WE ARE NBA ALUMNI. WE ARE IDAHO STAMPEDE BASKETBALL
A look back at the proud history of Idaho Stampede basketball and the talent that has graced the hardwood in the City of Threes: Boise, ID.
Mikki Moore - 2011-12
Mikki Moore is another great Stampede player to have NBA experience. Even though he is getting up there in age, he is still doing what he loves for a living.
Undrafted out of the University of Nebraska in 1997, Moore played for the Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA. From there, he earned his way to a roster spot with the Detroit Pistons. The Blacksburg, South Carolina native went on to enjoy 12 seasons in the NBA. He has appeared in 564 games over his career, including stints with the Pistons, Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle Sonics, Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.
In the 2011-12 season, Moore joined the Idaho Stampede. In 33 games, he averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds. He was named to the NBA D-League All Defensive Second Team that year while leading the Stampede in rebounds. At the end of the year, he earned a GATORADE Call Up to the Golden State Warriors where he played out the rest of that season.
Moore most recently played for the Reno Bighorns in the 2013-14 season. At 38 years old, he is still plugging along, playing the game he loves.
Kaniel Dickens - 2003-04
Although he didn’t begin playing organized basketball until he was a senior in high school, Kaniel Dickens has traveled the world since that time playing the game he has come to love.
While growing up in Denver, Colorado, Dickens would play basketball in summer camps, but had never played on an organized team until, at the age of 17, Antonio Adams pushed him to join his high school team before his senior year. With current Bobcats assistant coach John-Blair Bickerstaff as a teammate, that team went on to lose only one game all season and win the state championship.
After developing a true love for the game, Dickens took his talents anywhere he could. After graduating from the University of Idaho, He entered the 200 NBA Draft and was selected 50th overall by the Utah Jazz. After bouncing around a bit, he found himself back in Idaho to play for the CBA’s Idaho Stampede.
Dickens averaged 18.8 points per game while grabbing 7.2 rebounds per game. After just 25 appearances, he earned a call up to the New Jersey Nets. Dickens eventually went on to have stints with the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Even things didn’t work out in the NBA long term, Dickens still plays the game for a living in Europe. His international career has taken him to countries like Russia, China, Greece and Italy among others.
Justin Holiday - 2012-13
It wasn’t too long ago when Justin Holiday was hoopin’ in Boise. Older brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, Justin comes from an athletic family. His youngest brother plays at Campbell High School in Studio City, California, where Justin averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds as a Senior leading his team to a Class IV championship. Justin also has a sister that plays basketball at UCLA.
Holiday played for years of Pac-10 basketball at the University of Washington. He was named to the 2010 Pac-10 All-Defensive Team as a Junior while appearing in 34 games for the Huskies. As a Senior he was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac-10.
Undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft, Holiday spent a season with Okapi Aalstar in Belgium before coming to Boise. In 2012, Justin joined the Idaho Stampede. Known for his defensive effort and solid outside shooting, Justin began to develop his driving and ball-handling skills while maintaining a high level of defense. He finished the season leading Idaho in scoring and blocks while leading the league in steals.
On April 1, 2013, Justin received a GATORADE Call-up to the Philadelphia 76ers. One night he was scoring 30 for the Stampede, the next week he was chasing Ray Allen off screens on TNT.
Justin most recently played for the Golden State Warriors during the 2014 NBA Summer League.
Smush Parker - 2003-2004
William Henry “Smush” Parker has jumped around to many teams, often playing in different leagues and countries. Playing for the Stampede in Boise wasn’t his only experience playing in Idaho. Smush enrolled in the College of Southern Idaho after starring for Newtown High School in Queens, NY. After one season, he returned to the East Coast and finished his collegiate career at Fordham University.
After going undrafted in the 2002 NBA Draft, Parker was signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He would later spend time with the Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers. But Smush really stepped on the NBA scene when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 2005-2007. Smush appeared in 164 games over two seasons under Phil Jackson, scoring 11 points per game and dishing out 3 assists per game.
Parker played 9 games for the Idaho Stampede during the 2003-04 season. He averaged 21 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds before being signed by the Detroit Pistons.
After his professional career in the United States, Parker took his talents overseas. He most recently played in Venezuela this year but has also played in Greece, Iran, Croatia, China, Russia and the Dominican Republic.
Assuming he isn't done, where will Smush end up next?
Coby Karl - 2008-2013
The average person will hear Coby Karl’s name and immediately think of his father, George Karl. Aside from being the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year’s son, Coby Karl is much more to the Boise community.
Coby attended Boise State University and played for the Broncos from 2003-2007. He was named to the All-WAC Second Team in his junior year while leading the team in points (17.2) and assists (4.0). After his career at BSU, Coby finished as the university’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals made and 3rd in both career points and assists.
After going undrafted, he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent and appeared in 17 games. On February 19, 2008, Karl joined fellow teammate Jordan Farmer as the only players in league history to get playing time in the NBA and NBA D-League in the same day, while on assignment to the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Coby joined the Stampede in 2008 before quick stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. In 2010, Karl returned to Boise to finish the NBA D-League season with the Stampede.
Karl started all 50 games for the Stampede during the 2012-13 season. He is currently 3rd on the franchise scoring and assist list.
Coby most recently assisted the Chicago Bulls coaching staff during the 2014 NBA Summer League. Keep an eye out to see if he follows in his father’s footsteps and heads up an NBA team of his own someday.
Randy Livingston - 2000-2012
Out of the many players to come through Boise, none were like Randy Livingston. Liv was highly recruited out of high school in New Orleans, LA. He was named co-player of the year twice in high school, sharing the honors with Jason Kidd (1992) and Rasheed Wallace (1993). Randy ultimately chose to play college ball at LSU.
In the 1996 NBA Draft, Livingston was chosen with the 42nd pick by the Houston Rockets. But his career didn’t end there:
96-97: Houston Rockets
97-98: Atlanta Hawks
98-99: Sioux Falls Skyforce (CBA)
99-00: Phoenix Suns
00-01: Golden State Warriors, Idaho Stampede (CBA), Gary Steelheads (CBA)
01-02: Gary Steelheads, Seattle Sonics, Sioux Falls Skyforce
02-03: Sioux Falls Skyforce, New Orleans Hornets
03-04: Idaho Stampede, Los Angeles Clippers
04-05: Sioux Falls Skyforce, Utah Jazz
05-06: Galatasaray (Turkey), Idaho Stampede, Chicago Bulls
06-07: Idaho Stampede, Seattle Sonics
After 158 total games with the Stampede, Livingston is the franchise leader in games played, assists, field goals and free throws.
Livingston also won the NBA D-League MVP in the 06-07 season, with averages of 12 points, 10 assists and 4 rebounds.
Randy also played a huge role in the Stampede's 2008 NBA D-League title, the only championship in Idaho's history.
Randy became “Coach Liv” from 2010 to 2012, leading the Stampede to a combined 45-55 record.
On April 4th, 2009 the Stampede retired Liv’s number “32” jersey.
He remains a fan favorite for his work on the court and as player/coach as well as in the community as a citizen and friend.
Livingston is currently in Australia working as a scout and recruiter.
CJ Miles was drafted went straight from Skyline High School in Dallas, TX to the 2005 NBA Draft. His class was one of the last high school classes eligible to make the jump to the league. Unlike many, Miles was able to make a career in the NBA.
The Utah Jazz selected him 34th overall. Miles (6'6, 230) who assigned him to the Stampede during the 2006-07 season. CJ played 8 games in Boise, scoring 17 points per game and grabbed 5 rebounds per game.
Miles enjoyed 7 seasons in Salt Lake City, playing in 389 games and starting in 159 of them. On March 16, CJ scored a career high 40 points.
Spending the last 2 seasons with the Cleveland Cavs, CJ Miles is currently a free agent. He has 9 seasons under his belt and is only 27 years old. Be sure to keep a look out on his movement. Every team can use an athletic, big wing player that can knock down 3's.
Luke Babbitt - 2010-12
Out of Galena High School in Reno, Nevada, Luke Babbitt splashed onto the NCAA recruiting radar. Scoring over 25 ppg in his final 2 years, Babbitt denied the big universities and stayed local at the University of Nevada-Reno. After 2 straight seasons of leading the team in scoring, the 6'8 shooter declared for the 2010 NBA Draft.
