The Westchester Knicks’ season ended in March, but many alumni were spotted during the G League offseason. There was plenty of action in the past six months. One player became a Knick when he earned an NBA call-up and more alumni kept the action in Summer League and The Basketball Tournament.
Here’s a recap on what the alumni did during the G League offseason.
Billy Garrett NBA Call-Up
Billy Garrett’s second season in Westchester ended on Mar. 29 when the Knicks fell to the Lakeland Magic. He had his stuff shipped to Chicago, Illinois, but his offseason plans were put on hold for a couple weeks. He signed with the New York Knicks on Apr. 2 and scored his first basket in his debut the next day against the Orlando Magic. Garrett played four games with New York and totaled eight points against the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls.
Zak Irvin Competes With G League Elite Team
The NBA G League held the Elite Camp prior to the NBA Combine, which gave 40 of the G League’s top prospects an opportunity to showcase their abilities over the course of three days in front of NBA and NBA G League scouts, coaches and front-office executives. The prospects, along with 40 NBA Draft hopefuls, competed in five-on-five games and strength and agility drills. Zak Irvin competed at the event following a successful 2018-19 campaign in Westchester.
Summer Action With Alumni
As the summer rolled on, the alumni looked to further show that they could make an impression in Summer League. Nine former players were on rosters this summer. Those former players include Rashad Vaughn (Houston Rockets), Kenrich Williams and Trevon Bluiett (New Orleans Pelicans), Nigel Hayes (Los Angeles Clippers), Devin Robinson (Portland Trail Blazers), Zak Irvin (New York Knicks), Isaiah Hicks (Charlotte Hornets), Jimmer Fredette (Golden State Warriors), and Billy Garrett (Phoenix Suns).
Basketball action continued in the Summer with the Big3 and The Basketball Tournament. Robert Vaden was the lone former player to play in the Big3 when he suited up with Aliens.
Several Westchester alumni competed in TBT this year, as they competed for the $2 million grand prize. There was tons of action in this year’s tournament, which kept the viewers on the edge of their seats.
Alumni Signing Overseas
Not only have the Westchester Knicks produced the most NBA call-ups in the past two seasons, but the team continues to prepare their players for the next step in their professional career. The G League continues to be a platform where players can progress their game then catapult themselves to greener pastures.
Knicks’ alumni can be spotted all over the globe this upcoming season. 10 Knicks alumni are on NBA rosters, 35 alumni are set to play overseas, and four former players will be on a coaching staff for the 2019-20 season.
Mike Miller Promoted To David Fizdale’s Staff
Mike Miller took over as head coach of the Westchester Knicks four years ago. Since then, Miller has played a huge role in the growth and development of the Knicks’ players. He is a player’s coach who built top notch defenses. Miller was named the 2017-18 G League Coach of the Year and accumulated a 108-92 record at the helm in Westchester.
In August, New York officially announced the addition of Miller to David Fizdale’s Staff as an assistant coach. Fizdale spoke on what Mike Miller’s role will be on the team at the Knicks’ Media Day.
Derrick Alston Named Head Coach
After Mike Miller was promoted to the Knicks’ bench, Westchester’s head coaching position was vacant. While the Knicks had an extensive search, the team announced Derrick Alston as the next head coach of the team. Alston brings a lot to the table after working in player development with the Houston Rockets and playing a role in the development of Westchester’s players the past four seasons.
Paul Watson Named to USA’s Elite Team for the G League International Challenge
In early September, Paul Watson was named to the NBA G League International Challenge Team. It was another opportunity for him to showcase his defensive ability on a big stage. Watson looked at it as another opportunity to showcase what he could bring to an NBA organization.
The third-year forward opened the International Challenge with 16 points and three rebounds over Capitanes CDMX (Mexico). Watson continued his strong production in the following two games with 12 points and four rebounds on 83.3 percent shooting from the field and 12 points and seven rebounds in the semifinals against Bayern Munchen (Germany).
Teresa Weatherspoon Enshrined In Basketball Hall of Fame; Joins New Orleans Pelicans Coaching Staff
Teresa Weatherspoon had a very legendary career in the WNBA. The WNBA legend had one of the most memorable moments in WNBA history, “The Shot,” when she drained a 50 foot shot to force a Game 3 in the 1999 WNBA Finals. Weatherspoon was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 & 1998 and was a five-time WNBA All-Star.
Weatherspoon had a summer to remember. In September, she was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Later in the month, the Hall of Famer was added to the New Orleans Pelicans staff as a player development coach. The WNBA legend will work closely with the Pelicans’ two-way players.
There were a couple of roster changes in Westchester this offseason. The Erie BayHawks were apart of the 2019 G League Expansion Draft and the team obtained the returning rights to 14 players. One of those players is former Westchester Knick Trey Burke. Burke signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers in the offseason.
The Knicks traded the returning rights to Billy Garrett, along with 2019 G League second round pick, to Maine Red Claws for returning rights to Andrew White III. White III participated with the New York Knicks in the 2019 Summer League and could suit up in Westchester for the 2019-20 season.