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Penn State Program in the NBA

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Chris Babb is Penn State's Lone Player in the NBA

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions are known as Linebacker University for good reason. They have eight current linebackers in the NFL and four of them are very good players (Tamba Hali, NaVorro Bowman, Sean Lee, and Paul Posluszny). While the football program has produced many professional linebackers, they have produced very little when it comes to the NBA. There are zero current players in the NBA right now that graduated or came from Penn State in their final collegiate season to the NBA.

I make the specific stipulation that there are none that graduated or came from Penn State in their final season because there is one player who spent two seasons with the Nittany Lions in the NBA. His name is Chris Babb and he finished his career in Ames, Iowa playing for the Iowa State Cyclones.

While with the Nittany Lions, Babb averaged 10.1 and 29.7 minutes per game. In that sophomore season where he averaged almost 30 minutes a game, Babb averaged 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. He was a solid three-point shooter making 37% of shots from beyond the arc that season.

With Iowa State, Babb saw about 33 minutes per game in both seasons, but still averaged about the same as that sophomore season. As a junior, his three-point shooting dipped to 33%. He averaged 8 points, 4 rebounds, and almost 2 assists per game. In his final season, he posted numbers very similar to his final year at Penn State average 9/3/2 while shooting 38% from three.

After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Chris Babb joined the Phoenix Suns for the NBA Summer League. He would sign with the Boston Celtics at the end of September, but get waived less than a month later. Eventually, Babb would sign two different 10-day contracts with the Celtics before finally signing a multi-year deal with those Celtics. In 9.4 minutes per game, he averaged 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds, and .2 rebounds per game.

The last Penn State player to get drafted into the NBA was Calvin Booth to the Washington Wizards. He was the 35th overall pick that season.