Former Pirates Thriving in the Professional Basketball Ranks – SHU Pirates

South Orange, N.J. – The Seton Hall men’s basketball program has seen great success in head coach Kevin Willard‘s tenure with five-straight 20-win seasons and top-three BIG EAST finishes, a 2016 BIG EAST Tournament title, a 2020 BIG EAST regular season championship and an active streak of four straight NCAA Tournament bids. This is no small part due to the coaching staff identifying outstanding recruits and then using its rigorous skill development program to prepare them to compete at the nation’s highest level.

As a result of the hard work being done at The Hall, the Pirates have an influx of outstanding professional alumni who refined their craft in front of thousands of fans at Prudential Center before stepping onto courts across the NBA, South America and Europe. Now playing at some of the most renown clubs around the world, these former Pirates are lighting up professional basketball and carrying the Seton Hall torch. Below is an update on some of the Pirates who are still active in professional basketball:
 
Note: Seton Hall is about to have three new alumni in the professional ranks as 2020 seniors Romaro Gill, Quincy McKnight and Myles Powell prepare for November’s NBA Draft.
 
Patrik Auda was a star for the Pirates both on and off the court during his run with the program from 2010-14. Auda was a three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and two-time selection to the NABC Honors Court. He steadily improved his game at The Hall, going from 3.2 points per game in 2010-11 to 9.6 points and 4.5 rebounds a game in 2013-14. In one of the most memorable games in Pirates history, Auda had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in The Hall’s 64-63 win over No. 3 Villanova in the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament. Along with his work on the court and classroom, he was a nominee for the 2014 Allstate NABC Good Works Team Award, which recognizes student-athletes who have made significant contributions to their communities through volunteerism and civic service.

Since starting his professional career in 2014, Auda has flourished playing basketball in five different countries, including most recently in France with Boulazac Basket Dordogne. In July, Auda opted out of his contract with Boulazac and signed with the Yokohama B-Corsairs in the Japanese B League ahead of the 2020-21 season. He’s played over 25 games in each of his last six seasons, averaging 12.0 points and 4.2 rebounds in that time. Auda has also established himself as one of the Czech Republic’s premier players with a wealth of national team experience. He helped the Czech Republic earn a sixth-place finish at the 2019 FIBA World Cup with an average of 11.4 points per game.

Khadeen Carrington was a top guard in the BIG EAST over his four-year career with Seton Hall, finishing ninth in program history in career points (1,846), eighth in three-pointers made (189) and 13th in career assists (388). After helping The Hall win the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament title, he took his game to the next level, becoming an elite scoring guard that landed him All-BIG EAST second team honors. He also was a three-time All-Met Writers selection and made the BIG EAST All-Academic team twice. He was critical in Seton Hall winning its first NCAA Tournament game since 2004 with 26 points in the 2018 victory over NC State, and no one will ever forget his 41-point performance against Creighton in 2017, the eighth-highest scoring game in school history.

Carrington started his competitive professional career in Montenegro with KK Mornar Bar. He soon moved to Belgian side Limburg United where he remained for the rest of the 2018-19 season and averaged 14.1 points, 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game in the Belgian Pro Basketball League. A year after signing with Limburg United, Carrington signed with Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany where he averaged 17.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in the Basketball Bundesliga. He is now in France, having just signed with AS Monaco Basket of the LNB Pro A and the Basketball Champions League and will tip off the season Sept. 23 vs. Boulogne-Levallois.

Angel Delgado was one of the most dominant big men in Seton Hall and BIG EAST history, as he became the conference’s all-time leading rebounder. He won a slew of awards in his four years as a Pirate, starting with 2015 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and culminating with the 2018 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar National Center of the Year. Along the way, he helped The Hall win the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament and was the NCAA’s 2017 Div. I rebounding champion and finished second in double-doubles. He graduated with the second-most rebounds in school history and is 17th all-time in NCAA Div. I history in career double-doubles (72). His most memorable game with the Pirates was in fact his last-ever game at The Hall: 24 points and 23 rebounds against top-seeded Kansas in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

After his incredible career at The Hall, Delgado signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Clippers and their G-League affiliate Agua Caliente Clippers ahead of the 2018-19 season. He set a single-game record for rebounds in the G-League with 31 against the Oklahoma City Blue and ultimately went on to win the NBA G-League Rookie of the Year Award. He made his NBA debut on Feb. 7, 2019 against the Indiana Pacers, posting three points, four rebounds and one steal. After short stints with Hapoel Holon in the Israeli Premier League and Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G-League during the 2019-20 season, Delgado signed with Spanish Liga Endesa side CB Estudiantes. They will tip off the domestic season on Sunday, Sept. 20 against Manresa.