Babbitt was selected 16th overall by Minnesota and was traded to Portland on the same night. As a rookie, he was assigned to the Stampede 3 different times averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds in 15 games in Boise. Luke spent 3 seasons with Portland, gaining more and more playing time until the summer of 2013 when the Trail Blazers went on a shopping spree, picking up veterans like Mo Williams and Dorell Wright while drafting CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe.
Babbit ended the 2013-14 season on the New Orleans Pelicans roster.
Julyan Stone - 2011-2012
Julyan Stone is another great example of diligence and perseverance, common attributes of players that have suited up for the Stampede. The undrafted star from the University of Texas-El Paso worked his way onto an NBA roster.
Stone finished his career as the all-time assist leader at UTEP as well as Conference USA. The 6-7 point guard was known for his ability to defend the perimeter and distribute the ball extremely well for his size. Stone also earned Conference USA All-Defensive honors two years in a row.
The Denver Nuggets signed Stone to a 2-year deal in 2011. “I like him because of his size and his defensive capabilities,” said Denver head coach George Karl. Stone was assigned to the Stampede in his rookie season and played 3 games, posting averages of 7 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.
You can follow Stone’s NBA career with the Toronto Raptors.
Eddie Robinson - 2006-07
Eddie Robinson played five seasons in the NBA, spending time with the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls. He was known for his amazing athletic ability and highlight reel dunks.
In 1999, Robinson (6-8, 210) was signed as a free agent after going undrafted out of the University of Central Oklahoma. In his first two seasons, he played limited minutes as a reserve for the Hornets while scoring 7.2 points per game. His freakish leaping ability caught the eye of the Chicago Bulls and got him signed for a five year deal. After his first three seasons with the Bulls, Robinson did not progress like the team had hoped for. He scored just nine points per game and was plagued with various injuries. Chicago then bought out the last two years of his contract.
The Idaho Stampede selected Robinson in the 2006 NBA D-League Draft. He scored 15.6 per game and appeared in 27 games for Idaho but was waived due to injury in February of 2007. Sometimes the injury bug just keeps on biting…
Nathan Jawai - 2008-2009
Nathan Jawai was assigned twice to the Stampede during the 2008-09 season from the Toronto Raptors. During those assignments, Jawai appeared in 14 games, scoring 11.1 points and grabbing 6.4 rebounds.
The 6'10, 280 pound center was born in Sydney, Australia. Drafted 41st overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by Indiana, the "Aussie Shaq" was traded to Toronto that same day. Jawai was also nicknamed the "Outback Shaq" and "Baby Shaq" before addressing his dislike of the comparisons to Shaquille O'Neal. Toronto then stuck with "Big Nate"
Jawai appeared in 6 games with the Raptors during his rookie season, and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. During the 2009-10 season, Jawai played in 39 games with the T'Wolves and served as the team's energy source off the bench.
You can find Jawai playing overseas these days. He has already hopped around from Serbia to Russia, to Australia, to Spain, and most recently, in Turkey.
Jermareo Davidson - 2008-2009, 2010-11
Jermareo Davidson was selected 36th overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 NBA Draft and later traded to the Charlotte Bobcats. Davidson appeared in 38 games for the Bobcats during his rookie season, scoring 3.2 points per game. After just one season, he was waived by Charlotte and signed by the Idaho Stampede.
During the 2008-09 NBA D-League campaign, Davidson (6-10, 230, Alabama) averaged 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds in 15 games before receiving a Call-Up to the Golden State Warriors, the team that originally drafted him. after providing the low-post support for the Warriors, he was signed for the rest of the season. Although he only appeared in 14 games, Jermareo proved to be a great locker room presence to the team.
Davidson hopped around a few different times overseas before returning for his second stint with the Stampede in the 2010-11 season. Jermareo played 30 games for Idaho and led the team in rebounding with 10.1 per game.
Victor Claver - 2012-2013
Victor Claver was assigned to the Idaho Stampede twice during the 2012-13 regular season. Over 4 total games with the Stampede, he recorded 36 points, 28 rebounds and 5 assists. Idaho went 1-3 in games that Claver appeared in.
Claver (6-9, 224, Spain, b. 8/30/88) was originally selected 22nd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2009 NBA Draft before joining the Blazers for the first time in the 2012-13 season. In his rookie season, Claver logged 49 games played while starting in 16 of them. He put up averages of 3.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.9 assists.
