Jaguars in the Pros

This page is designed to keep Jaguar fans updated on former athletes and their latest achievements. Those currently playing professionally feature a “Currently” section in their bio, which is updated often. Players without the “Currently” section are no longer playing professionally.

If you spot an error or notice someone’s missing, please email athletics@gru.edu with the subject line “Jaguars in the Pros.” Thank you!

Basketball | Golf | Baseball

Basketball

(Name, Years at GRU)

Garrett Siler, 2005-2009
After playing for the Shangai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association for one season after college, Siler was invited to the 2010 NBA summer league, where he impressed scouts enough to sign a two-year deal with Suns, making him the first Jaguar to play in the NBA. Atlanta and Miami were also in the running to sign him.

In his first NBA season, Siler averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 rebounds a game while backing up Robin Lopez, the 15th overall draft pick in the 2008 NBA draft. He scored a career-high eight points in just three minutes against Oklahoma City in March. The Suns went 40-42 that year.

Currently
: Siler averaged eight points and six rebounds a game in the 2014 BSN Finals for Capitanes de Arecibo, including 12 points and 10 boards in the deciding game six. The team fell 4-2 to rival Ponce de Leones.

As a Jaguar:
Siler led the Jags to three straight NCAA Elite Eight appearances, and still holds the NCAA record for career field goal percentage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garret_Siler 

Ben Madgen, 2007-2010
Madgen went straight to Australia’s Sydney Kings of the NBL out of college and has risen up the league ranks ever since. As a rookie in 2010-11, Madgen averaged 10 points and three rebounds a contest en route to winning the NBL Rookie of the Year award. He shot 45.6% from the field, including 38% from behind the arc as the Kings went 8-20.

He did one better in the 2012-13 season, leading the league in scoring while finishing second in Most Valuable Player voting, and he was elected to the national squad in the offseason. 

Currently:
 Madgen’s Kings couldn’t make the NBL Finals, but the co-captain ended the season posting career-high numbers in points, rebounds, and assists. He recently received a two-year contract extension from the Kings, with an opt-out clause in the second year of the deal should he wish to pursue a place in the European basketball world.  

As a Jaguar:
Madgen compiled an astounding career that saw a national title game appearance and consecutive straight Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He owns the scoring record in the Peach Belt Conference, was the second player even named All-Conference all four years, and led the Jags to their first PBC Tournament win in six years.

His number, 1, was retired March 3, 2010 in a ceremony before a first round game against Armstrong Atlantic in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.

http://www.sydneykings.com/playerstats/id/1126

Greg Hire, 2009-2010
Hire came to the United States from Australia, and after graduating he went straight back to head into the National Basketball League with the Perth Wildcats as a rotational player and the nickname “The Mayor of Wanneroo.”

In the 2012-2013 season, Hire was named the NBL’s Most Improved Player while averaging 5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists, including a 14-rebound performance while notching his first double-double.

Currently:
 Hire grabbed a team-high eight boards to help his Perth Wildcats qualify for the postseason, and helped the squad win the 2014 NBL Championship.

As a Jaguar:
Hire posted a home record of 57-4, bringing new meaning to the term 'home court advantage.' He helped the Jags to a Final Four and Elite Eight appearance, averaging 5.4 points and rebounds a contest while starting every game his senior year.

http://www.wildcats.com.au/playerstats/id/1121
Fred Brathwaite, 2009-2010
Brathwaite headed to Germany out of college for his first professional season before landing in the National Basketball League Canada (NBLCanada) for the 2011-12 year with the Moncton Miracles. He averaged seven points and three rebounds.

As a Jaguar:
Brathwaite helped his team to consecutive Elite Eight appearances, leading the team with 21 points and seven rebounds in the Final Four versus Cal Poly Pomona. He averaged 16.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game his senior season.
 A.J. Bowman, 2005-2008
After graduating, Bowman spent three seasons playing for Ola Verde in the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional (National Professional Basketball League –LNBP) before the team folded.

He averaged over five points per game in his final season with the team.

As a Jaguar:
Bowman was near the top of the nation in field goal percentage and points per game, averaging 20.5 points in the 2006-07 campaign while shooting 53.1% from the floor and grabbing 7.5 rebounds a contest. He averaged 19.8 points and 7.5 rebounds a game his senior year, including 26 points, five rebounds, three assists, and a block in the 2008 NCAA Division II National Finals.

He also was selected to participate in ESPN’s Slam Dunk contest in consecutive seasons, and was named the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Georgia College Player of the Year in 2007. His number 23 has been retired.

Kavossy Franklin, 1998-1999
Franklin began his professional career with the Sydney Kings of Australia’s NBL in 2003, winning the NBL Championship that season. He bounced around the NBL for three seasons before his 2007-08 campaign ended with a nomination as All-NBL Third Team as part of the Wollongong Hawks.

As a Jaguar:
Franklin averaged 20 points and 5.4 rebounds, nailing 40 percent of three pointers. He was named PBC Conference Player of the Year and Daktronics All-Region First-Team.

  Gary Boodnikoff, 1999-2002
Boodnikoff's professional career was marked by longevity, as he racked up over 250 starts in Australia's National Basketball League, primarily with the Cairns Taipans. He was regarded as one of the faces of the NBL, despite being hampered by leg injuries the past few seasons.

As a Jaguar:
Boodnikoff capped his career by averaging 19.5 points a game, shooting 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from behind the arc. He helped ASU to two consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, notching 10 points and five rebounds in a win over Johnson C. Smith in the first round of the 2002 tournament.

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2010/01/27/89951_local-sport-news.html

Golf

(Name/Years at GRU)

Note: There are multiple levels of tours. The PGA Tour and European Tour are both top-level tours with tournaments in different regions of the world, and professionals strive to become a member of one (or both) tours. Beneath the PGA Tour is the Web.com tour, and under that is the eGolf Tour. Beneath the European Tour is the Challenge Tour, and under that is the EuroPro Tour. We hope this helps you better understand!

Vaughn Taylor, 1996-1999
Taylor began playing on the PGA Tour full-time in 2004, and has carded two wins (2004/2005 Reno-Tahoe Open), eight top-three finishes, and 28 top-ten results. He led on day three of the 2007 Masters, winding up tied for tenth in a career-best major finish.

In 2013, he had a solid three-week stretch that netted finishes of T-25, T-14, and T-21 on the PGA Tour as he finished No. 155 in the FedEx cup standings, and he has also participated in Web.com Tour events. He finished tied for 10th in the Wells Fargo Championship after getting in the field as a Monday qualifier.

Currently:
 Taylor continues to bounce between the Web.com tour and the PGA Tour, notching a T61 finish in the Travelers Championship in late June and following it up with a T16 and T21 finish in his next two Web.com events.

As a Jaguar: Taylor earned honorable mention All-America honors as a senior, carding ten top-20 finishes. He led the team to two NCAA Championship appearances, and three NCAA Regionals, including a No. 15 ranking in 1998. He capped his career with a 71.62 stroke average, a school record at the time.

http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.23325.vaughn-taylor.html 

Patrick Reed, 2010-2011

Reed showed potential on Tour early, making the cut in two PGA Tour events before earning his Tour card in 2012 Q-school. The former All-American and two-time winner on the PGA Tour compiled a 3-0-1 record to lead the United States in the 2014 Ryder cup for points earned and stood as the only American without a loss on his record once the competition was over.

The next year, he made it count, winning his first PGA Tour event in the Wyndham Championship with a 14-under score. He’s since added two victories to his resume and he continues to rise up the rankings.

Currently: Reed bounced back from a rough stretch to finish T-4 in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and was recently named to the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team. He made his second cut in a major at the PGA Championship to go with his T-35 finish at the U.S. Open.

