Every year, athletes leave Weber State Univeristy and transition into the real world. Damian Lillard is one of the most prominent WSU graduates, but here’s a look at what some other former Wildcats are doing after college.
Kyle Bullinger graduated from WSU last year and has transitioned from the court to the classroom. Bullinger is now a teacher at Fremont High School, where he teaches history, geography and political science. Bullinger said he would like to eventually try his hand at coaching.
While Bullinger and most former athletes have left the days of playing competitive sports, a few have found their way to the professional ranks. Many WSU students are aware of Lillard and his success in the NBA as a rookie with the Portland Trail Blazers, but Lindsey Hughey, a former teammate of Lillard’s from WSU, has also been playing professionally this year in Germany.
Hughey is currently playing for BG Leitershofen/Stadtbergen in the German Pro B, the third-highest league in Germany. Hughey has played 10 games so far for the team, located in southern Germany. Leitershofen head coach Stefan Goschenhofer said in a press release that Hughey is a strong player who has a high basketball IQ.
“Linzo is an absolute rocket,” Goschenhofer said, “combined with a clear mind. This is not found often.”
Hughey’s season got off to a bit of a slow start. He suffered an injury and missed the first game of the year, but is now healthy and has played 10 games for the team. He had a particularly strong game in late October, scoring 18 points and pulling down six rebounds, helping his team to a narrow 74-71 victory. More recently, he had a 21-point performance on Nov. 24 in a 77-70 loss. In that game, Hughey came close to a double-double, finishing the game with eight rebounds.
Goschenhofer said in a press release on the team’s website that Hughey’s ability to score, play defense and rebound is important to his team.
“He adds lots of attributes that will give our team a boost,” Goschenhofer said. “He is a team player, he is a good defender, he hit about 40 percent of his shots from beyond the 3-point line. Plus, as a very athletic player with good speed, he can drive to the hoop as well. In short, he is a very versatile player.”
BG Leitershofen has gotten off to a slow start this season and is currently in second-to-last place in the league standings with three wins on the year.
Hughey said he is excited for the opportunity to play professional basketball.
“I want to play at the highest level that I possibly can,” he said, “whether that means staying in Germany or if I get the chance to play in the NBA.”
It’s not just former basketball players who have been able to continue playing after college. Tim Toone, a former wide receiver for the WSU football team, has bounced around the NFL since leaving WSU. He has been a member of the practice teams for the Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons.
Toone made the 53-man final roster of the Falcons this year. It was the first time Toone was named in the full team roster. A few days later, he suffered an injury and was cut by the team, but has now resigned with the Falcons and has yet to make an appearance for the team.
Joe Collins, another former wide receiver at WSU, has also been a member of practice squads in the NFL. Most recently, he was with the New York Jets. Before signing with the Jets, Collins played in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.