During the offseason, Portland bolstered their bench and added Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright and Robin Lopez. These moves have left Claver on the bench for most of the 2013-14 season. As Claver continues to develop, look for him to make a splash in the NBA, whether it's in Portland or not.
Patty Mills - 2009-2010
Patty Mills had a very quick stint with Idaho Stampede during the 2009-2010 season. The 55th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers was assigned two different times to their NBA D-League affiliate.
Though Mills only played in 5 games with the Stampede, he certainly made a big impression. He averaged 25.6 points and 5.2 assists while making 21 of 42 3-pointers (.500%).
Patty Mills is one of the first Indigenous Australians to play basketball in the NBA. Playing for Australia, he caught the eye of the NBA with his energy and electric style of play. Mills lead Australia in scoring during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing with 14 points per game, all while coming off the bench. He also lead the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament in scoring with 21.2 points per game, barely edging out Kevin Durant who put in 19.5 per game.
Mills is enjoying his 5th season of his young career in the NBA. After playing his first 2 seasons in Portland, he just started his 3rd season with the San Antonio Spurs. Playing behind Tony Parker doesn’t get you much playing time in the league but Mills is still used frequently to bring energy off the bench. You can find him charismatically cheering on his teammates on the sideline.
Antonio Harvey - 2002-2003
Antonio Harvey played for the Idaho Stampede under Head Coach Rory White during the 2002-2003 season. He averaged 11 points and 8 rebounds over the 29 games he played that year while leading the team in blocked shots.
The Mississippi native has been on quite the professional journey starting with his years in college. Harvey attended Southern Illinois University, then Connors State College (JC) in Oklahoma, then played for the University of Georgia before finishing his education and college career at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina.
After going undrafted, in the 1993 NBA draft, Harvey earned a spot with the Los Angeles Lakers and started on opening night of the 1993-94 season. He went on to enjoy 8 seasons in the NBA with various teams including the Lakers, Vancouver Grizzlies, Seattle Super Sonics, Portland Trail Blazers, and Atlanta Hawks.
Antonio also competed in the 2005 NBA dunk contest. Catch some of his dunks here:
Harvey remains well known in the Portland area. For the past 8 seasons, he has been the radio color commentator for the Portland Trail Blazers and got the job almost by accident. A friend asked him to help out on some post-game content which led to him doing a few live-game appearances. The following year he was full-time with Portland.
Antonio made a reappearance to his old stomping grounds of Boise when he returned with the Portland Trail Blazers for the NBA preseason game on October 11, 2013.
Luke Jackson - 2006-2011
Luke Jackson played for the Idaho Stampede from 2006 until 2011. In his 96 games with the team, Jackson averaged 15 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists. The versatile forward also made 137 3-pointers over four seasons.
The Oregon native was bred to play basketball at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Jackson averaged 24 points at Creswell High School just south of Eugene. He led his school to the 2000 Oregon State Basketball Championship and committed to the University of Oregon.
Jackson continued his athletic success by helping the Ducks reach the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA Tournament with the help of future NBA players Luke Ridnour and Fred Jones. Luke ended his career at Oregon by averaging 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists during his senior year. He was selected to the All Pac-10 first team and was a Naismith National Player of the Year finalist.
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Jackson 10th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. He went on to play in 46 games over his first 2 seasons with the team before being traded to the Boston Celtics. Due to injuries, Jackson was waived by Boston before ultimately coming to Boise to play for the Stampede.
Jackson was always an NBA prospects because he could pass, dribble and shoot so well for someone his size at 6’7”. In the spring of 2007, he received 2 different call-ups for 10-day contracts with NBA teams: The Los Angeles Clippers and the Toronto Raptors. After playing with the Stampede at the beginning of the 2007-2008 season, Jackson left Boise to pursue the NBA once more and joined the Miami Heat.
After being released in February from Miami, Luke came back to the Stampede to help the team win the 2007-2008 NBA D-League Championship. He averaged 12 points and 5 assists off the bench while shooting a perfect 18 for 18 from the free throw line throughout the playoffs.
On February 20, 2013, Jackson was introduced as the new head coach at Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon.
Mike Taylor - 2007-2008
Mike Taylor played for the Idaho Stampede during the 2007-2008 season. He was instrumental in helping the team reach the playoffs and win the ’07-‘08 NBA D-League Championship.
