Jerel McNeal has found his way back to professional basketball. The former D-League All-Star faced a long journey, but has returned to the court as a member of the Bakersfield Jam. In Monday night's 103-99 loss to the Idaho Stampede, McNeal scored seven points while adding nine rebounds and seven assists.
Prior to rejoining the Jam, McNeal played overseas on the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association. While in China, he averaged 21.5 points and 4.7 assists in just over 33 minutes, playing 15 games with the team.
McNeal has stayed resilient. While he wasn't selected in the 2009 NBA Draft, the 6-3 guard has been part of two league rosters - both the Utah Jazz's and New Orleans Hornets' in 2011 - and three separate training camps, with the Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.
Before turning pro, McNeal was a standout at Marquette University. He finished as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,985 points, including averaging 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2 steals during his senior season.
This is McNeal's second stint with the Jam. Last season, he averaged 18.1 points on 43.8 percent shooting, 5.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 44 games, playing 33.3 minutes per contest. His play was good enough to earn him his second D-League All-Star appearance.
His first came in the 2010-11 campaign as a member of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In 47 games, McNeal averaged 19.4 points on 45.8 percent shooting, 4.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.4 minutes per contest.