Reggie Willhite ‘12 Drafted In Fifth Round Of NBA D-League Draft

Reggie Willhite (Ron Waite photo)
Reggie Willhite (Ron Waite photo)

Selected By Reno Bighorns

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Reggie Willhite, the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year last year as a senior at Yale, was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NBA Development League Draft on Friday night. Willhite was selected by the Reno Bighorns with the fifth pick in the fifth round. He was the 70th player chosen overall.

Willhite becomes the second Yale player to be drafted by a D-League team. Alex Zampier '10 was chosen in the seventh round of the 2010 draft by the New Mexico Thunderbirds.

Willhite enjoyed an outstanding career for the Bulldogs. His 132 career steals are the seventh most in school history. As a senior, he earned second team All-Ivy recognition, set a single-season school record with 65 steals and was 17th in the nation in steals (2.24 per game). In addition, he led the Ivy League in steals, was eighth in scoring (12.1 ppg.) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4), ninth in rebounding (6.1 rpg.), fifth in field goal percentage (.475) and sixth in assists (3.9 per game). In a win at Columbia, he scored a career-high 24 points, including a driving layup that was the game-winner with 13 seconds left. He was named to the Capital One Academic All-District I first team and was an Academic All-Ivy selection.

Willhite joins a long list of players that have earned professional opportunities during James Jones' tenure as the head coach at Yale. Ted Smith (England), Matt Minoff (Israel), Paul Vitelli (Italy), Dominick Martin (Spain), Matt Kyle (Portugal), Caleb Holmes (Iceland), Ross Morin (Switzerland), Eric Flato (England), Greg Mangano (Turkey) and Edwin Draughan (France) have all played overseas. Zampier and Neil Yanke (tryout with Los Angeles Lakers) both had opportunities in the United States.

The Bighorns are coached by former Milwaukee Bucks star Paul Mokeski and are affiliated with Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz. The D-League season begins of Friday, Nov. 30.

Reno is approximately 150 miles from Willhite's hometown of Elk Grove, California.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity