One of the best guards in West Virginia basketball history had his professional basketball career halted.
Staten was waived by the Delaware 87ers this week. For the past 10 months, Staten has tried to hang on to his dream of playing in the NBA.
Staten was not drafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, but was signed by the Sacramento Kings.
He played just one game for the Kings in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. After that, he was picked up by the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Again, he played just one game for the Warriors in the preseason.
On Nov. 2, Staten was signed by the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, but a few weeks later he was traded to the 87ers.
So, Staten has been used to the travel and the unfortunate circumstances.
WVU head coach Bob Huggins had called Staten one of the hardest-working players he has coaches. High praise considering the 20-some NBA players Huggins has coached in his veteran career.
But Huggins even went as far as to call Staten the best point guard in the country, back in 2014.
"“I’ll share this with you,” Huggins said in the Mountaineers win over Kansas on March 8, 2014. “On my ballot, the All-American one when you’re allowed to vote for your own player, I voted for him first-team All-America. I think he’s the best point guard in the country.”"
With that kind of compliment, professional coaches should have taken notice.
But Staten’s hard road to the pros just shows you that making it to the NBA is difficult for a player of even the highest skill set.
Staten can still pay professional basketball and his best chance of doing so is overseas. He can still make a solid paycheck and lead a team in a foreign country.
Other recent former Mountaineers have taken this route and thrives. Players like Alex Ruoff, Joe Alexander and John Flowers have played in several countries and seem to be happy with their lifestyles.
Staten won’t be taking the new journey alone. He is in a relationship with former WVU women’s basketball player Asya Bussie and the couple has a child on the way.