Those who persevere and dare to leap are the ones who achieve their dreams. One of such athletes is Von Wafer. He is a former professional basketball player of the NBA Development League.
Further, he represented renowned teams like Westchester Knicks during his time in the NBA(National Basketball Association).
On the other hand, Von Wafer played in the league for Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, followed by the Orlando Magic.
The Lakers picked Von Wafer as the 39th overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft. Additionally, he got the nickname “The Dutch Cookie” during his time in the NBA.
For someone who spent over a decade on the court, Wafer has many great and embarrassing moments.
Today, we will dissect everything there is to know about Von. Let’s start with some facts first!
|Full name||Vakeaton Quamar “Von” Wafer|
|Birthdate||July 21, 1985|
|Age||35 years old|
|Education||Pineview High School|
Heritage Christian Academy
Florida State University
|Father||Ray P. Johnson|
|Weight||100 kg/220 lb|
|Skin Type||Dark brown|
|Jersey number||22, 23, 24, 13, 12, 1|
|Affiliated team||Los Angeles Lakers|
Xinjiang Flying Tigers
BC Krasny Oktyabr
|Net worth||$15 million|
|Merch||Celtics Jersey, Orlando Magic Shorts|
Von Wafer | Early Life & Education
The former basketball player, Wafer, was born on July 21, 1985, in Homer, Louisiana. Sadly, there is no adequate information about his parents and personal life.
However, his father, Ray P. Johnson, has appeared in few interviews.
On the other hand, information about his mother and siblings remains a mystery. Von Wafer attended the Pineview High School located in Lisbon, Louisiana.
Furthermore, he joined Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, Texas. Besides, he enrolled in the Florida State University during the 2003–04 season.
Early Career: High School Basketball
Wafer played as a freshman and a sophomore during his high school days—further, he recorded ten rebounds, 32 points, and seven assists in his junior season.
At this point, he was not a prospect in the national recruiting scene. Nonetheless, Tim Loring, the coach at Aransas Wings AAU team, noticed Wafer and his talent.
Following that, he invited Wafer to train during the summer before the start of his senior year. It allowed him to demonstrate his skill and talent on a broader stage.
Thus, by the end of summer training, Wafer became one of the top ten seniors on the recruiting lists.
Further, Von Wafer played at Laurinburg Institute and R.L. Paschal High School. He then later joined the Heritage Christian Academy and played for the college team.
During his time there, Wafer recorded eight rebounds, 26 points, four blocks, and four steals per game.
As a freshman at the Florida State University, Von Wafer enjoyed an exceptional 2003-2004 season. Further, he recorded 7.0 points in 17.6 minutes per game with the Florida State Seminoles basketball team.
Besides, Wafer was ranked third as an ACC freshman of the year. The American-born recorded forty-three three-point field goals and scoring double figures twelve times.
However, apart from his successive run in that year, Wafer was suspended for two games. Not to mention, he was also benched on several occasions.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, his family stated that Wafer’s suspension was due to his missed study and training sessions.
Nonetheless, Von Wafer was among the favorites to play for the Florida State University. Additionally, he finished second in the McDonald’s All-American slam-dunk contest.
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Seminoles’ Wafer To Enter His Name For 2005 NBA Draft
During his sophomore year at Florida State, Wafer notified coach Leonard Hamilton regarding his intention to play in the NBA.
Consequently, it led Hamilton to process his request for enlisting his name for the 2005 NBA Draft.
Further, Hamilton states that Wafer’s father also notified him of his son’s intention in the NBA Draft.
Besides, Hamilton quotes, “He has made tremendous progress in the last two years, and we are confident in his ability to play at the next level.”
They also stated how proud and supportive they about Wafer’s decision.
On the other hand, Wafer’s father, Ray P. Johnson, stated Wafer’s intention as “the family’s dream.” He even appreciated everything Coach Hamilton and his staff have done for their family.
Professional Career – Road to NBA
The frustration that almost ended his career
In the 2005 NBA draft, Von Wafer went on to declare himself as an early-entry candidate. He decided, despite the criticism, that he would not be drafted.
Nonetheless, Wafer did not let it bother him and made through several hurdles. He moved forward to become a viable option for any NBA team.
Further, an invitation was not sent to him during the Chicago pre-draft camp. The event provided players to demonstrate their abilities to the NBA team personnel.
The incident led Wafer to a path of frustration. Consequently, during a workout session with the Phoenix, he committed a foul against Jan Jagla.
Not to mention, Wafer was annoyed by his physical play, which led him to respond with an elbow to Jagla’s nose. Furthermore, after committing the foul, he walked off from the workout session.
Los Angeles Lakers – A glimmer of hope
Irving Thomas, who was a scout at the Lakers, took notes on Wafer’s progression. Consequently, he arranged a training pitch for Wafer with the Lakers.
Additionally, his ability made a good impression on Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers’ General manager.
It led them to draft Von Wafer as a second-round pick. Further, he was listed on the waivers by Los Angeles Lakers on October 26, 2006.
In addition, Von Wafer made numerous appearances during the pre-season with the Lakers. However, he spent most of his time on the bench due to a bruised left heel.