As a Jaguar:
Reed garnered two All-American selections and finished third individually in the 2011 NCAA Championships. He ended the year ranked fourth in the nation.

http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.34360.patrick-reed.html

Scott Jamieson, 2002-2005

Jamieson enjoyed a banner year in 2011, posting five top-ten and seven top-15 finishes after earning a promotion to the European Tour the year prior. He then hit the jackpot to begin his 2013 season, winning his first event at the Nelson Mandela Championship, finishing T3 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, and following with a 2nd-place finish in the Volvo Golf Champions tournament for his largest professional payday of his career. He made the cut in the 2013 PGA Championship, placing in a tie for 29th for his best major finish thus far.

Currently: Jamieson’s hot play couldn’t get him over the cut in The Open Championship as he missed the cut, but he rebounded by finishing third in the European Tour’s M2M Russian Open to vault himself to No. 70 on the Tour’s Race to Dubai. The top 60 players on the list earn their way into the season-ending tournament, while the 110 players keep their European Tour card for the next year.

As a Jaguar: Jamieson garnered All-American and NCAA All-Independent Player of the Year honors while firing a team-best 16 rounds of par or better as a senior. He ran off a string of five straight top-13 finishes, won The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, and played on the Palmer Cup team, going 2-2.

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/players/playerid=34771/index.html
Gary Murphy, 1992-1994

Murphy made his way into the big time in 2000, and enjoyed a career year in 2003 after earning his way back with a 4th-place finish in the Scottish Open for a payday of over 100,000 Euros, his career best. He also made his first major tournament cut, placing 32nd in The 132nd Open Golf Championship.

He enjoyed a lengthy career on the European Tour with 13 top-10 finishes, including finishing tied for third in the 2008 Irish Open and fourth in the 2003 Barclays Scottish Open and earning over two million euros in career earnings on the European Tour.

Murphy retired for good in 2013.

As a Jaguar: Murphy carded what was then the fifth-best season in school history, tying for 13th in the NCAA East Regional as a freshman with a 73.8 stroke average. He had five top-20 finishes his sophomore season.

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/players/playerid=309/index.html

Oliver Wilson, 2000-2003
Wilson headed for the Challenge Tour in Europe out of college in 2004 and earned his first European Tour card the next year. His first major tournament berth was the 2006 U.S. Open, and two years later he placed tied for 36th in the U.S. Open. On Sunday, Oct. 5 he outlasted number-one ranked Rory McIlroy at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by one stroke to win his first event on the European Tour.

He has enjoyed professional success, with nine second-place finishes on tour. In 2009, he finished 24th in The 138th Open Championship, marking his best major championship finish in what became a banner year with three top-11 finishes on the PGA Tour. He scored an epic comeback in the 2008 Ryder Cup, roaring back with Henrik Stenson to come back from four down and beat the team of Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim 2 and 1.

Currently: Wilson rebounded with three made cuts in June and July, including a T33 in the Scottish Hydro Challenge, but sits No. 96 on the Challenge Tour rankings. His best finish on the season is a T17 in the Barclays Kenya Open.

As a Jaguar: Wilson put together one of the best careers in school history his senior year, earning four wins, 14 top-5s, and 30 top-20 results. He became the first three-time All-American in school history, and was the No. 1 ranked golfer in the nation for a two-week span before settling for a final ranking of No. 11. He competed in the Walker and Palmer Cups for Britain, winning both.

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/players/playerid=33164/index.html
James Heath, 2003
Heath earned his first European Tour card for the 2007 season, making 11 cuts and finishing in a tie for fourth in the TCL Classic. He suffered a setback and dropped back down to the Challenge Tour in 2008, but in 2013 broke through again, winning the second qualifying stage and placing 12th in the final to earn his second full Tour card.

Currently: Norlander’s 2014 Web.com season has seen him hit his stride. Besides qualifying for the 2014 U.S. Open, he posted back-to-back top-10 finishes, including a T4 in the Nova Scotia Open. He sits No. 40 on the Money List, where the top 25 earn PGA Tour cards but the top 70 earn their way into the season-ending tournament series, where the others have a chance to earn their way onto the PGA Tour.

