UConn in the Pros: Big night for Drummond, Breanna Stewart signs to Liberty 


As the Basketball Capital of the World, the University of Connecticut has produced many big-name NBA and WNBA athletes; from Kemba Walker to Sue Bird, Storrs has dominated professional basketball and continues to do so. 

Andre Drummond (2011-2012), a 6’10” center for the Chicago Bulls, played only one season with UConn before becoming the No. 9 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Drummond played eight seasons with the Detroit Pistons and since then has played with five other teams during his 11-year NBA career.  

Drummond dominated the game on Monday against the San Antonio Spurs with a season-high performance, putting up 21 points, 15 rebounds and three steals in just the 21 minutes he saw the court. The big man went 9-for-9, putting up the first 20/15 game on a perfect field goal percentage by a bench player since Amir Johnson in 2013. The “Drummond Dunk Extravaganza” hugely contributed to the team’s 128-104 victory and its third straight win.  

Drummond had a stellar game against the Charlotte Hornets last Thursday with 15 points and 11 rebounds while clocking only 15 minutes. This past Saturday, the UConn product dug out seven points and five rebounds against the Portland Trail Blazers in the team’s 25th win. In the past four of eight games, Drummond had gotten at most eight minutes. With these past few wins, the veteran has proved he can still have a huge impact on the court.  

Tyrese Martin (2020-2022) played only two seasons with the Huskies after transferring from the University of Rhode Island. During his UConn career, Martin led the team in rebounding and was ranked No. 6 in the Big East overall in that category. The 2022 second round draft pick has seen limited playing time with the Atlanta Hawks during the first year of his NBA career.  

Martin has become a starting guard in the G-League, playing for the College Park Skyhawks. The former Husky averages about 33 minutes a game, with 17.7 points and a field goal percentage just under 50.  

Martin had quite a game with the Skyhawks on Monday, putting up 19 points (going 7-for-12), 11 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes, earning his sixth double-double of the season. A somewhat close game ended in a Skyhawks 126-112 win against the Westchester Knicks. 

Breanna Stewart (2012-2016), two-time WNBA champion, two-time WNBA finals MVP and 6‘4” Husky alum, recently announced her signing with the New York Liberty after a six-year career with the Seattle Storm. Stewart comes off of an exceptional 2022 season, averaging a league-best 21.8 points per game (PPG). New York recently traded for the Connecticut Sun’s Jonquel Jones this off-season, another MVP, and soon-to-be stand-out for Liberty alongside Stewart.  

The 2016 first round draft pick finished her UConn career second on the program’s all-time scoring list at 2,676 career points, fourth with 1,179 career rebounds, and first in blocks with 414. The Storrs legend led the Huskies to four national championships and was named the Final Four’s most outstanding player a record four times.  

Rudy Gay (2004-2006), the 36-year-old small forward, dominated his UConn career, leading him to be a 1st round pick for the Memphis Grizzlies. After his six-year career with the team, Gay has seen time with four other squads during his 17-year NBA career. Gay currently plays for the Utah Jazz, but has not been performing to his usual caliber, which, in his prime, was about 20 PPG. Gay averages only 4.4 PPG this season, an all-time low for the former Husky. 

Gay had a big night against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, dropping 10 points and two assists in just the 15 minutes he saw the court. However, this might be the end of the road for the vet due to his lacking performance in recent seasons. 

James Bouknight (2019-2021), a 6’5” guard, averaged 18 points a game with the Huskies in his final season, ultimately becoming a first round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft for the Charlotte Hornets. The UConn product hasn’t been able to carve out much time in his second season with the team and has been playing with the Hornets’ G-League team, the Greensboro Swarm. Bouknight averages 17.1 PPG with the Swarm, getting about 24.3 minutes on the court. 

On Sunday the Swarm faced the Windy City Bulls. Bouknight dropped 19 points in 25 minutes with two assists and five rebounds. Greensboro got their sixth win of the season, beating the Bulls 133-122.  

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