Fourteen former Chippewas, including current New Orleans Hornet Chris Kaman, have taken their game to the National Basketball Association. In fact, there has been a CMU player in the NBA all but one season since 1975-76.
Ben Kelso was the first to make it into the league, playing for the Detroit Pistons in 1973-74. Dan Roundfield was drafted in the first round of the ABA draft and the second round of the NBA draft in 1975, going on to play 12 years with the Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Washington Bullets. A three-time All-Star (1980, 1981, 1982), Roundfield was a second-team All-NBA honoree in 1979-80 and a five-time All-Defensive Team selection, including three times on the first team.
Dan Majerle owns the longest professional career among former Chippewa. He was drafted 14th overall by Phoenix in 1988 and retired in 2002 following 14 seasons in Phoenix, Cleveland and Miami. Also a three-time All-Star (1992, 1993, 1995), Majerle was twice an All-Defensive Second Team selection. He was inducted into the Suns' Ring of Honor and has a Suns team award named after him, the Dan Majerle Hustle Award. Majerle was the leading scorer on the 1988 USA Olympic team that won a bronze medal in Seoul.
Following his junior year at CMU, Kaman was drafted sixth overall by the Los Angeles Clippers and he played there for eight seasons before before being traded to the Hornets prior to the 2011-12 season. Kaman played in the got milk? Rookie Challenge game during NBA All-Star Weekend in 2004, and in 2010 joined Roundfield and Majerle as the third Chippewa to be named to the NBA All-Star Game. Kaman also played for Team Germany in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Chippewas in the NBA/ABA Draft:
|Year||Player||Team (League)||Round (Overall Selection)|
|1968||Willie Iverson||Miami Floridians (ABA)|
|1971||Paul Botts||Detroit Pistons (NBA)||Ninth (146)|
|1972||Ben Kelso||Detroit Pistons (NBA)||Eighth (117)|
|1973||Ben Kelso||Detroit Pistons (NBA)||Eighth (129)|
|1975||Dan Roundfield||Indianapolis Pacers (ABA)||First (7)|
|1975||Dan Roundfield||Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)||Second (28)|
|1975||James McElroy||New Orleans Jazz (NBA)||Third (38)|
|1977||Ben Poquette||Detroit Pistons (NBA)||Second (36)|
|1978||Dave Grauzer||Detroit Pistons (NBA)||10th (189)|
|1979||Jeff Tropf||Portland Trailblazers (NBA)||Seventh (140)|
|1979||Val Bracey||Detroit Pistons (NBA)||Ninth (170)|
|1981||Mike Robinson||Utah Jazz (NBA)||Seventh (143)|
|1983||Melvin McLaughlin||Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)||Sixth (119)|
|1987||Ervin Leavy||Chicago Bulls (NBA)||Seventh (148)|
|1988||Dan Majerle||Phoenix Suns (NBA)||First (14)|
|2003||Chris Kaman||Los Angeles Clippers (NBA)||First (6)|