As a Jaguar: Heath tied for seventh individually at the NCAA East Regional at Auburn University Club in 2003 in his lone season here, and finished tied for 42nd in the NCAA Championships.

http://www.europeantour.com/challengetour/players/playerid=32432/index.html 

Henrik Norlander, 2008-2011

Norlander turned professional after playing the in the 2011 Palmer Cup, heading to the Challenge Tour where he notched three Top-23 finishes in his inaugural season.

In 2013, Norlander found his game, making 13 cuts on the PGA Tour and finishing 15th and 16th in back-to-back tournaments, the Zurich Classic and Wells Fargo Championship, and tacked on a 16th-place finish in the Wydham Championship.

He ran the gauntlet in the 2014 U.S. Open Qualifying, winning his sectional to earn a place in his first major tournament. His opening-round 70 placed him in the top 20 after round one.

Currently: Norlander’s 2014 Web.com season has seen him hit his stride. Besides qualifying for the 2014 U.S. Open, he posted back-to-back top-10 finishes, including a T4 in the Nova Scotia Open. He sits No. 40 on the Money List, where the top 25 earn PGA Tour cards but the top 70 earn their way into the season-ending tournament series, where the others have a chance to earn their way onto the PGA Tour.

As a Jaguar: Norlander was a three-time All-American, won four tournaments, and had a career stroke average below 72. He ended his career ranked 16th nationally.


http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.30163.henrik-norlander.html#uber

Taylor Floyd, 2008-12

Floyd spent 2013 and 2014 on the eGolf Tour, finishing the 2013 year with four consecutive top-eight finishes. He advanced to the second stage of qualifying for the Web.com Tour.

Currently: Floyd has been on a hot streak, posting finishes of 2-21-5-13 in his last four tournaments to rise to No. 16 on the eGolf Tour’s Money List. The top 60 earn exemptions into the season-ending Million Dollar Championship Series.

As a Jaguar: Floyd battled the flu and tough competition to a 1-1-1 record in the NCAA National Championship, helping the Jags to their first National Title. He went on to become the squad’s No. 1 option his senior season, posting a T-3 finish in their home event before turning pro.

http://tarheel.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/tarheel14/profile/tfloyd23/tresults.htm 

Jamie Elson, 1999-2001
Elson has played in Europe ever since leaving Augusta, bouncing between the European Tour and the Challenge Tour throughout his professional career. He holed a 40-foot birdie putt to get his European Tour card for the 2012 season in qualifying, and promptly posted his highest-grossing finish to date: A second-place finish in the Joburg Open that netted him $149,500 Euros.

He won his only professional tournament, the 2003 Volvo Finnish Open on the Challenge Tour.

Currently:
 Elson had a bad run in the spring months, but broke through with a T6 finish in the Scottish Hydro Open in the end of June and earned his third made cut of the season two weeks later to rise to No. 70 in the Challenge Tour rankings.

As a Jaguar:
Elson was named an All-American twice, once to the second-team and another to the third. He posted ten top-20s, eight top-10s and five top fives in his final year, including a tie for second at the NCAA Championships at Duke University Golf Club.

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/players/playerid=31697/bio/index.html

Mitch Krywulycz, 2007-2011

Krywulvcz grabbed two top-20 finishes in his first season on the eGolf Tour before landing consecutive top-five placements in 2012.

He finally broke through in 2013, winning The Sedgefield Classic in May for his first professional victory. He competed in the Web.com qualifying tournament and advanced to the final stage, but fell short of earning full status.

Currently: Krywulycz made his third and fourth cuts of the year count big, placing T8 in the eGolf Tour’s Southern Open before backing it up the next week with a T5 in the Cabarrus Classic to move into the Top 60 – a big deal, as the top 60 are invited to the year-end Million Dollar Championship Series.

