The following story about former SMU Mustangs basketball players was published in the Nov. 7, 2011, SMU Daily Campus.
November 16, 2011
By Mercedes Owens
Previous SMU men's basketball standouts Collin Mangrum and Derek Williams are to stay in the DFW area after being selected to join the Texas Legends during the 2011 NBA Developmental League Draft on Thursday.
As the final rounds came to a close, the Legends didn't miss out on the Mustangs. They took Williams in the seventh round and Mangrum in the eighth. This draft marks the second straight year two former Mustangs have been drafted into the NBA D-League with Mouhammad Faye and Bamba Fall being selected in 2010.
During his senior season in 2009 to 2010, Williams led the Mustangs in scoring to land the fourth highest spot in C-USA with 16.6 points. Williams was also the 17th player at SMU to have 500 points in a single season with 514 and the 18th player in SMU history to pass 800 points during two seasons with 894.
This previous year, Williams spent overseas playing for a pro-team in Latvia for a single season.
When asked what it was like Williams said, "It was a great experience playing abroad." However, the offers he was given for the upcoming year did not meet his expectations and led him back to Dallas. It wasn't long before Williams found out from a former coach, who is now working with the Legends, that he would be entered into the D-League Draft.
"I'm just excited to show them what I can do," Williams said.
Fresh off the Mustang court, Collin Mangrum saw action in 33 games last season, starting the last 19. Mangrum helped SMU finish the 2010-11 season strong with a 20-win season and the first postseason bid in a decade. Averaging 8.0 points a game and 3.4 rebounds, Mangrum played an influential role in SMU's journey to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) semifinal.
Since his time at SMU, Mangrum has been working out with the Legends and attending various tryouts in the hopes to making it to the pro-basketball arena without traveling overseas. In regards to all of his hard work finally paying off, Mangrum could not be happier but gives all of the glory to God.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity not only from the beginning days with SMU and Coach Doherty but also with the Texas Legends organization," Mangrum said. "I'm happy to be able to continue playing basketball for as long at it's God's plan for my life."
As of the present, Mangrum and Williams will be attending training camp in the following weeks. While they have been drafted, it is still crucial for both players to continue to work hard and compete in order to make the ten man active roster.
The NBA D-League was founded in 2001 as the NBA's official minor league. The Texas Legends are located in Frisco and are the Dallas Mavericks affiliate. For the 2011 season the league will feature 16 teams across the continental U.S. and despite the current NBA lockout, the NBA D-League will begin its 11th season on Nov. 25.
The Legends will play their first game on Nov. 26 at the Dr.Pepper Arena at 3 p.m.