Height: 6′ 4” Weight: 200
Born: 4/18/1969, in Merced, CA, USA
Not only do we like obscure NBA players, we like obscure NBA players with ties to LA. Gerald Madkins, a UCLA product, didn’t have a lengthy NBA career by any stretch but would not have even made it had it not been for his hard work and determination. This week we take a look back at his career–
Madkins entered UCLA as a freshman in 1987 and was known as a hard-working, defensive-minded, unselfish player. He was also extremely efficient, shooting nearly 60% from the field, 45% from 3-point range and 83% from the free-throw line.
Unfortunately, Madkins suffered a major setback that caused him to miss his entire sophomore season. He was riding his moped one night on his way to the movie theater in Westwood, when he was struck by an oncoming car that had been driving in the opposite driving lane. He spent the next several weeks at the UCLA medical center.
While in the hospital, Madkins wondered if he would walk again, never mind dunking in Pauley Pavilion. Would he be able to make it up and down the stairs?
“If you saw his X-rays, you’d look at them and say, ‘Oh . . .,’ ” said Gerald Finerman, the Bruins’ team physician. “Half of his pelvis was rotated probably about 90%.
Madkins ultimately recovered after his red-shirt sophomore season and worked hard to regain his form. He was quoted as saying, “There’s nothing I can’t do. I’m going all out. I’m falling on the floor. I don’t think I’d go out there if I had any hesitation.”
It showed in his play as he saw an increase in playing time, points, rebounds and assists. That season, the Bruins made it to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament.
In the final year of his NCAA career, he was named captain of the team and along with future NBA players, Don MacLean and Darrick Martin, helped lead the team to the Elite Eight. In his four NCAA tournament games as a senior, he averaged 16.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists and shot 56.3 from the field, 47.4 from three-point range and 76.9 from the free throw line.
Madkins went undrafted and spent a year in the CBA with the Rockford Lightning and was spectacular. He earned CBA rookie of the year honors and was signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Cavaliers the following season.
Madkins was on a solid Cavalier team with veterans such as Mark Price, Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance. He didn’t see much playing time but played well when he did. In a game against the Atlanta Hawks, he logged 16 minutes and in that span, made 3 of 5 3-pointers, had 3 steals and 3 rebounds.
The team went on to the playoffs but were knocked out in the first round by the Jordan-less Chicago Bulls.
Madkins remained on the team for the following season but once again didn’t see much playing time, and was unfortunately waived by December. He spent the next few seasons playing overseas in Spain and France before returning in the 1997-98 season where he signed a 10-day contract with the Miami Heat. However, he never suited up for a game with the Heat and was waived to make room for point guard Rex Walters.
The Golden State Warriors signed Madkins to 2 10-day contracts in March of ’98 as a replacement for the injured Bimbo Coles and eventually signed him for the remainder of the season. He appeared in 19 games, and averaged 1.9 points and 2.4 assists per game.
Unfortunately Madkins would not play another game in the NBA after the 1997-98 season but stayed connected with basketball as he went on to become an assistant coach at Cal State University Stanislaus and his alma mater, UCLA.
Afterwards, he became a well-respected talent scout for a number of NBA teams such as the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and now currently for the New Orleans Hornets. He can be seen here speaking on the 4-team trade that brought Trevor Ariza to the Hornets during the 2010 offseason:
Madkins might have only lasted in the NBA for a few seasons but his work ethic and dedication to the game he loves will definitely be remembered. We’ll continue to see how well he does as a scout and will likely do an update somewhere down the line. The No-Look Pass salutes Gerald Madkins.
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