As soon as the last pick of the 2016 NBA draft was announced, Kevin Ferrell who watched the draft in TV with his son almost got into tears. His son produced almost 2000 points, grabbed 400 rebounds and dished out 633 assists and was a Big Ten All-Defensive honors, while playing in Indiana University. Yet nobody even dared to pick him. He won two big ten titles including this game winning shot.
Yet everyone ignored him…
Twice the Brooklyn Nets gave him a ten-day contract and twice Yogi Ferrell was waived.
Cook Hall serves as the daily headquarters for the men and women’s basketball programs in Indiana University. It displays a unique museum that chronicles the rich Indiana basketball tradition. This is also the place when Yogi Ferrell spent most of his nights alone, practicing his shots way back in 2012 when he was still a freshman. There was still a lot to work on. Hours and hours of practice, patience and hard work and the day will come when he will reap the fruits of his labor.
There was no stopping him of someday playing in the NBA. Even after his senior year, Yogi knew that his time would come. Being undrafted doesn’t mean it’s the end of everything, it just means that it’s time to get back to work. Like the time when he was in freshman stroking shot after shot, practicing his jumper on weeknights in Cook Hall.
The road to the NBA is still open, but it’s just became narrow. There are 450 NBA players fighting for their spot. How many NBA D-league players? Free agents? International players? Waiting for the chance. His two-ten day contracts with the Nets came out futile with five point guards in their roster. And so Yogi is once again back to square one. But nobody is going to outwork him this time. Shots after shots Yogi goes to the gym to practice.
The Dallas Mavericks signed Ferrell to a 10-day contract after the Mavs lost Deron Williams (toe) and Jose Juan Barea (calf) to injuries. It was just six hours before tipoff on an NBA D-league game in Erie Pennsylvania and Yogi took the first plane to Texas. The next morning he took a crash course of Dallas’ playbook. His first game was against powerhouse San Antonio and Yogi scored 9 points and dishing out 7 assists on a 105-101 win. The next day they played against the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers and Yogi scored a career-high 19 points. Then two days later Yogi’s breakaway game came against Portland when he held all-star Damian Lillard to 13 points and dropping 32 points. He scored 9-out of 11 shots from beyond the arc, including a dagger 3-point shot with 19 seconds left in regulation.
There are only two undrafted rookies in NBA or ABA history had reached 30 points within their first 15 games, (Connie Hawkins in 1967, Anthony Morrow in 2008). In addition, Yogi becomes the third.
He is now averaging 17.8 points, 5 assists and 1.8 steals as the starting point guard in Dallas. A crazy story reminiscing of the year that Jeremy Lin gave us the Linsanity way back in 2012.
Yogi Ferrell recently signed a two-year contract with Dallas and so far, his team have won five out of seven games.
From the halls of Indiana, to the head quarter’s in Cook hall, from being a big-ten champion, to being undrafted and waived by the Brooklyn Nets. The 6-foot point guard, Yogi Ferrell stood tall than ever.
Nobody is ignoring him anymore…
Not now… not ever.
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