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Frogs in the Pros: NBA season begins for TCU basketball players

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Rookie guard RJ Nembhard has found a home after going undrafted earlier this year.

Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

While several TCU football players continue battling on the gridiron, multiple Horned Frog alums will tip off the new NBA season this week including veteran guard Kenrich Williams, second-year shooter Desmond Bane and rookie R.J. Nembhard. In this week’s edition of Frogs in the Pros, we take a break from the NFL and look at TCU’s hoopers in the NBA.

R.J. Nembhard — Cleveland Cavaliers

The former Horned Frog guard signed a two-way contract with the Cavaliers, meaning he’ll move back and forth between the NBA team and its G-League affiliate, the Cleveland Charge. Nembhard wasn’t selected in the 2021 NBA Draft, but he showed consistent ability to score the basketball, averaging 15.7 points per game in his final season with the Horned Frogs. His shooting percentages improved throughout his four-year career at TCU.

Nembhard began the offseason with the Miami Heat, playing for the franchise’s Summer League team before joining the Cavaliers and signing his two-way deal. Nembhard was one of two players that Cleveland inked on two-way contracts recently, the other being 7-foot-6 center and former UCF and Boston Celtics fan favorite Tacko Fall.

Desmond Bane — Memphis Grizzlies

The 2020 first-round pick enjoyed a successful rookie season in the NBA, averaging 9.2 points per game on 46.9 percent shooting from the field and 43.2 percent from 3-point range. His efficient shooting helped Memphis reach the playoffs for the first time since 2017. With Dillon Brooks suffering a hand injury that will require 2-3 weeks of healing, Bane could be in line for more minutes of even starting reps as the Grizzlies tip off the 2021-22 season.

Kenrich Williams — Oklahoma City Thunder

Williams enters his fourth NBA season and his second as a member of the Thunder. The former TCU small forward averaging a career-high 8.0 points per game while posting career-best percentages for field goals (53.3) and 3-point field goals (44.4). With OKC continuing to rebuild under GM Sam Presti, expect Williams to get a lot of run as the Thunder attempt to build around young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.