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Shooting guard Reggie Hearn, a former walk-on in college, is latest two-way contract player for the Pistons

Reggie Hearn has come a really long way in his basketball career.

Jason Bean/RGJ

On Monday, the news that former Oakland University star Kay Felder signed with the Detroit Pistons on a two-way contract became official. Of course, that news first broke over the weekend and Justin Lambregtse covered the story at DBB. Another piece of news, not yet hashed out on DBB, is that the 26-year-old, 6-foot-5 Reggie Hearn, a former Northwestern Wildcat (2009-2013), has also been signed to a two-way contract with the Pistons on Monday. In order to make the signing, the Pistons released former two-way contract player Luis Montero.

Hearn has an excellent background and story of how he came to be a member of the Pistons organization. And certainly you should make yourself aware of it since Hearn may very well see action against the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night as Luke Kennard, Stanley Johnson and Avery Bradley are all some form of banged up.

Hearn did not receive any DI offers out of high school and decided to go the route of walk-on at Basketball U, which is also known as Northwestern University for those of you who don’t follow the college hoops scene closely. All joking aside, it took Hearn until his junior season at Northwestern to see consistent playing time (and a hoops scholarship) and has slowly but surely improved each and every year since.

Here’s a quick rundown of Reggie Hearn’s basketball career:

During Reggie’s first two seasons at Northwestern (2009 & 2010), he saw 72 total minutes of playing time in 32 games, scoring 24 points and grabbing six rebounds — pretty much the stats most normal walk-ons are capable of in their very limited playing time. Though, as it’s apparent from where Reggie is at now, he was not any normal walk-on at all. He had some extremely big plans.

Reggie’s junior season: Started 33 games, playing 26.1 minutes per game and shooting 48-percent from the field (37-percent from deep). He averaged 7.4 points per game.

Reggie’s senior season: Started 30 games, playing 33 minutes a game. His shooting percentages dropped across the board, perhaps due to his increased responsibility. However, he still averaged a respectable 13.4 points per game and was the team’s second-leading scorer.

Not surprisingly, Hearn went undrafted after his senior season. Since then, he’s played in 175 G League (formerly the D League) games with averages over 10 points, four rebounds and one assist per game.

So far this season, Hearn has averaged 14.7 points per game on 38.6-percent shooting from deep. In each of the prior two seasons, Hearn shot an impressive 44.2-percent from deep — 123-of-278 in 2015-16 and 134-of-303 in 2016-17.

Here’s a look at Reggie (#37) from early in 2017 during a D League game:

Hearn’s sure has a clean looking jump shot, yeah?


Also very relevant is the fact that Reggie Hearn played for Stan Van Gundy’s brother Jeff Van Gundy with the USA FIBA (AmeriCup) qualifying team in 2017 (Darrun Hilliard was also on this team).

Plus, most recently:

Hearn doesn’t think the situation is a coincidence.

“I think absolutely it was important,” Hearn said Tuesday after his first workout with the Pistons. “I see a lot of similarities in the way they coach and even some of their mannerisms. I talked to Jeff a little bit before all this went down and talked to him after. I’m pretty sure that the connection had something to do with it.

“I liked really playing under Jeff and I felt like I understood his system and the way he liked to have things done. I should be able to fit in well here.”

To even sniff the NBA takes supreme talent (or just extreme height in certain cases), no doubt about it, yet there’s no harm in knowing the right people, too. What’s that popular saying? It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Sometimes that’s the way things work out.

In all, Reggie Hearn’s road to the NBA is inspiring, to say the least. It’s rare to see a former walk-on end up playing basketball anywhere professionally, let alone at the NBA level. While it’s true that Hearn is knocking on the door of achieving his basketball dreams, he’s not likely just satisfied with only getting to the big show, but is instead going to do everything in his power to perform well in the big show and make something of it. And if Hearn’s entire basketball history is any indication, Reggie will surely have success at the NBA level. I mean, are you going to bet against him?

Let’s hope Hearn’s success can be with the Pistons and let’s hope it may begin today, January the 17th, in Toronto, Canada.