Cory Higgins, cut by the Denver Nuggets just before the season, has found a full-time job in Charlotte where the undrafted rookie has made the Bobcats’ active roster.
Higgins joins former Colorado teammate Alec Burks (No. 12 pick in the 2011 draft) and Buffs legend Chauncey Billups (No. 3 pick in the 1997 draft) in the exclusive NBA club.
This is the first time CU has had three active NBA players in the same season since 1992-93 when Matt Bullard, Jay Humphries and Alex Stivrins were all in the league.
“No. 1, and most importantly, I’m happy for Cory,” said CU head coach Tad Boyle, who leaned on Higgins’ leadership and Burks’ skill during last season’s 24-win campaign. “Certainly, I think it helps when you’re talking about recruiting and when you’re talking to players in our locker room who played with these guys and understand how hard they worked to get where they are.
“It’s pretty special. We’d like to keep that trend continuing.”
Higgins’ father Rod is the Bobcats’ president of basketball operations. The former Buffs’ standout did not play in Charlotte’s 96-65 win over Milwaukee in the season opener.
“A lot of people are going to think I’m here just because of him,” Higgins told the Charlotte Observer. “That’s not the case. I worked hard to get here and I’m here to prove to everybody, and the coach staff, that I belong here and I keep this spot.”
Higgins finished tied with Richard Roby as CU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,001 points.
Burks, who left CU after his sophomore year, will make his debut with the Jazz tonight in Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Jazz will visit the Pepsi Center on Wednesday for the Denver Nuggets’ home opener.
Billups has landed in a nice situation with the Los Angeles Clippers after getting waived by the New York Knicks. The former NBA Finals most valuable player is in the same back court with Chris Paul.