Beasley, McGruder Make NBA Opening Day Rosters

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State will have two former players on opening day NBA rosters, as Michael Beasley (Milwaukee Bucks) and Rodney McGruder (Miami HEAT) debut for their respective teams on Wednesday.

The HEAT travel to Orlando at 6 p.m., while the Bucks host the Hornets at 7 p.m.

K-State is one of six Big 12 teams with multiple NBA players, joining Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. It marks the first time multiple Wildcats have been on NBA teams since Beasley (Miami), Bill Walker (Miami) and Cartier Martin (Detroit) all played in the league during the 2014-15 season.

Beasley, who is entering his ninth NBA season, played the final 20 games of the 2015-16 season with the Houston Rockets after a stint with the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association. He was traded in late September to the Bucks, which will be his fifth NBA team (Miami [2008-10, 2013-15], Minnesota [2010-12], Phoenix [2012-13] and Houston [2015-16]. In his career, Beasley has averaged 13 points on 45.2 percent shooting with 4.8 rebounds per game, including averages of 12.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game on 52.2 percent shooting in 2015-16.

McGruder, who is entering his first season in the NBA, signed a free-agent contract with the HEAT in July and was able to snag with the final spots on the team’s 15-man roster. He played in 48 games for the HEAT’s D-League team – the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Skyforce – during the 2015-16 season, leading the squad to a new league record for most wins in a single season (40) en route to capturing their first NBA D-League Championship in April. He averaged 15.8 points on 51.3 percent shooting with the Skyforce to go with 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 37.5 minutes per game.

One of the greatest one-year players in school history, Beasley is one of just two Wildcats to be named a consensus All-American, earning first team distinction in 2008, and the only player to be the consensus National Freshman of the Year.  He owns 30 career, single-season and freshman records at K-State, including scoring average (26.2 ppg.), 20-point games (26) and double-doubles (28), while he holds 17 single-game and single-season marks in the Big 12. The Pete Newell Big Man of the Year led the nation in 40-point games (3), 30-point, 10-rebound games (13), 20-point, 10-rebound games (22), rebounding average (12.4 rpg.) and double-doubles.

An honorable mention AP All-American as a senior, McGruder led K-State to its first conference title in 36 years in 2013, leading the Wildcats in eight categories, including scoring (15.6 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (29), 20-point games (11), rebounding (5.4 rpg.), starts (35) and minutes (33.5). He is one of only two Wildcats (along with two-time All-American Bob Boozer) to rank in the Top 10 in both career scoring (1,576, seventh) and rebounding (654, seventh). He is part of the winningest senior class in school history (101), while he is one of just four Wildcats to appear in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments (Steve Henson, Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving).