Mamadi Diakite and Ty Jerome won a national championship together at Virginia in 2019.
Now they will be teammates in the NBA.
The Thunder claimed Diakite off of waivers over the weekend, reuniting him with Jerome in Oklahoma City. Diakite was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks last week after playing sparingly for the team during its run to the NBA championship.
Diakite, who began last season on a two-way contract before earning a standard NBA contract with Milwaukee, appeared in 14 games, including one start, for the Bucks, averaging 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in those games.
Diakite also played in 12 G League games last season with the Lakeland Magic, averaging 18.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.08 blocks per game to earn All NBA G League first team honors.
He becomes teammates once again with Jerome, who had a solid first season in Oklahoma City after playing his rookie season with the Phoenix Suns. In 33 games last season, Jerome averaged 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Thunder while shooting 44.6 percent from the field.
Both Diakite and Jerome will have a chance to compete for minutes on a Thunder roster that features primarily younger players. Oklahoma City’s training camp roster includes only three players with more than five years of NBA experience and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the team’s leading scorer last season, is only 23 years old.