Webb first NIC player to see NBA minutes

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MARY ALTAFFER/Associated Press Brooklyn Nets forward James Webb III (0), who once played at North Idaho College, boxes out Philadelphia 76ers forward Dario Saric during a Jan. 31 game in New York.

Former North Idaho College basketball player James Webb III became the first Cardinal player to play in the NBA with his debut with the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 27 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Webb, a 6-foot-9 forward, played for NIC as a freshman during the 2012-13 season and averaged 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while helping the Cardinals post a 26-5 record.

The 24-year-old wing has become a high-energy player for the Nets, averaging 2.0 points per game in 14 minutes off the bench in seven games since his debut. Webb went undrafted after leaving a year early from Boise State in 2016, but was originally signed by the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent.

A severe ankle injury slowed his career in Philly, and the Nets picked him up off waivers and sent him to the NBA development G League, where he averaged 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21 games for Delaware.

Webb had a season-high 22 minutes against the New York Knicks, and scored his first NBA points on a 3-pointer against the Los Angeles Lakers. Webb is signed for the remainder of the season with the Nets.

Webb, a native of Augusta, Ga., only played one season with the Cardinals before transferring to Boise State. Webb was selected Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year as a redshirt sophomore and helped the Broncos reach the 2015 NCAA tournament.

As a redshirt junior Webb averaged 15.8 points and 9.1 rebounds, and earned all-Mountain West first-team honors.

Other Cardinals that have been selected in the NBA draft include Paul Rogers (Gonzaga), taken by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round in 1997. NIC Hall of Fame inductee Greg Wiltjer (Oregon State/University of Vancouver) was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the second round in 1984. His son Kyle was an NCAA All-American for Gonzaga in 2016.

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