Stony Brook Men’s Basketball alumnus Jameel Warney has learned to shine bright in some of the most important moments of his career. He led Stony Brook to its first ever America East championship during the 2015-16 season, scoring 43 points in the game. He recorded a double-double in the team’s first trip to the NCAA tournament.
Playing at Madison Square Garden as a basketball player in the NBA quite possibly tops it all.
“It’s been a great moment in my life,” Warney said. “Hopefully I can find a way stick with it. I’m taking every day for what it’s worth and I’m trying to keep on getting better and hopefully something will happen with it.”
The New Jersey native became the first Stony Brook Men’s Basketball member to play in the NBA when the Dallas Mavericks signed him to a 10-day contract on Sunday, March 11. He traveled with the team during the team’s East Coast trip, which included a homecoming with games against the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.
The forward’s first game was in Dallas, where he faced off against the Houston Rockets, who are atop the Western Conference. He played eight minutes in the game, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds. Warney had his best game against the Knicks, playing 12 minutes and scoring eight points while pulling down three rebounds.
“The kid is great, a solid player that’s earned his shot,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said of Warney. “I wanted him to get a chance to get in there early. He went in the first half and had three or four great minutes. He went in the second half and held his ground. He rebounds from his position and plays tough. He did a very nice job.”
He went undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft but spent the last two seasons playing in the G-League for the Maverick’s affiliate team, the Texas Legends. This was his first time playing in New York in an NBA setting. He most recently played on Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum as a member of the Legends taking on the Long Island Nets.
“When I saw the schedule and I saw I was gonna be back in New York, it was fun,” Warney said. “I got to see a lot of people from New Jersey and Stony Brook and Long Island. I know a lot of people are excited to see me play, but it’s a part of my 10-day, so I need to be ready for anything.”
Warney first heard about his 10-day contract through Twitter mentions and texts from friends.
“I woke up from my pregame nap and saw I had a lot of messages, but I didn’t pay any attention to them,” Warney said. “Then I went on Twitter and saw a lot of people congratulating me on a 10-day. So I called my agent and he told me that I had a 10-day.”
Warney joined a team that is one of the worst in the league this season. Aging veterans and rookies along with playing in the more difficult conference plagued the Mavericks, as the team currently holds a 22-51 record.
He also had a former Legend teammate on the team when he signed his 10-day. Forward Kyle Collinsworth was a member of the Legends earlier this season before getting signed to the Mavericks for the rest of the season.
“Oh yeah, he’s been helping me out a lot,” Warney said of his friend. “He’s been telling me where I need to be at times, just giving me advice and just helping me out since this is my first 10-day. I don’t really know what to do around here and [Collinsworth] and definitely been a helping hand.”
Collinsworth played with Warney for two years on the Legends and continuously gave him advice on the NBA if they ever called.
“I just kept telling him to ‘play to your strengths,’” Collinsworth said. “‘They didn’t call you up to do different things, they called you up to do what you do. Take it one day at a time and just have fun. It’ll take care of itself.’”
However, Warney’s 10-day contract expired, and the Mavericks did not re-sign the forward, and did not play in the final two games during the span of the contract. He averaged 5.3 points with three rebounds per game and shot 58 percent from the field.
Warney is now back in the G-League with the Legends, where he has averaged 18.6 points per game and 8.8 rebounds. The team will prepare for its final regular season game against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. central time.