Aaron Geramipoor was a fan favorite for the Pirates between 2010-14. Despite battling injuries and ailments his entire career at The Hall, he provided the Pirates a major boost as the reserve center in his senior season. He made 70 percent of his field goal attempts and averaged 1.9 rebounds a game. He had two important starts late in the season and thrived with eight points and six rebounds against St. John’s and six points on 3-of-3 shooting against Georgetown.

After his four-year college basketball career with Seton Hall, Geramipoor started his professional career in Spain. He played for Ourense then CBA Gran Canaria during the 2014-15 season, averaging 9.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game that year. He has since had stints in Mexico, Iran, Taipei and Argentina, thriving everywhere he’s gone. He’s more known for his work on the Iranian national team, participating with the club at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.0 rebounds during the team’s appearance, which included wins over Angola and The Philippines, the latter victory clinching Iran a spot in the 2021 Olympics. He is working towards representing Iran both in the Olympics and FIBA Asia Cup 2021.
 
Derrick Gordon used the grad transfer rule to go from UMass to Seton Hall in 2015-16, and he made as big of an impact as any transfer has ever made for the Pirates. Serving as a leader and mentor and as the team’s sixth man, he averaged 8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game that season and helped the Pirates capture the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament title and break the program’s 10-year NCAA drought. With that, he became the first student-athlete in NCAA Div. I history to play in the NCAA Tournament for three different schools (Western Kentucky being the third school).

After initially pursuing other careers, Gordon has returned to basketball this fall after signing a professional contract with Apollon Limassol B.C. of the Cyprus Basketball Division A.
 
Brandon Mobley provided the Pirates consistency in his four years with the Pirates. He finished his career as a top-60 scorer in school history and ranks as one of the program’s best free throw shooters with a .788 percentage that is good for 12th in the record book. Among all BIG EAST forwards who played in 2014-15, he had the best conference-only free throw percentage at .814. Also, during that 2014-15 season, he was one of just two players in the BIG EAST to average at least 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. He was a two-time selection to the BIG EAST All-Academic team.

As a professional player, Mobley’s career has taken him to some of the best leagues in Europe across Iceland, Cyprus, Lebanon and Greece. His career started in Iceland with Haukar where he became an offensive staple for their team and averaged 20.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in 21 starts. He took his career to APOEL Nicosia in Cyprus for the 2016-17, finishing third in the Cypriot Division A and averaging 11.3 points and 7.42 rebounds in the FIBA Europe Cup. He continued to be an offensive and rebounding powerhouse across the European leagues with Louaize in Lebanon during the 2017-18 season, averaging 15.25 PPG and 9.15 RPG. Most recently, he was in Greece, playing for Ionikos Nikaias BC.
 
Desi Rodriguez was a great example of Willard’s skill development program, going from averaging 5.6 points a game as a freshman to averaging 17.5 points a game and dominating the BIG EAST in his senior season. Along the way, he helped The Hall win the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament title and his 20 points against NC State in 2018 helped the Pirates win their first NCAA Tournament since 2004. One of his memorable moments was hitting the game-winning layup to beat a ranked South Carolina team that went on to the Final Four. He finished his career 12th all-time in scoring at The Hall, amassing 1,657 points. He also ranks in the top-20 in threes made and steals. He was selected USBWA and NABC All-District and All-BIG EAST second team in 2018 and was named All-Met Writers three times.

