They don’t produce NBA players like they did in the past, but there are still some good pro players coming out of HBCUs. Check out this list of players currently active in the NBA Developmental League.
Mickell Gladness, Alabama A&M
This shot-swatting Alabama native spent three seasons terrorizing the SWAC, blocking nearly 400 shots during that time. His best season was 2006-2007, when he led the nation with 6.3 blocks per game, including 17 against Texas Southern. He went undrafted in 2008, and has bounced around since then, including a 26 game stint in the NBA with the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors. Gladness currently plays for the Reno Bighorns of the NBDL where he is averaging 8 points and 2.3 blocks per game, both career highs. He was recently named the seventh-best center prospect in the D-League.
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Bennie Lewis, Benedict
Lewis spent his college career lighting up SIAC rims at Benedict. He’s since taken his aerial show on the road, including the NBL and Australia. Lewis currently averages 7 points per game in just over 18 minutes.
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Travis Hyman, Bowie State
Hyman always stood out at Bowie State, thanks to his 7-foot frame. Despite averaging just 10 points per game at the D2 level, Hyman drew interest from NBA teams during the 2012 NBA Draft. He’s currently averaging 7.2 ppg and 5 rpg as a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
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Akeem Ellis, Coppin State
Ellis averaged 12 points per game after transferring to Coppin State from the JUCO level. He currently averages just one point per game in limited minutes with the Rio Grand Vipers.
Jazwyn Cowan, Hampton
Cowan spent one season at Hampton after starting his career at George Washington. The Baltimore native has played professionally since 2006, signing with the Austin Toros prior to this season.
Ronald “Flip” Murray, Shaw
At both the NBA and NBDL levels, Murray is by far the most accomplished player on this list. The Philly native dominated the CIAA at Shaw, picking up Division II Player of The Year honors as a senior. The second round pick has averaged just under 10 points in his 487 NBA games. He is currently pitching in 18 points per game for the Austin Toros.
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Robert Covington, Tennessee State
After a stellar career at Tennessee State, Covington was thought to have an outside chance at being picked in the 2013 NBA Draft. That didn’t happen, but he did sign with the Houston Rockets. He’s been one of the better players in the NBDL this season, averaging 20 points and eight rebounds per game. Don’t be surprised if he winds up on an NBA roster at some point in the near future.
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Kellen Thornton, Tennessee State
Thorton has been a solid contributor off the bench, scoring 9 points and grabbing five rebounds while shooting 57 percent for the Idaho Stampede.
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