Nonetheless, his progress did not stop there as he went on to play for the Colorado 14ers in the 2006-07 season. Besides, Von was the ‘Player of the Month’ with the 14ers in January 2007.
Furthermore, Wafer signed a ten-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on February 21. But Wafer went scoreless during his spell and was waived a week after.
Additionally, Von Wafer signed another contract with the Denver Nuggets on April 12, 2007, and spent the rest of the 2006-07 season.
Moreover, on February 21, 2008, Nuggets traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers for Taurean Green.
Besides, he changed his jersey number from 22 (former Nuggets number)to 24. The number 22 jersey was retired by ‘The Trail Blazers’ in honor of Clyde Drexler.
In 2009, Von Wafer signed a contract with the Houston Rockets. He was a hot prospect because of his shooting abilities.
Further, he scored a career-high 23 points against the Los Angeles Lakers. Besides, unlike his previous teams, Wafer had regular starts with the Rockets.
In addition, he was a substitute for the injured Tracy McGrady. Despite being a substitute, Wafer made an impression by recording 21 points against the Jazz.
Moreover, Wafer would lead his team to an 89-85 victory against Boston. During that month, he recorded 14.3 points per game.
Similarly, he would move to Greece for the upcoming season. The Rockets offered him an attractive contract midway during the season.
However, Von could not join the Rockets due to his failed physical results despite signing the contract.
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Von Wafer: A Cinder “fella” Story
Wafer shined during his face-off with the NBA heavyweights such as LA and Boston. His performance against the top side made him an overnight sensation.
Consequently, fans loved his lethal strike, a crazy hairstyle, and stunning mid-air acrobatics.
Further, Wafer recorded a career-high 23 points in a loss against the Lakers. Furthermore, he goes on to show off his incredible long-range shot during the match with Boston.
The jubilant Super-Sub said, and we quote,
“That was the greatest moment of my life, man, I mean I live for moments like that. Incredible!”
His breakthrough performance was enjoyed and loved by many. Von Wafer was an underdog who rose from the ranks in becoming a Houston household name.
Moreover, Wafer’s incredible progress made the opposition develop new strategies to contain his exceptional form and energy.
Numerous commentators stated that they would not be able to witness such a story again. Additionally, critics claim Wafer Miracle as a mystery and a rare unscripted journey of fate.
One would require tremendous dedication and passion for experiencing what Von Wafer has achieved.
Von Wafer’s journey would not end in the NBA as he proceeded towards the Euroleague. In August 2009, Olympiacos Piraeus signed Wafer on a two-year contract worth $10 million.
However, Waver left Olympiacos in December of the same year.
During his time with the Olympiacos, he recorded 36.4% shot, 1.3 rebound, and 3.0 points per game.
In addition, Waver recorded 7.7 points in the Euroleague play, 50% shot, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game.
Wafer signed a contract that would last ten days with the Dallas Mavericks on February 24, 2010.
Despite his signing, Wafer did not crack the rotation of the team during his tenure.
Further, he completed his contract without playing a minute despite being eligible to play for six games.
After Mavericks, Wafer was signed to Boston Celtics as a free agent on July 3, 2020.
During his time with the Celtics, he got involved in an altercation within a locker room with Delonte West.
Von continued his basketball venture in Italy. Wafer signed a one-year contract with Vanoli-Braga Cremona starting from August 2011.
Moreover, Von Wafer was traded on December 12, 2011, to the Orlando Magic with Glen Davis.
The two players were traded for Brandon Bass. Von was waived shortly after by the magic after the 2011-12 season.
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Move to CBA
At the start of 2012, Wafer signed a one-year contract with the Chinese side Xinjiang Flying Tigers. The agreement was worth $2 million.
Wafer started 34 games for Xinjiang with an average of 26.4 points and 55.4% shooting percentage.
In addition, he recorded 3.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Moreover, he signed with Shanghai Sharks in October 2013.
The Sharks is owned by one of his former teammates Yao Ming from the Houston Rockets. Besides, Wafer left the Sharks by the end of the 2013 season.
Apart from playing in the NBA, Italy, and China, Wafer made his way towards Russia. BC Krasny Oktyabr signed Von Wafer on February 3, 2014, for the rest of the 2013-2014 season.
Von Wafer made his initial return to the United States. He signed with the Delaware 87ers on November 26, 2016, only to be traded to the Westchester Knicks a month later.
Von Wafer | Body Measurements
A wafer is a chocolatey-skinned man with a muscular physique. Additionally, Von flexed his trimmed black hair.
Likewise, his body measurement towers at the height of 6 feet 5 inches (1.96m) while weighing 220 lb (100 kg).
At present, Wafer frequently trains, which helps him with sport-specific strength & conditioning.
Social Media Presence
Similar to his personal life, his social media presence is entirely private as well.
Thus, Von is not active on any platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Von Wafer | Net Worth & Salary
To date, Wafer has an estimated net worth of $15 million. He has accumulated a fortune from his days as a professional basketball player on numerous teams.
Queries on Von Wafer
Is Von Wafer in a relationship?
Currently, not much information is known about his personal life. However, it has been speculated that he has been engaged.
Who was the coach that trained Wafer?
Tim Loring and Leonard Hamilton significantly impacted his progress as a professional basketball player among many prominent names.