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Huskers in the NBA
Tyronn Lue guided Cleveland to an NBA title in 2016.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications
Courtesy: NU Athletic Communications
10/10/2016
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Nebraska has had 26 players selected in the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft since 1949, including three first-round selections in the NBA Draft.

The Huskers’ most recent NBA player was Mikki Moore, who finished a 13-year career in the NBA during the 2011-12 season. Moore, who was signed in March of 2012, averaged 3.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for the Warriors coming off the bench during the 2011-12 campaign.

Moore, who signed with the Detroit Pistons following his college career, enjoyed his best season in with New Jersey in 2006-07 when he started 55 games after working his way into the opening lineup just seven times in his first eight seasons. He averaged 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and led the league by hitting 60.1 percent from the floor. He was the first undrafted player in NBA history to lead the league in field-goal percentage, as he helped the Nets to the second round of the playoffs. The following season, he started 79 games for Sacramento, averaging 8.5 points and a career-high 6.0 rebounds per game.

One of the most recent Huskers in the NBA is former Husker great Tyronn Lue, who guided the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title in 2016 in his first season as head coach. Lue, who was appointed in January of 2016, led the Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, becoming the first coach in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. Lue had served as an assistant with Cleveland, the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics following his playing career.  As a player, Lue spent 11 seasons in the NBA, and won a pair of NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. He played with six teams during his career and averaged a career-high 11.4 points per game in 2006-07 and finished his career with 4,710 points and 1,727 career assists.  During his Husker career, Lue averaged 15.9 points and 4.4 assists in his three-year career as a Cornhusker and left the program ranking third in assists (432), fourth in three-pointers made (145), fifth in steals (154) and seventh in points (1,577). Lue was named First Team All-Big 12 his junior season after averaging 21.2 points and 4.8 assists.

Eric Piatkowski was one of the longest-tenured Huskers in the NBA, as he played 13 seasons in the league. He spent his first nine seasons with the LA Clippers, two with the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns and one with the Houston Rockets. A first-round pick in 1994, he was a part of six playoff teams in his career, including each of his last five seasons, before retiring following the 2008 playoffs. One of the best shooters in the NBA during his career, he was third in the NBA in 3-point percentage in 2001-02 and ninth in 2004-05 while ranking in the top 100 all-time in 3-pointers made. He is the Clippers' all-time leader in 3-pointers (738) and 3-point percentage (40.2) and ranked second in the team record book with 616 games played at the end of his playing career. One of only two players in Nebraska history to play on four straight NCAA Tournament teams, Piatkowski led the Huskers to an 85-39 record including three 20-win seasons. He was the first player in Nebraska history to record at least 1,900 points, grab 600 rebounds (669) and dish out 300 assists (322) and with 202 career treys, is one of only two Huskers to record at least 200 3-pointers in a career. Piatkowski was a two-time first-team All-Big Eight selection and was the MVP of the 1994 Big Eight Tournament while leading the Huskers to their first conference tournament title. He set the NU single-game scoring record with 42 points in the first round of the tournament against Oklahoma and his No. 52 jersey was retired in 2006.

Of the nine former Huskers who have reached the NBA, Stu Lantz is the program's highest scorer, as he averaged 12.4 points per game during his eight-year NBA career.  Lantz was originally a third-round draft pick of the San Diego Rockets in 1968. Spending his first three seasons in San Diego, he enjoyed his finest pro campaign in 1970-71, averaging career-high figures in both scoring (20.6) and rebounding (5.0). The following season, Lantz ranked sixth overall in the NBA in free throw percentage (.838). Lantz also played for the Detroit Pistons (1972-1974) and New Orleans Jazz (1974) prior to being traded to the Lakers in December of 1974, where he spent two seasons before being forced to retire with a back injury. He has spent the last 25 seasons on the Los Angeles Lakers' broadcast team. As a Husker, he was a two-time All-Big Eight selection who totaled 1,269 points in his career, while his average of 16.9 points per game ranks fifth in school history. His No. 22 was retired in 1989.

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