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‘Hoos in the NBA impress at NBA Summer League

Some former UVA stars turned summer performances into new contracts with NBA teams

2023 NBA Summer League - Detroit Pistons v Houston Rockets Photo by Ryan Stetz/NBAE via Getty Images

A handful of our graduated Wahoos took the court last week during the NBA summer league competition. While it’s a very limited amount of games, it gave us a look at a pair of last year’s UVA squad as professionals, and many of the former Hoos turned the experience into new pro contracts. Let’s take a look:

Armaan Franklin - Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets have made a habit of signing Wahoos this summer (more on that in a second), but their one UVA summer league player was guard Armaan Franklin. Franklin played in two of Denver’s league games, averaged 3.5 PPG, and played 12 minutes per game. While it wasn’t a ton of action, he turned the experience into a training camp contact with the team - announced officially yesterday:

Kihei Clark - Utah Jazz

National Champion Kihei Clark made three appearances for the Jazz’s summer league team last week. His best performance came on Sunday against the Houston Rockets, where Clark played just under 12 minutes, scored six points, and added three assists and a steal to his stat line. Clark’s professional future is up in the air right now, as his contract was only for the summer league competition.

Jay Huff - Houston Rockets

The former Virginia big man (and National Champion) has played in 11 regular season NBA games across the previous two seasons. This summer, he represented the Houston Rockets and made two appearances in the summer league competition. He averaged 3.5 points, 2.5 blocks, and 3.5 rebounds in those contests, but his previous season in the G league shows how strong his professional potential really is:

Across 28 games for two teams, Huff played 25.7 minutes a game, averaged just under 15 points, 40% (19/47 !!!) from 3, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks. He was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-G League First Team for the year. While his summer league stats were limited, the small showcase on top of his G League work led to a recent two-way contract signing with the Denver Nuggets. He has a real shot to back up Nikola Jokic for the reigning champions and will get to work with Denver in their upcoming training camp.

Braxton Key - Dallas Mavericks

Another National Champion, Key has made 14 regular season appearances in the league across two teams: the Pistons and Sixers. This summer, he played in three games for Dallas’s squad, where he averaged 8 points, 5.67 rebounds, and 2 assists. He had one of the more exciting plays of the week as well with a game-winning overtime putback dunk:

Because the defending NBA champions apparently can’t get enough Wahoos, Key was picked up by Denver for a two-way contract, joining Huff and Franklin on their training camp roster:

So, get your Denver gear ready, Virginia fans. And stay tuned to Streaking the Lawn for any training camp news on our alums.