He sits No. 44 after missing the cut in the Spring Creek Classic.

As a Jaguar: Krywulvcz was a key member in winning back-to-back National Championships, scoring victories in both championship matches, including the down-to-the-wire clincher in 2010.

http://tarheel.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/tarheel13/event/tarheel1319/contest/4/profile/mkrywulycz7/tresults.htm?statl=tarheel14
Natalie Wille

Following a solid Jaguar career, Wille turned professional and immediately found success by winning her first tournament, the Nordea Tour's Frontwalker Ladies Open. Wille is ranked No. 1 on the Nordea Tour based on order of merit and earned a wildcard spot to play on European Tour's Helsingborg Ladies Open. Prior to her top ranking, she sat 11th on the Nordea Tour, and followed by playing in the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship, where she missed advancing by three shots.

As a Jaguar: Wille enjoyed consistent play, notching double-digit top-20 finishes, including one victory and carding the second-lowest stroke play average score in school history. She helped the squad to two NCAA Postseason appearances, marking her as a building block for a program creating a strong national presence.

 

Wallace Booth, 2004-2007
Booth suffered a shoulder injury in 2011, hampering his chance to build on a successful 2010 campaign that saw him win the First Qualifying State, Section C at Dundonald Links, and card a 281 (-3) for a 54 th place finish in the Roma Golf Open 2010 Presented by REZZA.

He bounced back, however, winning the MarHall.com Scottish Classic on the EuroPro Tour in 2012 and making six cuts on the 2013 Challenge Tour in Europe, including a career-best tie for second in the Swiss Open.

Currently: After suffering injuries to cut his 2013 Challenge Tour campaign short, Booth dropped back to the EuroPro Tour, where he finished T-15 on The Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters at the end of April.

As a Jaguar: Booth competed in back-to-back NCAA Regionals, and won the The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in 2007. He was named an All-American Scholar.

http://europro.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/europro14/event/europro146/contest/1/profile/wbooth5/poy.htm? 

Janne Kaske, 2006-2009
Kaske struggled in his first few seasons professionally before beginning to make headway in his 2013 season. He competed on the EuroPro Tour, notching a career-best tie for sixth at the Grant Property Investment Championship before making his first Challenge Tour cut at the Finnish Challenge with a T-37 result.

Currently: Kaske placed 6th on the EuroPro Tour’s HotelPlanner.com Championship in mid-June, making his first made cut of the year count.

As a Jaguar: Kaske helped the Jaguars to a spot in the top-25, and won The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in 2009. He finished tied for 55th in the 2009 NCAA Regional.

http://europro.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/europro13/profile/jkaske/poy.htm?
 

Major Manning, 2003-2006
Manning finished a career-best tied for fifth at the South Georgia Classic in 2011 on what was then known as the Nationwide Tour, and placed 103rd on the Tour money list. He ranked 12th on the tour in driving distance that year,

As a Jaguar: Manning earned two All-American selections and shooting an eight-under 208 in the NCAA West Regional. He was the round one clubhouse leader at the 2005 NCAA Championships before finishing fourth individually.

http://www.pgatour.com/players/03/28/75/

   Jake Amos, 2008-2009
Amos took to the PGA EuroPro tour in 2011, posting back-to-back top-30 finishes in The Lingfield Golf Park Championship 2011 (T27) and Network Veka Classic (T28). He placed 15th in the first stage of Q-school before finishing 45th in the final stage.
 
He jumped to the eGolf tour the next year, topping out with a T-48 finish in the Oldfield Open. In September 2013, he accepted an assistant coaching position with the University of South Florida men’s golf team.

As a Jaguar: Amos competed in the NCAA Championships in 2008, and helped lead his squad to a second-place finish in the NCAA East Regional. He notched his first career collegiate victory at the Mason Rudolph Invitational.

http://europro.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/europro11/profile/jamos9/tresults.htm
Jay Haas, Jr., 1999-2003
Haas Jr. rode an up-and-down year in 2011, making five of nine cuts on the eGolf Tour. He earned a 25th place finish at the Bolle Classic at Sapona Country Club in June.
 
