As much as I’d love to write about the breaking news going on in MLB today, @UltraMicBeam wrote a great segment that can be found on our website regarding the Cubs trade earlier today. As hard as it is for me not to dissect that trade, I want to take the time to write about a player who has been on my mind a lot over the past year.
As a big basketball fan, I’ve always admired Yogi Ferrell’s play on the court. I’m not an IU fan by any means, but I always love a good underdog story. Who doesn’t?
Yogi Ferrell constantly proved himself to be one of the Big Ten’s elite guards in his time at Indiana. Ferrell not only stayed all four years at Indiana (sadly, you just don’t see that anymore), he averaged 30+ games on the court each season. I’m not going to get into all of the advanced stats, but Ferrell constantly finished in the top 10 in a lot of different statistical categories in college. Field Goal %, Assists per Game, Assists & Offensive Rating are a few that come to mind (http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/kevin-ferrell-1.html).
After four solid seasons at Indiana and a proven leader; where would Ferrell fall in the 2016 NBA draft? Undrafted. You’d have to think teams didn’t think his frame could hold up in the NBA at just 6’0 and 180 lbs. Ferrell didn’t take no for an answer. He would be signed by Brooklyn (and dropped). With injuries at the guard position, he would eventually be signed by the Dallas Mavericks.
How did Ferrell respond? He responded by continuing to push himself each and every day and earned a spot on the All-Rookie 2nd Team at the end of the 2016-2017 season.
Ferrell started 29 games for the Mavericks and averaged 11.3 points per game in 36 games. The Mavericks liked his character and play enough that his option was picked up and he is set to make 1.3 million dollars in 2017-2018. In today’s NBA market, that isn’t much. But for Ferrell, it’s only the beginning.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Yogi Ferrell is a superstar. Chances are, he never will be. I just want to show some love for a guy that has worked hard and constantly proven haters wrong. Yogi isn’t blessed with the crazy athleticism or freakish size of the majority of NBA players these days. Ferrell has continued to improve each year, and why should we think that’s going to stop now?
Ferrell is a guy that teammates love and is just starting to pave his way on the NBA stage. I don’t know about you guys, but I will certainly be cheering for him every step of the way and can’t wait to see what’s next.
This one’s for you Yogi, the best is yet to come!
– Josh Schaffer (@j_schaffs)