D-League Alum Sundiata Gaines Still Grinding Away in NBA

Mar 21, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets guard Sundiata Gaines (1) drives to the basket during the second half as Washington Wizards guard Shelvin Mack (22) defends at the Prudential Center. The Wizards won 108-89. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Before Jeremy Lin there was Sundiata Gaines. Sure Lin's success has grown to unimaginable levels as he made headlines once again, looking for some more couch real estate in Houston. But it was Gaines who first put the D-League on the map as much as any single player could when he did this...

The aftermath of that moment was well documented here at Ridiculous Upside. Since that incredible shot, Gaines has been able to stay afloat in the NBA ranks, ending the season last year as a member of the New Jersey Nets. Let's take a closer look at what Gaines has been able to accomplish since that unforgettable night in Salt Lake City after the jump.

On October 2, NBA teams will begin training camp and Gaines will enter as a member of the Indiana Pacers. With the Nets last season, Gaines averaged 5.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 13.9 minutes. Those aren't jaw dropping totals, but Gaines made an impact in more than a few contests for the team.

Gaines peppered double-digit point totals in 11 contests over the abbreviated season, and had his best showing in a losing effort that will go down as the final time the New York Knicks would cross the Hudson river to face the New Jersey Nets. Gaines scored 18 points, dished out 6 dimes, and pulled down 6 rebounds in 29 minutes of action at the Prudential Center that evening.

Now with Indiana, Gaines will have to rely on his tenacity to once again prove that he deserves a spot on an NBA roster. Gaines will join some other familiar D-League alums (Blake Ahearn and Gerald Green) in fighting for a spot on Frank Vogel's squad. The University of Georgia alum has plenty of NBA minutes left in the tank and will look to impress right out of the gate in Indiana's training camp.

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