Where are they now? Updates on ‘Canes playing professional basketball

Sixth-year redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg brings the ball downcourt during the first half of Miami’s game versus Florida State in the Watsco Center on Jan. 22, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Over the years, the Miami men’s basketball program has consistently produced top athletes who not only play in the NBA, but all across the world.

From Lonnie Walker on the Los Angeles Lakers to Sam Waardenburg competing in Australia with the Cairns Taipans, these ‘Canes are succeeding at the professional level, and many are just getting started.

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft and averaged only 4.3 points per game in his first season.

Now with the Denver Nuggets, Brown averages 11.2 points per game on 49.1% shooting, along with 3.7 assists.

On Saturday, Brown started his fourth game in a row at Charlotte, scoring 14 points and helping lead Denver to a 119-105 win over the Hornets. Brown and the Nuggets currently hold the top spot in the Western Conference standings and hope to secure home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Lonnie Walker

Drafted 18th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2018 NBA draft, Lonnie Walker started in over 50 games while playing under legendary head coach Gregg Popovich. During his first season in San Antonio, he only played in 17 games and averaged 2.6 points with a field goal percentage of 34.8%.

After playing four seasons with the Spurs, Walker signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in July 2022.

This season, he averages 13.5 points per game playing alongside LeBron James, which is a career high. Walker is making 45.5% of his shots this season, which is also the highest in his NBA career.

Having only a one-year contract with the Lakers, Walker could end up anywhere next season, but he has a promising professional basketball career ahead of him.

Charlie Moore

After playing in the NBA Summer League with the Detroit Pistons, Moore now plays internationally.

Despite putting on an impressive performance for the Pistons this past summer, the guard was not signed due to a surplus of the position already in Detroit.

In response, Moore took his talents to Europe in hopes of one day signing a contract in the NBA. He currently plays for Belfius Mons-Hainaut in the Belgium/Netherlands-based BNXT League.

The BNXT League is relatively new, having been founded in 2020, and it functions under the FIBA Europe Cup. For international and undrafted basketball players like Moore, this league can act as an alternative path to becoming a professional basketball player in the NBA.

Kameron McGusty

Kameron McGusty spent the summer with a familiar friend in Detroit. McGusty and Moore, who led Miami to its first Elite Eight appearance last season, showed out with the Pistons during the summer league, but McGusty was not signed.

Following a similar path to Moore, McGusty is now abroad in Europe and plays for the UCC Assigeco Piacenza in Italy.

McGusty is thriving in Italy, racking up multiple 20- and 30-point games this season.

Sam Waardenburg

After his final season at Miami, Sam Waardenburg returned near his native New Zealand to continue his basketball career. He currently plays for the Cairns Taipans in Australia and is establishing himself as one of the team’s top scorers.

The 6-foot-10 center averages 10.8 points per game this season and has the second-highest field goal percentage on the team at 54%.

While these ‘Canes are making a name for themselves in the professional ranks, the Miami Hurricanes, currently ranked No. 15 in the country, are continuing to establish themselves as one of the premier programs in college basketball. With a plethora of talent on this season’s team, more ‘Canes are sure to play professionally in the future.