Former VCU standouts ‘Bones’ Hyland, Justin Tillman making noise in NBA

1/6/2022, 6 p.m.
The Denver Nuggets may have struck gold with their No. 1 draft pick, former Virginia Commonwealth University Rams player Nah’Shon ...

The Denver Nuggets may have struck gold with their No. 1 draft pick, former Virginia Commonwealth University Rams player Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland.

The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Wilmington, Del., native is enjoying a promising rookie season with the NBA Western Conference, Northwest Division club.

Following two brilliant seasons at VCU under Coach Mike Rhoades, Hyland was the first round, 26th overall selection in last year’s NBA draft. He left VCU with at least three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Coming off the bench for Denver Coach Michael Malone, Hyland is averaging 8.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in about 17 minutes per contest through 24 games.

He had a high of 24 points (hitting four of five 3-pointers) Dec. 17 in the Nuggets’ game against Atlanta and 16 points (4-for-9 from the distance) Dec. 11 against San Antonio.

On the season, Hyland is hitting 33 percent (38 of 117) from beyond the arc and 90 percent (27 of 30) at the foul line.

Hyland isn’t VCU’s only current NBA performer.

On Dec. 18, former Rams player Justin Tillman signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks. The 6-foot-8 native of Detroit went undrafted after averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds as a VCU senior in 2018.

Since then, Tillman has played professionally overseas in South Korea, Israel, Italy and Turkey, and most recently with the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s G-League affiliate.

Tillman had played in the NBA Summer League with Miami and Philadelphia.

Making it to the top

Here is the list of former Virginia Commonwealth University players to reach the NBA along with seasons played and teams they represented:

Jesse Dark, 1974-75, New York Knicks

Bernard Harris, 1974-75, Buffalo Braves

Gerald Henderson, 1979-92, Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets

Edmund Sherod, 1982-83, New York Knicks

Eric Maynor, 2009-14, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers

Larry Sanders, 2010-17, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers

Troy Daniels, 2014-20, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets

Treveon Graham, 2016-20, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves

Briante Weber, 2016-18, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, 2021-present, Denver Nuggets

Justin Tillman, 2021-present, Atlanta Hawks

Marc Jackson played one season for VCU before transferring to Temple University and going on to play in the NBA from 2000 to 2007 with the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.