Former Northern Illinois men’s basketball player Xavier Silas has signed a contract Tuesday to join the Philadelphia 76ers for the remainder of the season.
Silas is slated to be in uniform for his first NBA game on Wednesday night when Philadelphia visits the Milwaukee Bucks.
“It would be hard to find someone happier than me right now,” said Silas. “I just want to learn and play hard. There is no substitution for experience.”
Silas began the season with BCM Gravelines Dunkerque Grand Littoral in France before joining the Sixers for training camp in December.
Silas played in both of the Sixers’ preseason games before spending the remainder of the season in the NBA Developmental League playing for the Maine Red Claws where he averaged 9.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 39 contests.
The Sixers have clinched a playoff spot and are currently tied for seventh-place in the Eastern Conference.
In two seasons at NIU, Silas scored 1,072 points, becoming just the third Huskie to reach the 1,000-point plateau in two seasons (Jim Bradley and Kenny Battle). As a senior, Silas averaged 22.3 points per game, best in the MAC and seventh-best in the nation, and earned First Team All-MAC and First Team NABC All-District 14 honors.
With his first appearance for the Sixers, Silas will become the first Huskie to play in the NBA since Donald Whiteside played for the Atlanta Hawks during the 1997-98 season.