He has caddied for his father, Bill Haas, on the PGA Tour since 2011, including in the PGA Championship.

As a Jaguar: Haas enjoyed a run to the NCAA Championships in 2003, shooting a 9-over 236 in the Regionals to finish tied for 36th.

Carter Newman, 2007-11
Newman struggled initially on the eGolf Tour, failing to make the cut in his first two tournaments before roaring to a fifth-place finish in The Southern Open, shooting a 14-under 27. He carded three other top-50 finishes on the season before retiring from golf to focus on his family.

As a Jaguar: He was part of the back-to-back title teams, dominating in the 2011 final with a 7-and-5 victory after clinching ASU's spot in the final with an extra-hole victory in the semis.

http://tarheel.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/tarheel11/profile/cnewman41/tresults.htm

Richard Johnson, 1991-1995
Johnson won the Nationwide Tour money title in 2007, winning the Mark Christopher Charity Classic and Nationwide Championship. He made a hole-in-one on a 374-yard par four in the New Zealand Open, the second player in Nationwide Tour history to do, and won a pallet of beer from the tournament sponsor. His best finish on the PGA Tour was a tied for 27th at the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

 He retired from golf in 2010.
 
As a Jaguar: Johnson set the standard for Jaguar golfers, becoming the school’s first All-American as he elevated the program’s status to national prominence.

http://www.pgatour.com/players/02/31/57/

Taylor Smith, 1985-1986
Smith had a banner year in 1996, notching two top-five finishes to go with his 1992 Ben Hogan Permian Basin Open victory (which is now known as the WNB Golf Classic).

He is best known for being disqualified in the Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic for having the grips on his long putter too close together, breaking a little-known PGA Tour rule. The disqualification prevented him from playing in a playoff against Tiger Woods, giving Woods his second career victory.

Smith passed away in 2007 at the age of 40 in his home in Texas, but will always be remembered for interjecting the phrase 'Can you believe it?' throughout conversation.

http://www.pgatour.com/2007/r/07/23/maginnes/index.html

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/2007-08/gw070803fields
David Park, 1995-1996
Park gave up playing on the European Tour in 2009, opting to become the charity executive of the Tour Players Foundation in 2009. His best major finish was 79th in the 2002 Open Championship, and he carded three wins, including the 1999 Compaq European Grand Prix by one shot over David Carter and Retief Goosen.

As a Jaguar: Park started his career hot, winning the Wolfpack Invitational and ended it just as well, winning the Palmetto Invitational and forcing the NCAA to choose between ASU and VCU for the final NCAA Tournament berth.

BBC story on giving up golf: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/golf/8082762.stm

http://www.europeantour.com/challengetour/players/playerid=7993/index.html

Baseball

(Name/Years at GRU)

Shannon Wilkerson, 2007-2009

Signed in 2009 as an eighth-round draft pick by the Boston Red Sox, Wilkerson began his minor league career with the single-A Lowell Spinners, batting .264 in 31 games with 10 doubles, 11 RBI, and five stolen bases. He was promoted in 2012 to double-A Portland, and has earned the Red Sox ML Base Runner of the Month award three times since May 2012.

In 2014, he earned a brief call-up to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he played in 25 games.

Currently: Wilkerson was called up for his first stint at the AAA level, hitting .234 with eight runs scored. He returned to Double-A Portland and is hitting .279 with 22 doubles, 10 stolen bases, and 48 runs scored.

As a Jaguar: Wilkerson was the 2009 NCAA Division II Player of the Year, batting .441 with 24 HR and 82 RBI. He tacked on 17 doubles, seven triples, and 13 stolen bases to go along with a .502 on-base percentage for the campaign.

Minor League Baseball Stats

http://www.soxprospects.com/players/wilkerson-shannon.htm

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