WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Westchester Knicks were the furthest thing on J.R. Inman’s mind when the phone rang Tuesday evening.
Inman was in his high school’s gym watching his alma mater St. Joseph’s Regional of Montvale, N.J., take on rival Don Bosco Prep.
The 6-foot-10 power forward from Pomona had been cut by the Knicks twice in the past year, but when he picked up the phone, Inman learned that he would get a third shot with the D League squad.
“I’m grateful to God that I got the opportunity, Inman said, “and I’m ready to take advantage of it.”
Less than 24 hours later, on Wednesday, Inman suited up for the Knicks against the Delaware 87ers, wearing No. 99 and without his name on his jersey due to the short notice. He got just three minutes of action in the 108-116 loss, but enjoyed the chance to play in front of his parents again.
“The past five years, I’ve missed a lot of Sweet 16's, holidays, and birthdays,” said Inman, who has played in Japan, Czech Republic and Lithuania as well as for several other D League teams since graduating from Rutgers in 2009 and going unselected in the NBA Draft. “Now I’m here to experience it with my family.”
At St. Joseph’s, the Rockland County native was twice selected first-team all-state and was a McDonald's All-America nominee. He went on to average 9.6 points 6.1 rebounds per game over a four-year career at Rutgers.
In his free time, Inman has since helped establish the Rocktown Monarchs youth basketball program in Rockland. He also he wrote an autobiography, “When the Air Comes out of the Ball,” focusing on life after basketball, which was published in 2012.
The 28-year-old Inman recognizes that his age might mean never reaching the NBA. But he plans on “playing till the wheels fall off and I can’t play anymore.”
After that, he will look to “continue to do everything I’m doing in the community training youth basketball players.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.