Huffman signs with Raptors

Former CMU center Nate Huffman signed a two-year contract Friday with the Toronto Raptors after spending the past four years honing his game overseas.

“We are happy to add Nate to our team,” said Glen Grunwald, senior vice-president and general manager, in a Raptors’ press release. “With his success in Europe, Nate has shown that he is an excellent player and should have a significant impact on the team next season.”

The Battle Creek native played two seasons at Lansing Community College before starting for the Chippewas during the 1995-97 seasons.

Huffman’s two year career stats at CMU

  • 15.8 points
  • 9.4 rebounds
  • 2.0 blocked shots

In the record books

  • Field goal % (.561) (1st)
  • Blocked shots (92) (4th)
  • Rebounds/game (9.4) (7th)
Huffman signed a free agent deal with the L.A. Clippers following his college career but he did not make the team. He then signed with the Idaho Stampede of the CBA where he played one season and was runner-up for the rookie of the year award in 1998.

He then took his game overseas, playing in Spain in 1998-99 before heading to Israel for three seasons where he was a member of three-time Israeli League champion and Israeli Cup champion Maccabi Elite Tel-Aviv.

Huffman averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last season after earning MVP honors in both the Suproleague and Israeli League in 2000-01. He was also named the Best American Player in Europe for 2001 by Besket News.

Huffman averaged 15.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots in his two seasons at CMU. He was an honorable mention All-Mid-American Conference pick in 1997. The two-year CMU member holds the CMU career record for field goal percentage (.581), ranks fourth in career blocked shots (92) and seventh in career rebounding average (9.4). He led the MAC in rebounding in 1997 with 11.0 per game.

Huffman’s signing came a few days after Toronto rescinded their qualifying offer to free agent Keon Clark, all but officially ending the center’s tenure with the Raptors after two seasons.

Other centers on the Raptors current roster include Hall of Fame-bound Hakeem Olajuwon and Eric Montross.

Huffman could make his NBA debut when the Raptors host Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards in the season opener, a nationally-televised game on ESPN Oct. 30.

The former CMU player will return to the state of Michigan Jan. 6, when the Detroit Pistons host the Raptors at the Palace of Auburn Hills.


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