Before he got into the league, he faced some trouble off the court in college. During his junior year at the University of Illinois, Nunn was arrested and charged with domestic battery. But that incident didn’t stop his dreams from making it to the league.
Kendrick Nunn’s college basketball career
Going into college, Nunn was one of the top players in high school. He attended Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, Illinois. After a successful high school career, he went on to play at Illinois. As a freshman, he played in 35 games and averaged 6.2 points per game.
Going into his sophomore year, Nunn’s production improved on the court. He averaged 11.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Nunn started to grow as a player during his time at Illinois. As a junior, his numbers continued to improve, and he averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.
When Nunn was in his junior year, that’s when he got into some trouble. In 2016, Nunn was arrested and charged with domestic battery. According to a NBC Sports article, the charges alleged that Nunn struck an alleged victim in the head, pushed her to the floor and held her by the neck. After he was charged, Illinois immediately dismissed him going into his senior year. So, Nunn was going into his senior year looking for a school to attend and play for.
Kendrick Nunn transferred to Oakland University
After he was dismissed from Illinois, he transferred to Oakland University and played on the basketball team. When he first transferred there, he had to sit out a year. During the 2017-18 season, Nunn had an exceptional senior season.
He led the NCAA in 3-point shooting averaging 4.47 3-point field goals made per game. Nunn also was second in the NCAA in points averaging 25.9 points per game. The player that was ahead of him in points per game was Trae Young. Nunn emerged as one of the top players in college playing at a mid-major school. He was voted the Horizon League Player of the Year and earned First Team All-League honors in 2018.
Kendrick Nunn’s path to the league
Going into the 2018 NBA draft, Nunn did not hear his name called. After going undrafted, Nunn signed a partially guaranteed contract with the Golden State Warriors. He landed a spot on their Summer League team and also received an invitation to their fall camp. The Warriors ended up releasing him in October 2018, and he was added to the Warriors G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Nunn had success in the G League, and in 49 games, he averaged 19.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals. His performance in the G League allowed him to be picked up by the Miami Heat in April of 2019. Nunn was a professional scorer, and he knew how to score in multiple ways. The Heat took noticed of him and decided to take a chance on him.
When Nunn joined the Heat for the 2019-20 season, he did not waste any time during his rookie season. He made his NBA debut when he started in a 120-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, and he finished that game with 24 points. Through his first five NBA games, he scored 112 points and broke the record for the most points scored in as many games by an undrafted player. In his 31st game with the Heat, he scored 504 points and became the fastest rookie to reach 500 points in franchise history.
Before the season was halted due to the coronavirus, Nunn was averaging 15.6 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game through 62 games in which he started all of them. Just a few years ago, he faced a domestic abuse charge, and now he’s having a successful rookie campaign in the league.