Saturday, February 4, 2023

Former Blue Raider Upshaw signs first professional contract with Walter Tigers

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Photo by Darwin Moore / MTSU Sidelines

Former Middle Tennessee basketball standout Reggie Upshaw signed his first professional basketball contract Saturday, reaching a ten-month deal with the Walter Tigers of the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany.

This comes on the heels of the Chattanooga native’s appearance in the National Basketball Association’s Summer League, where he played for the Milwaukee Bucks. In five games, Upshaw averaged 3.2 points per game in a little under 13 minutes of average playing time. In the first round of the league’s tournament, the Bucks were defeated by the Sacramento Kings with a score of 69-65.

In his time at Middle Tennessee, Upshaw established himself as one of the best Blue Raiders of all time, becoming a fixture in the Blue Raider lineup from his first days in Murfreesboro. Out of the 33 games he played his freshman year, Upshaw started 20 of them and contributed 6.6 points a game. He started 24 more games his sophomore season and then in his junior campaign, he started all 35 games and scored 13.7 points a game.

Another milestone he accomplished that year was joining the program’s storied 1,000-point club. Upshaw also played a big role in the team’s shocking upset of the Michigan State Spartans. The forward scored a team-high 21 points in leading the Blue Raiders to a 90-81 upset over a team that many believed would win the NCAA Tournament.

In his senior season, Upshaw continued scoring at a consistent level with a career-high 14.5 points-per-game average, good enough for third on the team. This led to him receiving All-Conference USA Second-Team honors prior to the 2017 Conference USA Tournament.

He continued his strong play in the 2017 NCAA Tournament where he led MTSU to its second straight victory over a Big Ten team when they defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers with a score of 81-72.

The Blue Raiders took a 17-point lead about halfway through the second half of the game, before Minnesota began fighting back. After an Eric Curry floater cut the lead to four, Upshaw took over the game and scored seven consecutive points to push the lead back to eight at its peak.

This run showed Upshaw’s versatility, as it consisted of a three-point jumpshot, a reverse layup and a step-back jumpshot off of one foot.

By signing this contract, Upshaw has done what so many kids dream to do: play basketball professionally.

“When you’re growing up as a kid, all you dream about is getting to play the game you love and making it a job,” Upshaw said in an interview with the Daily News Journal. “I’m excited I’m able to do that and continue my basketball career.”

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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