Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Former UMass star Tony Gaffney given second chance at NBA

Tony Gaffney is getting a second chance to live out his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.

Gaffney, who graduated from UMass in 2009, was invited to Memphis Grizzlies training camp last week.

“I always felt like he had NBA potential,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said of Gaffney. “His ability to rebound the basketball and his timing on blocking shots were just some of the few things NBA scouts noticed in Tony.”

Undrafted after graduating from UMass, Gaffney signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and participated with the team during that year’s Summer League. Gaffney’s performance over the summer landed him a spot in Lakers training camp prior to the 2009-10 season. However, Gaffney was the final player waived by the Lakers one day before the season started.

MCT

Later that season, the Boston Celtics signed Gaffney to a one-year deal, including a non-guaranteed contract for the 2010-2011 season.

But the Celtics later released Gaffney in October 2011, narrowing his chances of ever making another NBA roster.

Gaffney wasn’t going to give up that easy though.

In the summer of 2011, Gaffney finally settled in with the Telekom Baskets Bonn, a professional team in the German Basketball League. In his first season with the team, Gaffney became a league all-star as he averaged 13 points and six rebounds per game.

“Tony was one of those guys who everyone looked up to in the locker room,” Kellogg said. “His high energy and high character made him a better player.”

After transferring from Boston University following his sophomore season, Gaffney instantly made an impact for UMass. In 65 career games wearing the Maroon and White, Gaffney became one of Minutemen’s best performers. He averaged 7.0 points per game to go along with 7.6 rebounds over his career.

It was his senior season when Gaffney solidified himself amongst Minuteman greats. Averaging 10.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocks, and 2.8 steals per contest, Gaffney was awarded the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year. His efforts also earned him a spot on the All-Conference Defensive Team and all-conference second team.

Gaffney also received national recognition, becoming only the sixth player in NCAA history to record over 100 blocked shots in a season. His 115 blocked shots in his senior season is good for third all-time in the NCAA single-season record books.

Kellogg was thrilled that Gaffney could become the eighth UMass player to make it to the NBA.

“This is great for the program,” he said. “Kids from high school looking at our program can use Tony as an example of where hard work and dedication can take you.”

Kellogg also had some advice to players taken later in the draft or to those who went undrafted.

“NBA teams are looking for guys that can help them win,” he said. “They love rebounders and players who specialize on a specific craft. Every team has their superstars, but it’s these guys who can help make a difference coming off the bench.”

Gaffney will make his second attempt at an NBA career on Oct. 1 when he reports to Grizzlies training camp.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at arcyr@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

 

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