BAKERSFIELD, January 8, 2011— The Bakersfield Jam have acquired a 6’8” shooting guard/small forward Derrick Byars, the team announced today. Byars played for Bakersfield during the 2008-09 season.
Byars played collegiately at Vanderbilt, where he averaged 17.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game during his senior year, earning him SEC Player of the Year and All-SEC 1st Team honors. The Portland Trailblazers selected Derrick with the 42nd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, later trading his rights to the Philadelphia 76ers. After spending the NBA Summer League and
part of 2007-08 season with the 76ers, Byars left to play overseas in France.
In 2008, Byars participated in the NBA Summer League with the New Orleans Hornets, playing well enough to secure a training camp invite from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The same year, he was drafted by the Jam as the 5th overall selection in the first round. Byars would excel here in Bakersfield, averaging 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest during the 2008-09 season. The campaign would garner him a spot in the D-League All-Star Game on his way to being named All-D-League 2nd Team.
Over the following two seasons, Byars would enjoy Summer League and pre-season stints with Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, and Chicago Bulls. He spent the 2009-10 season playing overseas in Germany. Most recently, Byars was a member of Panellinios Athens in Greece, where he averaged 15.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Byars made his Bakersfield debut last night against the Iowa Energy, scoring 9 points, grabbing 6 boards, and dishing out 4 assists in a 20 minute effort.
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