Monday, July 16, 2007

Getting to Know Von Wafer

(Boulder-CO) I have been doing some homework on who exactly Vakeaton Quamar Wafer is and have learned quite a few things. Von is 6’5” and 195 pounds of sharp-shooting guard and Von, as he liked to be called, actually has another nickname. Wafer’s Wikipedia page lists, “Nilla”, as an alternate moniker. Mmmm, good stuff.

I also dug up some pretty impressive statistics from Von’s high school days. “Nilla” averaged 32 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists his junior season while in Lisbon, La playing for Pineview High School. His senior year, he transferred to Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, Texas where he averaged 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 blocks per game. And for his achievements on the basketball court, Wafer earned All-America third-team honors from USA Today Newspaper following his senior season. Von also was named a McDonalds All-American and scored 29 points on 13 of 20 shooting from the field and had 8 rebounds. He matched up well with King James for much of the contest and finished second to James in the slam dunk contest.

He then played two years of college hoop at Florida State University before becoming an early entry in the 2005 NBA Draft. His freshman year at FSU Wafer averaged 7.9 points in 17.5 minutes a game. He ranked third among all ACC freshmen with 43 three-point field goals made and scored in double figures 12 times. As a sophomore, he led the team in scoring with an average of 12.5 points per game and three-point field goals made (65). He made more than one three-point field goal in 14 games and surpassed the 20-point mark on six occasions. When taking all these things into consideration the thing that you have to keep in mind is that Wafer played on a Seminole team that was one of the weaker programs in the always dominant Atlantic Coast Conference.

Many people at this point in Wafer’s career thought it was a mistake to enter the draft early and some experts didn’t expect him to be drafted at all. In fact, during one of the only pre-draft workouts he could arrange with the Phoenix Suns, Wafer reportedly was frustrated by the physical play from Jan Jagla and responded by swinging an intentional elbow to Jagla’s nose, walked off the court, and ended the workout at that point. Things at this point were not looking good for Wafer’s NBA chances.

However, Von proved all the pessimists wrong by becoming the 39th overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2005 NBA Draft. He was later waived, but then did some serious work in the NBDL while playing for the Colorado 14ers. Wafer finished last season as the D-League’s second overall highest scorer at a pitch of 21 points a night while grabbing 2.9 rebounds and dishing 3.3 assists.

Fast forward to this summer’s Las Vegas NBA Summer League.

Von “Nilla” Wafer led the Nuggets in scoring with averages of 24.2 points, three assists, and 1.9 rebounds while coming in third overall in the mid-summer classic's scoring race. Not to mention he capped off his summer showcase with a record-tying 42 points against the New York Knicks in only a mere 26 minutes of playing time.

I really like the potential future this young baller has with the Denver Nuggets. He is exactly what the Nuggets are looking for and would surely be a steal financially. He has proven at nearly every level of basketball that he can flat-out shoot the rock and you have to respect a man who continues to put in the hard work to make his NBA dreams a reality.

So start the campaign.

Von “Nilla” Wafer for a roster spot in 2007!


Harris said...

Can you really get so excited after a couple summer league games? What makes you think he can make it in the big league?

Nugg Doctor said...

The reason why I am excited about 'Nilla is because he has been doing this on different levels of professional basketball for a while now.

But let's get one thing clear. Von is vying for the 11th or 12th spot on the bench in replacemnet of a guy like DerMarr Johnson or Yakhouba Diawara. And who knows? For one reason or another he could earn some playing time and as the NBA maturation process continues he could end up being a great pro.

Furthermore, he is exactly what the Nuggets are looking for in a big, reliable, outside shooter and the fact that he can defend adequately might give him the upper hand against a guy like J.R. who can't seem to play a lick of D.

Plus, the best thing about Wafer's game is that it is based upon putting the ball in the basket off a good pass. Remember, the one thing that always stays the same is the size and height of the goal. That reason alone is why shooters like Wafer seem to have the most success when crossing over the big time.

But first things first and Wafer, if he does make the team, will have to prove that he deserves to be on the team.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Jason said...

I agree with you Nick, the possibly addition of Von Wafer to this team has me also excited. I do not think he is going to steal minutes from JR, or Kleiza, however, I do think that in certain situations he can be a nice option off the bench if we are in need of instant offense, or someone to help spread the floor.

From what I have read, both JR and Von Wafer are defensively, so I am not sure that you are going to be getting a guy that will improve upon JR's defensive woes, but hey, you can't really be worse can you?

Also, if I was a betting man, I would almost guarantee that Wafer will make this team. Warkentien and Bearup love this kid, and were treating his signing as this years draft pick, since Denver was left out of the draft. They felt that Wafer was as good as anyone in this years draft they could have picked up late in the first round, or early second round.

So, I think you will get your long as he doesn't implode during training camp, which I don't see happening.

Jess said...

The excitement probably won't last.

I got excited for him once, and he failed like Kareem Rush. Though if his work ethic and attitude have improved, I wish him the best of luck.

emmit said...

Dude! I just want to say: I love your blog and your style. I for one would love to have Von on the Nuggs roster. He looks really promising and I would take the risk. Thanks for the awesome blog Doc, keep up the good work. Davie

Nugg Doctor said...

Sup, Emmit!

Thanks for the holla, and it is nice to know you're on board. Chime in whenever you feel like it. The ladies and gents who read this site are always interested in a new opinion.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Commish CH said...

yo, I feel your sentiment. Im a huge Stan for Wafer. He's paid his dues in the NBDL and could be a great part of the squad. One.

Sean said...

Yo Doc,
Whats your thoughts on newly acquired Nugget Chucky Atkins? I'll tell you one thing... I'll put money on the fact that his 4.6 APG will almost double next season.

Sean said...

PS - Von Wafer is sweeter then big fat Oprah titties. Hopefully he makes the roster. He might not get much time off the bat, but I'd be willing to bet that he won't be held down too long. Kid can shoot, its as simple as that.