Whatever Happened to That Guy??..
Loren Woods (Arizona)
Loren Woods started his collegiate basketball career at Wake Forest. He played two seasons at Wake. Woods, a big man, transferred over to “Point Guard U” to play for Arizona and Lute Olsen. He had to sit out the 1998-99 season because of transfer rules, but joined the Wildcats for the next two seasons. His first year with the Cats was his best. Woods averaged 15.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4 blocks a game. Arizona received a No. 1 seed in 2000 and lost in the second round to Wisconsin. In the 2001 tournament however, Arizona reached the finals, where they lost to Duke. Woods was selected in the second round of the 2001 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 7’2” center was expected by many scouts to be a first rounder, but teams questioned his character. Well, Woods then decided to prove critics right by getting into a scuffle with Brandon Haywood during a summer game in 2001. He bounced around the NBA from 2001-2006 playing for the Wolves, Raptors, Heat, and Kings.
Where is he now? After being waived by the Kings in 2006, Woods left to play overseas. He joined a Lithuanian squad, Zalgiris Kaunas. From there it was on to Turkey’s Efes Pilsen. He tested the NBA again with two 10-day contracts with the Houston Rockets. Woods is now currently playing for CAI Zaragoza.
Related rant: After reading Paul Shirley’s Can I Keep My Jersey? (highly recommend it) I realize the pay may be better overseas, but if you’re not accustomed to that lifestyle it’s almost not worth it. I’d take a 10-day contract, play some meaningless minutes, and be a cheerleader (not an actual cheerleader with pom poms) for an NBA team over playing in a foreign country. I give these guys all the credit for trying their careers overseas and awaiting a phone call from an NBA squad. Even after a 10-day contract they have no idea where they will be when that’s up. Do you hope for another 10-day contract? Or sign long term overseas where you’re not as happy? Give up the dream? How can you? All you know is basketball…
Email Matt, or post a comment, if you have a suggestion for a player to feature in the WHTTG series.