SAN ANTONIO – Former Washington State University men’s basketball standout Aron Baynes became the second Cougar to win an NBA Championship as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat, 104-87, Sunday, to take the best-of-series, four games to one.
A native of Cairns, Australia, Baynes played for the Cougars for four seasons, from 2006-09, becoming the 30th Cougar to score 1,000 career points, accomplishing the feat March 7, 2009, WSU’s regular-season finale that year. He finished his career with 1,064 points, ranking 25th on the all-time career scoring list. A 6-foot-10 center, Baynes helped lead the Cougars to back-to-back NCAA Tournament Appearances in 2007 and 2008, as WSU advanced to the ‘Sweet 16’ his junior season. During his senior season, the Cougars made their third-straight postseason appearance, advancing to the first round of the 2009 National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Baynes joins Gene Conley who played for the Cougars during the 1949-50 season and won NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics in 1959, 1960 and 1961, as the only two Cougars to capture NBA titles.
Baynes signed with the Spurs, Jan. 23, 2013, and has appeared in 69 games with the team, including 53 this season. He appeared in 14 of the Spurs’ 23 playoff games this season, averaging 2.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in 7.2 minutes played per game. During the entire 2013-14 season, Baynes averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.3 minutes played per game.