FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas currently has four players strutting their stuff on the hardwood as members of National Basketball Association (NBA) teams and two of them continue to play as the league’s playoffs are set to begin.
Current Razorbacks in the NBA include Ronnie Brewer (2004-06) of the Memphis Grizzlies, Joe Johnson (2000-01) with the Atlanta Hawks, Jannero Pargo (2001-02) with the Chicago Bulls and Sonny Weems (2007-08) of the Toronto Raptors. The quartet of Razorbacks continue a long line of Razorbacks that have played at organized basketball’s highest level, a line that includes three NBA Championships and even more all-star appearances.
Johnson is perhaps the most prominent of the current Razorbacks in the NBA as he averaged 21.3 points per game this season in leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 53-29 record and No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs where they will meet the Milwaukee Bucks. The 2009-10 campaign has been one of the best of Johnson’s career as he earned his fourth trip to the All-Star game and ranked No. 11 in points per game and the eight-year pro is entering his fifth playoffs and third consecutive with the Hawks.
Pargo is also entering the 2010 NBA playoffs this season as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference where his Bulls meet the top seeded Cleveland Cavaliers. Pargo played in 63 games this season while making five starts and averaged 5.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per contest. He scored a season high 27 points against New Jersey in late March and is making his fifth NBA Playoffs appearance and third with the Bulls.
Brewer’s season was cut short not long after he was traded from the Utah Jazz, who drafted him in 2006, to the Memphis Grizzlies. Brewer started 53 games for Utah this season before he was dealt to the Grizzlies for a first-round draft pick, but a hamstring injury ended his season after just five games for his new team. Brewer averaged 10.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game this season and his new club just missed out on the playoffs.
Weems played 69 games with the Toronto Raptors this year, his second club in two NBA seasons. He averaged a career best 7.5 points and 2.8 rebounds while earning 19 starts and shot 51.5 percent from the floor this season. He scored a career high 21 points against Boston on April 7 of this season.
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