HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT)- The University of Evansville has produced a fair amount of NBA players over the years. With the 76th annual NBA Playoffs going on, this seems like the proper time to look at how former Purple Aces have fared in both the NBA and the playoffs.

Harold Brown (1946)

Harlod Brown played for one season for the Detroit Falcons of the BAA before it became the NBA. The team went 20-40 and folded after the season and Brown never played in the league again.

Jerry Sloan (1966-1975)

Sloan is perhaps the best player to come out of the University of Evansville, and he is for sure the most well-known. 

Sloan was originally selected by the Baltimore Bullets in the 1965 NBA Draft. The next year, the newly formed Chicago Bulls picked him in the 1966 expansion draft.  Sloan, who would go on to earn nicknames such as “The Original Bull” and “Charley Hustle,” became one of the greatest Bulls ever, becoming one of the faces of the team before their Michael Jordan-tied success.

Over the course of his 10 years in Chicago, Sloan made two All-Star teams and two NBA All-Defensive teams while racking up 50 playoff games played. During his Bulls playoff career, Sloan averaged 14 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. 

The deepest run Sloan had made took place during the 1974–1975 season. The Bulls made it to the second round of the playoffs that year and lost in a tough seven-game series to the eventual champs that year, the Golden State Warriors, who were led by Rick Barry.

Sloan, who briefly coached the Bulls, would go on to coach the Utah Jazz, where he coached from 1988–2011, and he would go on to become one of the best coaches in the history of the league.

Don Buse (1972-1984)

Don Buse had a legendary career at the University of Evansville and would go on to play for the Indiana Pacers in the ABA.  During Buse’s rookie season, the Indiana Pacers won the ABA Championship, though Buse had a very limited role throughout the playoffs.

Buse would go on to have a great run in the ABA. Buse remained with the Pacers through the ABA-NBA merger. Buse led the ABA in minutes, assists, and steals in the 1976–1977 season, and after the merger, Buse led the NBA in both assists and steals in the 1977–78 season. Buse made the All-Star teams both of those years. Buse also made six straight All-Defensive First Teams between his stints in both leagues.

Buse’s best chance at an NBA title was in the 1978–1979 season when he was with the Phoenix Suns. The Suns that year played 15 playoff games, and they went out in a seven-game series during the Western Conference finals, falling to the Seattle SuperSonics.

Scott Haffner (1989-1990)

Haffner, who is from Noblesville, was taken in the 2nd round of the 1989 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, who were entering their second year. Haffner lasted two seasons in the NBA, with his second one coming with the Charlotte Hornets. Haffner never did make the playoffs.

Dan Godfread (1990-1991)

Godfread had a brief career in the league that spanned over the course of two seasons. Splitting his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets. Godfread never played in the playoffs during his brief career.

Dru Smith (2022)

Dru Smith, who went to high school at Retiz, has split his time between the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets this season. Smith, who is currently signed to the Nets on a two-way deal, is ineligible for the playoffs this year.

Buse and Sloan both long and productive careers while the rest never got to or yet to get a real chance to shine. You can watch the NBA Finals on ABC later this summer.