Former Canisius guard Billy Baron announced today that he will play for the Chicago Bulls entry in the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas July 11-21.
“I have a great opportunity with the Chicago Bulls,” Baron said. “I’m excited and honored to have the chance to compete in the NBA Summer League. I plan on working as hard as I can and hopefully I will earn a spot on their team in the fall. I’d like to thank the Canisius students and fan base who have been so supportive. I’m happy to represent the College and the Buffalo area as I move forward with my career.”
An Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention selection, just the fourth in Canisius history, Baron finished his senior campaign ranked fourth in the nation in scoring average with 24.1 points per game. He was the only Division I men’s basketball player in the country to average better than 20.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game last season, and he is one of two players in the nation to average more than 20.0 points and 5.0 assists per game. The MAAC’s leader in assists per game at 5.3 per contest, he finished his senior season with 180 assists in 34 games for the Griffs, which ranks fourth in school history for assists in a single season.
Baron scored in double figures 33 times in 2013-14, and he was good for 20-plus points in a game 26 times. He had 30 or more points in nine different games, highlighted by his career-high 40-point effort at Siena Feb. 16. His 821 total points in 2013-14 are the most for a senior in school history and he also set a school record with 107 makes from 3-point range in his senior campaign. He closed out his career at Canisius as just the fourth Griff in the program’s 110-year history to score more than 1,400 career points while dishing out 350-plus career assists. A two-time All-MAAC First Team honoree, Baron ended his career as a Griff ranked 11th in career scoring (1,405 points), fourth in career scoring average (20.7 points per game), fourth in career 3-point field goals (173), first in career free-throw percentage (85.9 percent) and ninth in career assists (351).
“This is an amazing opportunity for Billy to showcase his skills at one of the highest levels,” Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. “He’ll be working with a great franchise and he’ll be surrounded by some really good players as well. I’m excited for him, for the City of Buffalo and for college basketball in Western New York.”
The East Greenwich, R.I. native was the school’s first finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the nation’s top point guard, and he received eight different national or regional postseason honors. The 2013-14 Canisius Male Athlete of the Year, he also represented Canisius and the MAAC in the 26th annual State Farm Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championship, which was held in April in Dallas. Baron helped lead the Griffs to a 21-13 overall mark and a 14-6 record in MAAC games in 2013-14, a season which came to an end in the first round of the CIT, the program’s second-straight national postseason appearance. In his two years in a Canisius uniform, the Blue and Gold won a total of 41 games, the second most victories for a MAAC school in that time period, and those 41 wins stands as the program’s best two-year stretch since 1993-95.
Baron is one of two former Griffs to take part in the NBA Summer League next month, as former teammate Jordan Heath announced Friday that he will be a member of the Detroit Pistons team in the Southwest Airline Orlando Summer League. That league will run from July 5-11. The Samsung NBA Summer League games will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center and the Cox Pavilion on the campus on UNLV. In his one previous career game on UNLV’s campus, Baron was good for 30 points, six assists and five boards as the Blue and Gold fell to nationally-ranked Runnin’ Rebels in December 2012.