From nothing to something: Jonathon Simmons | Fueled by Sports

From nothing to something: Jonathon Simmons

Jonathon Simmons played high school basketball in Houston, and played his first season of college basketball at Paris Junior College, where he averaged 12 points a game. He transferred to Midland College for his second college season, and improved slightly averaging 13 points and 4 rebounds per game.
In November 2010, Simmons signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Houston. Due to NCAA regulations, was required to sit out the 2010-2011 season. His Junior year quickly came around and he had his best year yet, averaging 15 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists a game. He decided to not return to College for his senior year, but rather enter the NBA draft in 2012. He went undrafted.
However, in 2013 the 6 foot 6 guard was drafted in the first round of the American Basketball League (ABL) by the Sugar Land Legends. Simmons played 16 games and averaged an impressive 36 points per game.
In September 2013, Simmons attended try outs for the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League, and earned himself a place on the training camp roster. He ended up making the roster for the season itself, and over 44 games he averaged 10 points, and 4 rebounds per game.
He returned to Austin for a second year in 2014, who had now changed their name to the ‘Austin Spurs’. There came a point during the 2014-2015 season where Simmons considered giving up basketball and taking on a normal job to provide for his children. He continued however, and his persistence paid off as his play gained some attention on the NBA scene.
In the summer of 2015, he was invited to join the Brooklyn Nets Summer League roster. He played three games, averaging 12 points and 5 rebounds. 
An offer then came in from the San Antonio Spurs for Simmons to move to their summer league team, which he accepted. He was an integral part of their summer league team, and scored 20 points in the Championship game to secure the Summer League title for the Spurs. He signed an official deal with the roster two days later.
Simmons found his first season in the NBA divided between San Antonio and Austin, their D-League affiliate. He finished the 2015-2016 season having appeared in 55 NBA games, averaging 6 points per game from 14 minutes of action.
He found himself back on the Summer League team in 2016, and once again broke his way in to the roster for the season. Simmons grabbed immediate media attention in his opening game of the season, scoring a career high 20 points and had a huge chase-down block on Stephen Curry during the Spurs’ convincing win against Golden State.
This set the tone for Simmons’ season, being an important part of San Antonio’s second unit. His hustle and effort didn’t go unnoticed. He appeared in 78 regular season games, and scoring 6 points per game on average. He became known for his defensive ability, keeping him very much in the plans for the team.
He also played a crucial role in the Spurs’ playoff run. After their superstar Kahwi Leonard went off injured in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Simmons stepped up and became the starting Small Forward. He scored 18 points against the Houston Rockets in game 6, which sent the team to the Conference Finals, where they were swept by the Golden State Warriors. Simmons averaged 10 points per game during the Playoffs.
Free agency came round, and Simmons had offers on the table from teams who had clearly noticed his effort and hustle on both ends of the floor at San Antonio.
On July 15th, Simmons put pen to paper on a three year, $20 million deal with the Orlando Magic. All of his hard work over many years finally paid off.
Simmons heads in to the 2017-2018 season as an integral part of the Magic’s roster. Despite a long, windy journey. Jonathon Simmons fought his way in to the league against the odds, and now he is where he belongs, the NBA.

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