Before Kyle Korver became one of the best sharpshooters in the NBA, he was just a second round draft pick looking to secure a spot in the league.
On Saturday, in his commencement speech to graduates at his alma mater Creighton University, Korver detailed how he was traded on draft day in 2003 for cash considerations after being selected 51st overall by the then-New Jersey Nets.
Well, “traded” was a loose term, according to Korver, who detailed how the Nets used the money they received in return to pay for their summer league entrance fee and a copy machine — which is now dead.
The joke is on the Nets, because 16 years later, Korver is 38 and still going strong. The Utah Jazz guard has played for five different teams, averaging nearly 10 points a game and is shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point range for his career.
He made the All-Star team in 2015 and when he retires, will be known as one of the best pure shooters the game has ever seen.
The graduates gave Korver a nice ovation after he told the story. Because while only a select few can relate to being drafted into the NBA, everyone has been in a position where they’ve felt unappreciated and devalued.
Korver was there when he was a rookie, traded for nothing and uncertain of his future. But he survived, and not just that — he thrived. That’s a worthy lesson for any college graduate.