He didn’t get drafted, but Jacob Wiley’s trip to New York this week turned out just fine.
Even better, his agent believes.
On Friday, the former Eastern Washington All-American agreed to terms on partially guaranteed contract with the Brooklyn Nets, and will begin his NBA career July 7-17 at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
“He had a ton of interest,” said his agent, Alvin Snow, a star himself at Eastern from 2001-04 who works for Worldwide Sports Management.
“About 12 different teams were trying to lock him in after the draft. That’s why it might have been better for him to not be drafted,” Snow said. “It gave us more leverage and we could talk to all the teams who had legitimate interest.”
With his aggressive and productive play from the moment he arrived at Eastern, the former Newport High School star figured to have a chance at the NBA – even as a 6-foot-7 power forward.
Wiley made Big Sky Conference history last season – his lone year in Cheney – by becoming just the second player in league history to score at least 639 points and have at least 303 rebounds in a single season in the league’s 54-year existence.
Wiley was selected as the MVP of the Big Sky Conference in his lone season as an Eagle, and went on to earn first-team All-District 6 honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
The reigning Big Sky Conference MVP raised some eyebrows with his all-tournament performance in March at the four-day Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va. He then received more than a dozen workouts for NBA teams leading up to the draft.
“It is a great day to be an Eagle! No man has worked harder than Jake over the past 12 months and it is absolutely exhilarating to see his dream of playing in the NBA come true,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans.
Eastern legends Ron Cox, Rodney Stuckey and Tyler Harvey remain EWU’s only NBA draft choices. Cox was the first in 1977, taken by Cleveland in the sixth round (121st pick overall). Stuckey was a first-round choice by Detroit in 2007 (15th) and Harvey was the latest by going in the second round to Orlando in 2015 (51st).
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