Former Georgia basketball star Sundiata Gaines may be looking at his last shot at the NBA. But make no bets.
Former Georgia basketball star Sundiata Gaines’ NBA dream could be fading.
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After playing parts of three NBA seasons sandwiched around overseas and NBA D League play, Gaines is playing for the Detroit Pistons Sumer League team. But in the first summer contest, the leader of the Georgia 2008 miracle SEC Tournament run found himself sitting at the end of the bench for the entire 40 minutes.
Gaines sparkling NBA moments are few, although his game winner for the Utah Jazz to beat Cleveland and Lebron James while working on a ten-day contract is memorable.
But with no minutes given to the 29-year-old Gaines in the opening Summer League contest against the Orlando Magic White, the persistent Bulldog may have run out of time and opportunities.
Gaines built a reputation for prolific scoring at New York City’s fabled Archbishop Malloy High School. Coached at the Queens basketball powerhouse by legendary head coach Jack Curran, Gaines followed in the steps of Kevin Joyce, Brian Winters, Kenny Smith, Kenny Anderson, and Robert Werdan.
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The Jamaica, NY native signed on with Georgia Head Coach Dennis Felton in the wake of the Jim and Jimmy Harrick debacle. Coming to Georgia a point guard in training and looking for instruction in the SEC school of hard knocks, Gaines got what he was looking.
Gaines played for the Bulldogs during the darkest of basketball eras, and they’ve had a few. During his four years in Athens, a time filled with disappointing moments wrapped around his own exceptional play, Gaines grew as a player and person. He never wavered, finally receiving his reward, cutting down the nets from the 2008 SEC Tournament Championship.
Gaines excelled in the quiet of the D League and the anonymity of European ball, occasionally hearing the cheers of sellout crowds in the mega arenas of the NBA. Is the NBA dream gone for Gaines? There are more games this summer for the Bulldog to prove himself and earn another shot.