Taylor never let others keep him down concerning his basketball career. Out of high school in Chicago, he attended Chipola College in Florida for 3 seasons before transferring to Iowa St and leading them in scoring for his senior season.
Taylor joined the Stampede in 2007 and averaged 14 points over 39 games. At the ’08 D-League Dream Factory dunk contest, the 6’1” Taylor faced off against Stampede teammate and fellow high-flyer Brent Petway in the finals.
After success in Boise, Taylor was entered into the 2008 NBA Draft and selected in the 2nd round by the Portland Trail Blazers and traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. He played over 50 games for the Clips averaging 5 points coming off the bench. Taylor was known for his electrifying dunks during warm-ups among the LA fans.
After one season in the league, Taylor took his talents overseas to continue his professional career. However, he made a return to the States to finish the 2012-2013 season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Eric Washington - 2005-2006
The Idaho Stampede signed Eric Washington late during the 2004-05 season. After a few games, Washington stayed with the team through the 2005-06 season under coach Joe Wolf. Washington and Wolf were teammates in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets from 1997-1999.
At the University of Alabama, Washington accumulated over 1,500 points and grabbed over 550 rebounds. He quickly caught the attention of NBA scouts with his prolific scoring abilities and 3-point range.
He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1997 then traded to the Denver Nuggets. During the 1997-98 season, he averaged 23 minutes per game and served as a solid contributor off the bench. Washington also had a short stint with the Boston Celtics.
Washington played professionally overseas in China and Finland before coming to Boise to play for Coach Wolf. He averaged 9 points and 3 rebounds while his experience and leadership were crucial to the development of the younger Stampede squad.
Britton Johnsen - 2004-2005
The Idaho Stampede signed Britton Johnsen during the 2004-2005 season. He averaged 18 points 6 rebounds in 40 games while providing experience and leadership.
Britton grew up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Murray, UT. He was a McDonald’s High School All-American and named Utah’s Mr. Basketball. During his freshman campaign at the University of Utah, Johnsen helped his team reach the 1998 NCAA championship game before losing to the University of Kentucky.
After his freshman year, Johnsen set basketball aside to serve a mission for his church in Houston Texas. He returned to the Utes to play 3 more seasons after two years of religious service. Johnsen went on to play in the NBA with the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers.
Fun fact: Britton Johnsen dunked on Lebron James in James’ first career professional game during the 2003 NBA summer league.
Ira Newble - 1997-2000
Ira Newble played for the Idaho Stampede for 3 season from 1997-2000. During the 1999-2000 campaign, Newble averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds while leading the team in points, rebounds, blocks and steals.
The Michigan native played his college ball at Miami University in Ohio. He averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds as a senior while earning a degree in sports marketing.
Undrafted, Newble tried out for the Stampede at a local tryout camp. He made the team and continued to demonstrate great hustle and stellar defense. After taking advantage of his time in Boise, he signed with the San Antonio Spurs in 2000. Newble went on to enjoy an 8-year NBA career including stints with the Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Seattle Sonics, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Newble continued his defensiveness prowess in the NBA and was consistently assigned to guard the other team's best player.
Newble has since taken his experience and put himself into the role of the teacher. He is currently an assistant coach for the NBA D-League’s Austin Toros.
Scott Burrell - 2004-2005
Scott Burrell played for the Stampede in the 2004-05 season under coach Joe Wolf. Burrell provided veteran experience to the Stampede after playing in the NBA for 9 seasons.
The 2 sport athlete was a first round draft pick for the Seattle Mariners in 1989 before choosing basketball. He was selected 20th overall in the 1993 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He later played for the Golden State Warriors and New Jersey Nets.
Scott was also a contributor to the Chicago Bulls 1997-98 Championship team alongside Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. In 2007, Burrell went from the court to the bench and joined the Quinnipiac University men’s basketball coaching staff in his hometown of Hamden, Connecticut.
Fun fact: Scott Burrell and Coach Joe Wolf appeared in the 1996 movie “Eddie”.
Mouhamed Sene - 2006-2008
In 2006, the Idaho Stampede joined the NBA Development League and ushered in the new era of assignments from NBA parent clubs. Mouhamed Sene of the Seattle Supersonics has the unique distinction of being the Idaho Stampede's first NBA assignment.
