Meet the G-League Player Who Finished His Ivy League Degree During His Rookie Season

Adjusting to a new level of basketball wasn’t the only task Devin Cannady faced in his rookie season.

A former standout guard at Princeton, Cannady had to manage both his basketball life and his pursuit of a college degree.

Cannady already faced that challenge as a student-athlete. In recent months, Cannady took that challenge as a rookie guard for the Long Island Nets, a G League team.

Devin Cannady exceled at Princeton

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Devin Cannady resembled a likely NBA draft pick across his four years at Princeton.

He averaged 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per night in 104 games, 67 of which were starts. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound guard made 44.1% of his shots and drilled 40% of his three-point tries.

Princeton won 22+ games in each of Cannady’s first two seasons. The Tigers lost in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

Princeton dismissed Cannady in his senior season

Devin Cannady had a standout basketball career at Princeton.
Devin Cannady had a standout basketball career at Princeton. | John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Devin Cannady was in the midst of a career-best senior in his final campaign at Princeton. Cannady averaged 18.2 points and 5.8 rebounds, both of which would have been career highs, on 41.6% shooting.

Cannady’s season ended after 16 games, though. Princeton suspended the veteran guard in January 2019 after he threw a punch at a campus police officer following a confrontation at a Wawa convenience store.

Cannady faced charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and being under the influence without a prescription, according to Round Ball Daily.

Cannady received a conditional discharge so long as he fulfilled 20 hours of community service, among other conditions. He never returned to the floor for Princeton and went unselected in the 2019 NBA draft.

Devin Cannady worked to complete his rookie year and his degree

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Although Devin Cannady’s NBA dreams were placed on hold, he still earned a professional basketball opportunity with the Long Island Nets, the Brooklyn Nets’ G League affiliate.

Long Island partly added Cannady to the roster because he still wanted to complete his philosophy degree at Princeton. When Cannady wasn’t practicing or playing, he spent his time studying or returning to campus for classes.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Cannady explained why he was so motivated to finish his degree.

“The way this happened was super beneficial. Even when I was at Princeton, school was more important than basketball. Instead of my Princeton jersey, I was wearing my Long Island jersey. I’d go back to my room and say, ‘Man, I have to read, I have to do these notes.’”

Cannady averaged 14.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game before the coronavirus shutdown. Long Island finished 19-23 when play shut down in March.

Off the court, Cannady earned at least a B+ in both of his classes and completed the last of his coursework. He intends to walk on stage next year.