The dream of making the NBA some day still burns bright in former Bulls forward B.B. Waldon, and he doesn’t envision it going out any time soon.
Waldon, who played for four years at USF, wasn’t selected in the 2002 NBA Draft after a successful career with the Bulls and has yet to get a workout with an NBA team. However, he hopes that is going to change this summer – the Seattle Supersonics have shown some interest in the 6-foot-8 power forward.
But until he gets the call, Waldon will work on his game and play basketball whenever he can.
“Basketball is everything for me, and as long as I can shoot and play defense I will continue to play,” 26-year-old Waldon said. “I have fallback plans in place, but I still have the athleticism to play, so I’m going to keep working on my game.”
Waldon has been bouncing around Pro-Am leagues in Orlando and Tampa to get his name out there to NBA scouts. He’s played for the Palm-Beach All-Stars alongside other former college players. Desmond Allison, who was a major recruit for the Kentucky Wildcats, is a teammate with Waldon.
During his time with the Palm Beach All-Stars, Waldon has shown flashes of the talent he had at USF. Against the Brevard Blue Ducks, he averaged 29 points and 13.5 rebounds.
“I’m just trying to get my name out there and trying to get a tryout somewhere,” Waldon said.
Waldon spent this weekend in Polk County, where he had a successful career at Kathleen High School, participating in the Tracy McGrady Indoor Streetball tournament. Waldon started for Team T-Mac and was impressive in his showing against some talented streetball players from around the state.
“Throughout the years, the competition in this tournament is getting better and better,” Waldon said. “There are teams coming from within the state and out of state that have some NBA-caliber type of players.”
While at USF, Waldon teamed up with Altron Jackson to make a devastating 1-2 combo at USF under former coach Seth Greenberg. Waldon finished his career as the all-time leader in rebounding with 928, second in steals with 215 and fourth in scoring with 15.8 points per game.
He has kept up with the Bulls program from time to time, but admits since the coaching change, he hasn’t revisited much of his college days. Waldon also admits his time at the college level did help improve his talent.
“In high school we didn’t run a lot of set plays, but in college you have to learn the whole system and the plays,” Waldon said. “College was just a different level, the game is faster and you are playing against the best players.”
Waldon didn’t have much of a struggle adjusting to the college game, averaging 16.3 points and seven rebounds a game as a freshman. After a stellar sophomore year, where he was second on the team in scoring (17.3 ppg) and led the team in rebounding (7.9 rpg), Waldon was named to the Wooden Pre-season All-America team.
Waldon’s talent on the court hasn’t gone unnoticed.
McGrady, star forward for the Houston Rockets, has taken time to give him advice on the NBA game. Waldon said the biggest advice he got was to stay positive.
“He just told me to surround myself with positive people and to keep working hard,” Waldon said. “Because if you surround yourself with positive people, then the only place you can go is up.”