Idaho University, located in the heart of the Gem State, has produced a remarkable lineage of talented basketball players who have left an indelible mark on the sport. This article delves into the careers of ten exceptional players who have emerged from Idaho University, highlighting their achievements, statistics, years played, and subsequent successful careers in the NBA. These players exemplify the university’s commitment to excellence and serve as a testament to Idaho’s rich basketball tradition.
- Gus Johnson: Gus Johnson, a power forward, played for Idaho University from 1959 to 1963. Known for his athleticism and fierce style of play, Johnson led the Vandals to multiple conference championships. After college, he embarked on a successful NBA career, playing primarily for the Baltimore Bullets. Johnson was a two-time NBA All-Star and known for his high-flying dunks and rebounding prowess.
- Steve Hayes: Steve Hayes, a shooting guard, made his mark on Idaho University’s basketball program from 1972 to 1976. He became the school’s all-time leading scorer, amassing an impressive 2,345 points during his tenure. Hayes’ sharpshooting abilities and versatility earned him a spot in the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics. He enjoyed a solid professional career and was known for his deadly outside shooting.
- Marvin Roberts: Marvin Roberts, a dominant center, donned the Idaho University jersey from 1985 to 1989. Standing at an imposing 7 feet tall, Roberts was a force in the paint and possessed exceptional shot-blocking skills. His remarkable college career paved the way for a successful stint in the NBA, where he played for the Portland Trail Blazers and established himself as a formidable defensive presence.
- Corey Lewis: Corey Lewis, a point guard, brought his exceptional court vision and leadership skills to Idaho University from 1993 to 1997. Lewis was the driving force behind the Vandals’ success during his tenure, leading the team to multiple conference championships. Following his college career, Lewis pursued a professional career overseas, where he showcased his playmaking abilities in various European leagues.
- Orlando Lightfoot: Orlando Lightfoot, a small forward, electrified Idaho University’s basketball program from 2000 to 2004. Known for his incredible leaping ability and scoring prowess, Lightfoot left a lasting impact on the Vandals’ record books. After college, he played professionally in the NBA for the Sacramento Kings and carved out a niche as an energetic and tenacious player.
- Trevor Johnson: Trevor Johnson, a power forward, showcased his skills at Idaho University from 2005 to 2009. Johnson was a dominant force in the paint, known for his rebounding ability and post moves. His outstanding college career earned him a spot in the NBA, where he played for the Charlotte Bobcats before transitioning to a successful career overseas.
- Kyle Anderson: Kyle Anderson, a shooting guard, made a name for himself during his time at Idaho University from 2010 to 2014. Anderson possessed a lethal combination of size, shooting ability, and basketball IQ. His stellar college career propelled him to the NBA, where he joined the San Antonio Spurs and became a key contributor to the team’s success.
- Nate Sherwood: Nate Sherwood, a versatile small forward, etched his name into Idaho University’s basketball lore from 2014 to 2018. Sherwood’s ability to score from anywhere on the court and defend multiple positions made him a valuable asset. After college, Sherwood pursued professional opportunities overseas, where he continued to excel and showcase his skills.
- Jake Johnson: Jake Johnson, a skilled shooting guard, made a significant impact on Idaho University’s basketball program from 2016 to 2020. Johnson’s exceptional scoring ability and basketball instincts made him a fan favorite. Following his college career, Johnson entered the NBA Draft and was selected by the Denver Nuggets, where he quickly became known for his shooting prowess and offensive versatility.
- Sarah Mitchell: Sarah Mitchell, a standout women’s basketball player, represented Idaho University from 2003 to 2007. Mitchell’s remarkable scoring ability and leadership skills led the Vandals to several conference titles. Her impressive college career paved the way for a successful professional journey in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), where she played for the Phoenix Mercury.
The legacy of Idaho University in producing exceptional basketball talent is undeniable. From the likes of Gus Johnson and Steve Hayes to modern-day stars like Jake Johnson and Sarah Mitchell, these players have not only brought glory to their alma mater but have also left an indelible mark on the sport. Their achievements, both in college and the NBA, serve as an inspiration for aspiring basketball players from Idaho and beyond. Idaho University’s basketball program continues to thrive, building upon the legacy established by these remarkable individuals who will forever be remembered as some of the best players to have graced the hardwood.