overall) ... Didn't ever play in the NBA, but landed with the Anaheim Amigos of the ABA in 1967-68 ... Averaged 1.7 points in 11 games ... Was a player-coach that season, leading Anaheim to a record of 13-29.

Anthony Frederick
Indiana Pacers 1989; Sacramento Kings 1991; Charlotte Hornets 1992

Selected by the Denver Nuggets in the sixth round of the 1986 NBA Draft (133rd overall) ... Averaged 3.3 points in 46 games with Indiana, 5.1 points in 35 games with Sacramento and 5.9 points in 66 games with Charlotte ... His three-year numbers were 4.9 points in 147 games.

Tony Fuller
Detroit Pistons 1981

Selected in the fifth round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons (93rd overall) ... In his rookie season with the Pistons, averaged 4.0 points in 15 games ... Was waived after the season.

Grant Gondrezick
Phoenix Suns 1987; Los Angeles Clippers 1989

Selected in the fourth round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns (77th overall) ... Averaged 5.5 points in 64 games with the Suns ... Two seasons later, averaged 3.9 points in 27 games with the Los Angeles Clippers ... Later played in Europe.

Dennis Johnson
Seattle Supersonics 1977, 78, 79, 80; Phoenix Suns 1981, 82, 83; Boston Celtics 1984, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90

Selected in the second round of the 1976 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics (29th overall) ... The most accomplished of any of Pepperdine's former players ... Awarded basketball's highest honor with his vote into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2010 ... Had a 14-year career that included five All-Star teams, one All-NBA first team (1981) and one All-NBA second team (1980) ... Selected to nine consecutive All-Defensive first or second teams from 1979-87 ... MVP of the 1979 NBA Finals, helping the Sonics win the championship ... Won two more NBA titles with the Celtics (1984 and 1986) ... At his retirement, was only the 11th NBA player to amass more than 15,000 points and 5,000 assists ... Played 1,100 regular-season games and averaged 14.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

Bob O'Brien
Philadelphia Warriors 1948, 49; St. Louis Bombers 1949

Pepperdine's first NBA player (then known as the BAA) ... Joined the Philadelphia Warriors in 1947-48 and played parts of two seasons ... Sold to the St. Louis Bombers in the middle of the 1948-49 season ... His two-season numbers were 1.8 points in 46 games ... Part of a 1948 Philadelphia team that won the Eastern Division but lost in the league finals.

Dwayne Polee
Los Angeles Clippers 1987

Selected in the third round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers (54th overall) ... Appeared in just one game for the Clippers and scored two points in six minutes ... Later played in both Mexico and Europe.

Bobby Sims
Los Angeles Lakers 1962; St. Louis Hawks 1962; Anaheim Amigos (ABA) 1968

Selected in the seventh round of the 1960 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks (54th overall) ... Didn't play for the Hawks, but eventually signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers in June 1961 ... Played in 19 games for the Lakers before being sold to the St. Louis Hawks ... Finished his only NBA season playing 46 games with the Hawks ... Combined, averaged 7.7 points in 67 games ... Joined the Anaheim Amigos of the ABA briefly in 1967-68 and appeared in two games.

Dane Suttle
Kansas City Kings 1984, 85

Selected in the seventh round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings (152nd overall) ... Played two seasons with the Kings, averaging 5.9 points in 46 games.

Mychel Thompson
Cleveland Cavaliers 2012

Following the NBA lockout at the start of the 2011-12 season, was given a tryout by the Cleveland Cavaliers as an undrafted free agent ... Made the team's opening-day roster ... Played in five games, making three starts, while averaging 3.6 points, 1.4 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 19.0 minutes before being waived ... Returned to the NBA D-League, where he was named to the 2012 All-Rookie second team with the Erie BayHawks.

Bob Warlick
Detroit Pistons 1966; San Francisco Warriors 1967, 68; Milwaukee Bucks 1969; Phoenix Suns 1969; Los Angeles Stars (ABA) 1970

Signed as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons in November 1965 ... Played in 10 games that season, averaging 2.4 points ... Sold to the San Francisco Warriors prior to the next season, and in two years there, averaged 2.1 points in 81 games ... The Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals both years but lost both times ... Split time in Milwaukee and Phoenix in the 1968-69 season, and averaged 7.8 points with the Suns in 63 games ... Moved to the Los Angeles Stars of the ABA in 1969-70 and averaged 10.0 points in 29 games ... In 186 career pro contests, averaged 7.9 points.

Eric White
Los Angeles Clippers 1988, 89; Utah Jazz 1989

Selected in the third round of the 1987 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons (65th overall) ... Waived by the Pistons, but joined the Los Angeles Clippers as a rookie and averaged 10.5 points in 17 games ... Signed with the Utah Jazz the following season, but played in only one game ... Rejoined the Clippers that season and averaged 4.3 points in 37 games ... His pro numbers were 6.1 points in 55 games. 

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