Pro Basketball Interest Picking Up for Former UTEP Guard Jamal Bieniemy
Momentum has picked up for former UTEP point guard Jamal Bieniemy in his quest to play at the next level.
Sources tell 600 ESPN El Paso that the Kings, Spurs, Raptors, Mavericks and Rockets have all held workouts with Bieniemy over the past few weeks. Houston watched him work out one day and then invited him back for a private workout the next day. This weekend, Bieniemy could be invited to a regional combine to play in front of more professional scouts.
Though Bieniemy isn't on NBA Draft boards or projected to be drafted in the first or second round by media members, he could find his way onto a team via the summer league or the G-Leauge.
When Bieniemy initially elected to forgo his final year of eligibility and chase his dreams of playing professionally, by rule, there was still a possibility that he could return to college. However, Bieniemy does not plan on withdrawing from the NBA Draft process and plans to play professionally either way.
The 6-foot-5 versatile guard experienced a stellar season under first-year head coach Joe Golding. Bieniemy received third team All C-USA honors after averaging 14.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He transitioned into more of an adaptable role this year at UTEP, where he played both on-ball and off-ball. Defensively, he can guard anyone in the backcourt and lifted the Miners by averaging 1.5 steals per game. He shot 40% from the field and 36.2% from 3-point range.
At Oklahoma, Bieniemy averaged just under 5.2 points per game in each of the two seasons he spent as the starting point guard for the Sooners. His role increased when he first transferred to UTEP under Rodney Terry, as he averaged 8.6 points and 4.0 assists in 2020-21.
Once the Miners lost Keonte Kennedy to a foot injury in December, Bieniemy was asked to lead the group alongside fellow guard Souley Boum in C-USA play. Bieniemy reeled off an 11-game streak of scoring double figures in conference play, including a monstrous, career-high 36-point performance (13-of-22 shooting) en route to a 72-70 win against Rice. He did not play in The Basketball Classic postseason tournament due to a small ankle injury, from which he is fully recovered from now.
The 2022 NBA Draft will be held Thursday, June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There are currently two former Miners in the NBA G-League—John Bohannon and Anthony Tarke. There are no active NBA players from UTEP as of now.