(Photo Credit: Mick Lite)
A former member of the Gateway Steam has become the first alumnus of the Midwest Professional Basketball Association to sign in the National Basketball Association.
The Chicago Bulls announced today that they have signed Darion “Jake” Anderson, who played for the Steam in 2015 under coach Durrell Robinson. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Jake was one of the easiest players that I ever had the pleasure of coaching,” said Robinson. “He is a true professional and a sincere student of the game. He looks forward to working in practice daily, always wanting and willing to learn more to improve as a player and teammate. He is proving right now that he belongs with the top players in the world, and he deserves this shot. He truly is an example of how hard work pays off,” Robinson said.
Anderson played in 21 overall games for the Steam in 2015, the team’s and the MPBA’s inaugural season, averaging 15.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He scored 37 points on April 1, his third 30-point game in eleven days. He followed up that binge on April 9 with a 42-point, nine-rebound effort in a playoff loss to the St. Louis RiverSharks.
Anderson played collegiately at Northern Illinois and Iowa State, averaging 13.1 points and 6.0 rebounds during his NCAA career.
“We are so thrilled for Jake,” said C. Edward “Ed” Schumer, Commissioner of the MPBA. “He really came on late in the season, and was a true force in the league. We wish him the best as he pursues his goal to play in the NBA,” Schumer said.
Anderson becomes the fifteenth player to sign a contract in a higher league after playing in the MPBA. The MPBA begins its second season in January 2016.