Mouhamed Sene (Mo) was born in Senegal, West Africa and is known for his 7 foot 8 inch plus wing span. The 6'11" center was a NBA first round pick in the 2006 NBA draft, 10th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics at age 20. He was assigned to the Idaho Stampede in January of 2007 and played 15 games totaling 108 rebounds (7.2 average), 5 assists, 23 blocked shots, 10 steals and 148 points (9.9 average).
During the 2007-08 season he was assigned to the Stampede again and played 28 games where he averaged 12.1 points per game & 9 rebounds per game while totaling 47 blocked shots, 19 steals and 11 assists.
Mo received honorable mention for the All-NBA Development League team for his stellar performance with the Stampede during the 2007-08 season that included game highs of 30 points, 18 rebounds and 7 blocks.
After Seattle moved to Oklahoma City, Mo continued to play for them until he was waived in 2009. He has since bounced around European leagues and most recently has been playing in Madrid, Spain for the Baloncesto Fuenlabrada.
Rafer Alston - 1998-1999
The Idaho Stampede was the first professional team that street ball legend, Rafer Alston a.k.a. "Skip to My Lou" played for during the 1998-99 season. During that season, Alston played in 17 games under Head Coach Russ Bergman. He averaged 6.5 points & 1.7 rebounds per game while totaling 20 steals and 106 assists.
He went on to have a very successful career in the NBA. From 1999 to 2010 he played in a total of 671 regular season games and 56 playoff games with teams including: Milwaukee, Toronto, Houston, Orlando, New Jersey and Miami.
Rafer was known in the street ball world for his extreme playground cross-over and crazy dribbling moves to fake out defenders. In fact his nickname comes from one of those moves.
Many of his non-traditional moves can be seen on Volume1 of the AND1 Mixtape and have been attributed to starting the trend of non-NBA players showcasing their outrageous moves in the AND1 Mix Tour.
Rusty LaRue - 1997-1998
We are NBA Alumni. We are NBA Champions. We are Idaho.
Rusty LaRue played for the Stampede in their first season under Coach Bobby Dye in 1997-98. Although Rusty only logged one game with the Stampede in which he dropped 11 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals he was able to earn the honor of being Idaho's first NBA Call-Up to the Chicago Bulls where he played the remainder of the season and became the first former Stampede player to win a NBA championship with the Bulls under Phil Jackson.
LaRue went on to play for Chicago for another two seasons followed by the Utah Jazz for a season and at the end of his career the Golden State Warriors.
You can now see Rusty sharing the craft he honed with aspiring professional athletes at his alma-mater, Wake Forest, where he was a multi-sport athlete that competed in baseball, football and basketball.
Larry Krystkowiak - 1997-1998, player & 2003-2004, coach
Did you know we had a player who went on to become the Head Coach of an NBA Team?
Larry Krystkowiak played for the Stampede in their inaugural 1997-98 season under Coach Bobby Dye where he averaged 6 points per game and 5.8 rebounds in four (4) games. A Montana Native, Larry was a journeyman of sorts in the NBA playing for: the San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls. He then honed his coaching skills as an assistant at Montana and Old Dominion before taking the reins of the Stampede during their 2003-04 campaign in which he lead them to an amazing 37-16 record on the way to the 2004 CBA National Championship game in which they finished as a runner-up against the Dakota Wizards who were coached by newly announced Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach, Dave Joerger.
Coach K, a.k.a. Krystko went back to coach Montana for two seasons before stepping up to the NBA coaching circuit where as a Milwaukee Bucks assistant in 06-07 he was given the opportunity to finish out the season as their head coach when the previous coach was let go. Larry then coached the Bucks during the 2007-08 season as their head coach. Coach Krystkowiak went on to be an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets and is currently serving as the head coach of University of Utah men's basketball team.
Spud Webb - 1998
Spud Webb is known for a lot of things in the NBA; being one of the shortest players in NBA history at 5 feet 7 inches tall, winning a slam dunk contest as the shortest person to compete while beating Dominique Wilkins in 1986 for the title, serving as current President of Basketball Operations for the NBA Development League's Texas Legends. But, the Treasure Valley knows him as being one of the first big names to wear the Stampede uniform. Spud logged 18 minutes in 1 game and scored 2 points in his short career with the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) during Idaho's 1998 season. Spud's household name garnered a lot of national pub when he came to Idaho. Check out the press release from the Associated Press here!