Nebraska has had 15 former players reach the National Basketball Association, including three players since 2019. During the 2022-23 season, NU had three NBA players in Bryce McGowens, Dalano Banton and Isaiah Roby, the most since the 2007-08 season.
McGowens, a second-round pick by Charlotte in the 2022 NBA Draft, made a significant impact as a rookie, playing in 46 games, including seven starts in 2022-23. He averaged 5.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game and closed the year by averaging 17.3 ppg on 50 percent shooting and 4.3 rebounds per game in his final four contests. He was the No. 40 overall pick in 2022, the highest drafted Husker since 1998. At Nebraska, he was a third-team All-Big Ten performer as a freshman in 2021-22, averaging a team-high 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. An eight-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, McGowens had 11 games with 20-or-more points, including a season-high 29 points against both Sam Houston and Rutgers.
Banton, who signed with the Boston Celtics in July of 2023, spent two seasons with the Toronto Raptors after being a second-round pick in 2021. Banton played in 31 games in 2022-23, averaging 4.6 points, 1.5 re-bounds and 1.1 assists per game. He had a career-high 27 points in a win at Detroit. As a rookie, he appeared in 64 contests for the Raptors, averaging 3.2 points and 1.5 assists per game. Banton spent two seasons at Nebraska after transferring from Western Kentucky. After sitting out the 2019-20 campaign, Banton played in all 27 games, including 22 starts, for the Huskers in 2020-21, averaging 9.6 points per game while leading the Huskers in both rebounding (5.9) and assists (3.9) per game. Banton finished in the top 20 in the Big Ten in assists (ninth), blocked shots (15th) and rebounding (18th) and became the first Husker since 1974 to lead NU in both rebounding and assists in the same season. He posted the second triple-double in school history with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in just 21 minutes against Doane and totaled 14 games in double figures.
Roby completed his fourth NBA season in 2022-23 with the New York Knicks after spending a majority of the year with the San Antonio Spurs. Roby made his NBA debut on Jan. 29, 2020, after being the No. 45 pick of the 2019 draft. He played 42 games for the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game before he was signed by the Knicks on the last day of the regular season. His best year came in 2021-22 with Oklahoma City, as he averaged career highs in both scoring (10.1 ppg) and rebounding (4.8 rpg). As a Husker, he played three seasons (2017-19), totaling 786 points, 530 rebounds and 154 blocked shots before declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft. He enjoyed a breakout 2018-19 campaign, establishing career highs in scoring (11.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg) while adding 1.9 blocks per game, as he finished among the Big Ten leaders in blocked shots (third) and steals (1.3, ninth). Roby tallied three double-doubles in 2018-19 and posted a career-high 28 points in Nebraska’s NIT win over Butler. He helped NU to back-to-back postseason appearances in 2018 and 2019.
Mikki Moore spent 13 years in the NBA, most recently in the 2011-12 season. Moore, who signed with the Detroit Pistons following his college career, enjoyed his best season with New Jersey in 2006-07 when he started 55 games after working his way into the opening lineup just seven times in his first eight seasons. He averaged 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and led the league by hitting 60.1 percent from the floor. He was the first undrafted player in NBA history to lead the league in field-goal percentage, as he helped the Nets to the second round of the playoffs. The following season, he started 79 games for Sacramento, averaging 8.5 points and a career-high 6.0 rebounds per game.
Tyronn Lue enjoyed success as both a player and coach in the NBA following his Husker career. Lue guided the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title in 2016 in his first season as head coach and took the Los Angeles Clippers to the Western Conference Finals in 2021. In six full seasons as an NBA coach, Lue has guided his teams to four conference finals appearances and three trips to the NBA Finals. As a player, Lue spent 11 seasons in the NBA, and won a pair of NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. He played with six teams during his career and averaged a career-high 11.4 points per game in 2006-07 and finished his career with 4,710 points and 1,727 career assists. During his Husker career, Lue averaged 15.9 points and 4.4 assists in his three-year career as a Cornhusker and left the program ranking third in assists (432), fourth in three-pointers made (145), fifth in steals (154) and seventh in points (1,577). Lue was named First Team All-Big 12 his junior season after averaging 21.2 points and 4.8 assists per game.
Eric Piatkowski was one of the longest-tenured Huskers in the NBA, as he played 13 seasons in the league. He spent his first nine seasons with the LA Clippers, two with the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns and one with the Houston Rockets. A first-round pick in 1994, he was a part of six playoff teams in his career, including each of his last five seasons, before retiring following the 2008 playoffs. One of the best shooters in the NBA during his career, he was third in the NBA in 3-point percentage in 2001-02 and ninth in 2004-05 while ranking in the top 100 all-time in 3-pointers made. He is the Clippers' all-time leader in 3-pointers (738) and 3-point percentage (40.2) and ranked second in the team record book with 616 games played at the end of his playing career. One of only two players in Nebraska history to play on four straight NCAA Tournament teams, Piatkowski led the Huskers to an 85-39 record including three 20-win seasons. He was the first player in Nebraska history to record at least 1,900 points, grab 600 rebounds (669) and dish out 300 assists (322) and with 202 career treys, is one of only two Huskers to record at least 200 3-pointers in a career. Piatkowski was a two-time first-team All-Big Eight selection and was the MVP of the 1994 Big Eight Tournament while leading the Huskers to their first conference tournament title. He set the NU single-game scoring record with 42 points in the first round of the tournament against Oklahoma and his No. 52 jersey was retired in 2006.
Of the former Huskers who have reached the NBA, Stu Lantz is the program's highest scorer, as he averaged 12.4 points per game during his eight-year NBA career. Lantz was originally a third-round draft pick of the San Diego Rockets in 1968. Spending his first three seasons in San Diego, he enjoyed his finest pro campaign in 1970-71, averaging career-high figures in both scoring (20.6) and rebounding (5.0). The following season, Lantz ranked sixth overall in the NBA in free throw percentage (.838). Lantz also played for the Detroit Pistons (1972-1974) and New Orleans Jazz (1974) prior to being traded to the Lakers in December of 1974, where he spent two seasons before being forced to retire with a back injury. He has been a broadcaster with the Los Angeles Lakers since 1987 and has been named to the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association as the best television color commentator seven times. In 2018, he was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame. As a Husker, he was a two-time All-Big Eight selection who totaled 1,269 points in his career, while his average of 16.9 points per game ranks fifth in school history. His No. 22 was retired in 1989.