While tracking down former college players across the globe, we are consistently amazed at how long some college stars from the ’90s – and in one case, even the ’80s – have continued their careers. Based on “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”, here’s our Top 10 “I Can’t Believe They’re Still Playing!” based on their age and years out of the spotlight.
Note: All entries as of March 2010
10. Toby Bailey (UCLA): Age 34
Tony Bailey was the freshman phenom on UCLA’s 1995 national championship team, playing alongside Ed O’Bannon and Tyus Edney, both of whom are now retired. Edney is just beginning a coaching and broadcasting career while O’Bannon is already a successful car salesman and has now turned his efforts into coaching. Having last played in the NBA in 2000, Bailey is scoring 11 points a night with Germany’s Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck, a team in the middle of the German league.
9. Lou Roe (UMass): Age 37
Lou Roe was the 1995 A-10 Player of the Year in 1995. Think about that. John Calipari was still a young up-and-comer best known for this bizarre scene with John Chaney. Boy have things changed. While his former coach is now king of the Bluegrass State, Roe is still having a successful professional career, albeit away from the NBA limelight. Today he’s with Spain’s Tenerife Rural, with an impressive 15 points a game and seven boards. His team, however, is just 11-14.
8. Robert Traylor (Michigan): Age 33
Tractor Traylor is one of the youngest on this list but he is a gift that keeps on giving to bloggers. The man traded for Dirk Nowitzki has been out of the NBA since 2005. Considering the amount of legal trouble he’s been in recently and his massive weight, the fact he can still find a basketball job is impressive. More impressive is that the judge in his last case is allowing him to play out the rest of the season before serving 60 days in jail. No word yet on whether he’s found a team to join there.
7. Hanno Mottola: Age 33 (Utah)
Mottola reached the Final Four in 1998 with Andre Miller and Michael Doleac and Rick Majerus as head coach, then played his last NBA game in 2002. He headed back overseas and retired in 2008, only to flip-flop nine months later. The Finland native is now playing in his home country with Torpan Pojat Helsinki and averaging nearly 18 PPG for a squad whose average age is 24.6. Not too shabby.
6. Antoine Walker: Age 33 (Kentucky)
Yes, the shimmy has headed south. We’ve already chronicled the money problems of Antoine Walker and although Puerto Rico is a lovely place to spend a season, we doubt Walker’s trip to the tiny island is an example of his love and dedication to the game. Walker hasn’t played an NBA game – or any game for that matter – since 2008. Curiously, he has yet to play in the team’s first three games. His former teammate Derek Anderson is in the film business, maybe there’s a great movie dying to be made about Walker’s life?
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