After graduation, Rodriguez participated in 2018 NBA Summer League with the Los Angeles Clippers and then signed with their G-League affiliate Agua Caliente Clippers. He averaged 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game across 49 G-League games. Rodriguez played four games for Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Tel Aviv before returning to Agua Caliente where he averaged 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game throughout the shortened 2019-20 season. He signed with Basketball Bundesliga side Riesen Ludwigsburg for the 2020-21 season in August.
 
Ismael Sanogo won’t show up in a ton of all-time statistics, but his impact on the Pirates from 2014-18 will always be remembered. He was the defensive enforcer at The Hall, often asked to defend all five positions on the court because of his versatility and athleticism. In the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament final against Villanova, his on-the-ball defense helped hold the potent Wildcats to only eight threes made, and he provided eight points and nine rebounds. His defense earned him a spot on the BIG EAST All-Tournament team after the Pirates claimed the championship. He was also instrumental in The Hall’s 2018 NCAA Tournament win over NC State with a 10-point, 10 rebound double-double. He finished his career at Seton Hall ranking 17th in school history with 91 blocks.

Following his college career, Sanogo signed with the Long Island Nets of the NBA G-League. He played 23 games in his rookie season, averaging 2.6 rebounds and 2.7 points per game as the Nets were crowned Eastern Conference champions in 2018-19. Prior to COVID-19 canceling the remainder of 2019-20, Sanogo was averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He had a G-League career-high 15 points in a win at Greensboro back in January.
 
Jordan Theodore was another outstanding player who utilized skill development to become a star for the Pirates. After averaging 5.9 points a game as a freshman in 2008-09, he steadily improved and then blossomed under Willard as senior in 2011-12 with averages of 16.1 points, 6.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds. That season, he helped the Pirates get out to a 15-2 start and earn a spot in the national rankings for the first time since 2001. One of his top performances was a 26-point, 11-assist night in a home win over DePaul when The Hall was ranked No. 24. He ultimately was named second-team All-BIG EAST, USBWA and NABC All-District and All-Met Writers. He finished his career in the Seton Hall top-10 in assists (541), steals (180) was top-25 in points (1,371).

Theodore has had a flourishing professional career playing in Turkey, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Greece, France, Germany and Russia over the last eight years. Theodore’s first honors as a professional came while he was playing for Skylines Frankfurt in Germany when they won the 2016 FIBA Europe Cup. In his next season, he led Turkish side Bandırma B.İ.K. to a Turkish Cup title in 2017 and picked up Turkish Cup Final MVP and Turkish League All-Star honors. He followed up that season with an Italian Supercup winner’s medal with Olimpia Milan and Italian Supercup MVP honors in the 2017-18 season. While with AEK Athens of Greece in 2019, Theodore won the FIBA Intercontinental Cup and was award FIBA Intercontinental Cup MVP honors. He most recently was competing with UNICS Kazan of the VTB United League in Russia.
 
Isaiah Whitehead and his sophomore season at Seton Hall will go down as one of the most important in school history, as he was at the forefront of the program’s renaissance. He averaged 18.2 points and 5.1 assists a game during the season and put The Hall on his back during the team’s 2016 BIG EAST Tournament title run with averages of 23.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists. He hit the iconic game-winning basket in the waning seconds of the tournament final against Villanova and went on to earn Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. He was a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST first team and the Haggerty Award Met Writers Player of the Year. His epic run at The Hall resulted in becoming Seton Hall’s first NBA Draft selection since 2001 when he was taken by the Utah Jazz in the second round and subsequently traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
 
In his NBA rookie year, Whitehead tied a Brooklyn Nets single season team record of 36 blocks by a guard. He scored a career-high 24 points twice in 2017 against the Dallas Mavericks in March and the Houston Rockets in November. He ended up playing 89 career games for his hometown Nets. In 2017-18, he played for Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia, the NBA G-League’s Grand Rapids Drive in Michigan and BC Astana in Kazakhstan. On Jan. 31 of this year, he made his debut for Montenegrin side KK Mornar Bar against KK Zadar. He made four appearances and averaged 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. In his Basketball Champions League debut, Whitehead recorded 24 points, six rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes against Gaziantep. Whitehead and Mornar Bar are scheduled to return to play against Zardar on Oct. 2 for the 2020-21 ABA League season.
 

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