Rams in the Pros: VCU athletes head to professional sports

Former VCU athletes pictured from left to right. Senior Vince Williams, redshirt sophomore Tyler Locklear and redshirt sophomore Jack Masloff. Photos by Alessandro Latour. Photo illustration by Madison Tran

Arrick Wilson, Sports Editor
Luke Reeder, Contributing Writer

Three VCU premier athletes elevated to professional sports, as their names were called this past summer. The following former members of the black and gold inked their professional contracts this summer.

Vince Williams, Memphis Grizzlies 

VCU senior forward Vince Williams was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 47 overall pick in the NBA draft signing a two-way contract, according to the NBA

Williams will play for the Memphis Hustle in the NBA’s minor league, the G League, as a part of his two-way contract, according to the NBA. Brady Klopfer, a writer for Golden State’s SportsBlogs Nation, stated how two-way contracts work in an article

“When not playing, two-way contracts can still practice with the team, travel with the team, and sit on the bench during games as an inactive member of the team,” Klopfer stated. “They can also spend time on the team’s G League affiliate.”

The 6-foot-6-inch forward out of Toledo, Ohio led the Rams in scoring and rebounding as a senior, while being named to the All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team, according to VCU Athletics

Williams became the second consecutive basketball player for VCU to be drafted. VCU head coach Mike Rhoades said the program is thrilled for Williams being drafted.

“Really excited for Vince [Williams] and his family. I think he’s worked very, very hard to get to this point,” Rhoades said. “I’m thrilled for our program.”

Rhoades said Williams’ skills and talents can transition into the NBA for the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We’ve seen him do a lot for us and wear so many hats, but in the league, spread to court, make open threes,” Rhoades said. “If you relish your role and you start your role, you can have a great career and you know, that’s that’s his goal.”

Jack Masloff, Detroit Tigers 

VCU redshirt sophomore Jack Masloff signed as a free agent by the Detroit Tigers, becoming the 13th ram actively playing professional baseball, according to VCU Athletics

The left-handed pitcher has been a part of VCU’s back-to-back A-10 championships, along with helping VCU extend a 17-game win streak last season. 

Masloff’s consistent pitching contributed to the team’s success, scoring wins against Georgia University and nationally ranked North Carolina University in the NCAA regional final.

Masloff struck out 98 total batters, and held opposing hitters to a low hitting average in his career at VCU, according to VCU Athletics

Tyler Locklear, Seattle Mariners 

VCU redshirt sophomore infielder Tyler Locklear was drafted with the No. 58 overall pick in the second round of the MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners, according to VCU Athletics

Last season, while bringing home the second consecutive A-10 championship, Locklear tied the record at VCU for most home runs, while earning All-American honors twice, according to VCU Athletics

Mariners writer Max Ellingsen raved about Locklear’s future with the team, specifically when it came to batting in an article

“Locklear has legitimate upside and should be viewed a serious prospect for the M’s [Mariner’s] moving forward,” Ellingsen stated. “[Locklear] can flat-out hit.” 

The Abingdon, Maryland product’s exceptional batting talents come as no surprise to VCU baseball fans. Locklear also ranks in the top 10 in VCU history for many accolades and records, including; second in runs, second in doubles and fifth in batting average, according to VCU Athletics.

VCU Ram fans can look forward to seeing former black and gold athletes in professional sports.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply