Former Penn State star Lamar Stevens scored the first points of his NBA career Sunday night, and it came against none other than his hometown team, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Playing for the Cavaliers, Stevens hit two free throws with 3:46 left to play in a 118-94 blowout of the Sixers in Cleveland.
— Penn State Men’s Basketball (@PennStateMBB) December 28, 2020
Stevens was not picked in the NBA draft but signed with Cleveland and made the team in training camp.
Penn State coach Jim Ferry was asked Monday how good he feels about Stevens getting his first NBA points, and he said his face lit up when Stevens’ name came up.
“How great was that for Lamar Stevens to score his first points against the Philadelphia 76ers, right,” Ferry said. “It makes us all so proud here, the work that he put in.
“He’s in the league. I texted with him last night. We text him all the time. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but I put pressure on him about a week ago, I told him that my son Leo picked him on his fantasy team, so that was put some pressure on him, too.”
Penn State has only had 15 players ever make it to the NBA. The entire list is pictured below. Right now, Stevens is the only former Nittany Lion in the NBA. Guard Tim Frazier is not on an active roster after spending six seasons in the league. Guard Josh Reaves recently was signed and waived by the Rockets and is expected to play in the G League, if that league has a season.
The fact that several recent Penn State players have been able to get to or on the cusp of the NBA is a testament to the talent that has been brought in during recent years.
WATCH: PSU interim coach Jim Ferry on Stevens and impact of Lions having players in NBA
“We’re just so happy and so proud,” Ferry said. “And again, that’s a credit to where this program has gone over the past couple of years. You had Tony Carr drafted. You (had) Tim Frazier in the league. You had Josh Reaves playing in the NBA, Lamar Stevens in the NBA.
“It’s a credit to these guys, whether the recruiting aspects of these guys able to recruit guys like that here, our development to work these guys and develop these guys into pros, I think that’s really going to help Penn State basketball, and it has. We have a bunch of other guys here working toward that same thing.”
List of PSU alums who have played in the NBA, from Basketball Reference.