Every year in college basketball hundreds of kids compete for a shot at the NBA. With only 60 NBA draft picks available each year, not everyone can make it. You have to be good. Really good. You need to be able to score on offense, then run down the court and make a great play on defense too.
Unfortunately, with hundreds of ball players and only 60 picks, great players get overlooked and teams choose the wrong guys. One of the great players passed up in the 2014 NBA draft was Cincinnati Bearcats guard.
After a fantastic high school career at White Plains Senior High School in New York and a short stint at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Kilpatrick began playing basketball for the University of Cincinnati.
Kilpatrick redshirted what would have been his freshman season with the Bearcats as he learned from Lance Stephenson. In his real first season for UC, Kilpatrick averaged 9.7 points per game as a regular coming off the bench.
During his sophomore season, Kilpatrick started to show college basketball fans a glimpse of what he was capable of. Kilpatrick averaged over 14 points per game in his expanded role, leading the Big East Conference in three pointers per game and three point shots overall on his way to second team All-Conference honors at the end of the season. His junior season saw an increase to 17 points per game and a second straight spot on the All-Big East team.
In honor of his accomplishments on the court, Kilpatrick was invited to participate in the 2013 Summer Universiade Games in Kazan, Russia with the USA men’s national team.
It was during his senior year at Cincinnati that Kilpatrick cemented himself as one of the best basketball players in the school’s history. Kilpatrick averaged an insane 20.6 points per game as the leader of the Bearcats basketball program, and he also played a pivotal role in the school’s transition from the Big East to the American Athletic Conference.
Kilpatrick was a first-team All-AAC member, and a consensus second-team All-American in 2014, as well as a semi-finalist for the Naismith College Player of the Year award. As if all of those accolades weren’t enough, on February 19, 2014, Kilpatrick secured his spot in history by passing up Steve Logan for second all-time on the Bearcats scoring list—behind only the great Oscar Robertson.
Despite absolutely everything Kilpatrick was able to accomplish over his college career, he did not hear his name called in the 2014 NBA Draft. Fortunately, the Philadelphia 76ers gave him a chance in the 2014 NBA Summer League. After playing on the Sixers’ Summer League team, Kilpatrick signed with the Golden State Warriors for a few days.
Clearly Kilpatrick was drawing some professional interest; however, in a game with rosters of less than 20 men it isn’t easy to land a secure job. The Warriors wanted to keep Kilpatrick, but with no room on their main roster they had to allocate him to the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA Developmental League. In January Kilpatrick was traded to the Delaware 87ers where he has emerged as one of the leaders of the team averaging over 15 points per game.
Kilpatrick played absolutely out of his mind in February. Multiple 20-plus point performances culminated in a 30 point game against the Canton Charge and then an insane 33 point game on 13-of-14 shooting against the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Sean Kilpatrick is still young, and he has not even hit his prime yet. With his best years still ahead of him and his sights set on a long NBA career, there’s no telling what Kilpatrick will do next.
NBA players better get ready, because Sean Kilpatrick will be playing against them soon.