Jeff Foster: Indiana Pacers

Jeff Foster grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and attended nearby Texas State University. He was originally selected with the 21st pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, but his draft rights were immediately sold to the Indiana Pacers for Vonteego Cummings and a future first rounder.

The Pacers achieved great success in Foster’s first year in Indianapolis, reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, but the big man saw action in only 19 games. He carved out a niche as high-octane rebounding machine off the bench in his second, a talent he would perfect over his 11 career (and counting) with the Pacers. The 2004-05 season represented the high-water mark in terms of statistical output for Foster. He averaged a career-high 7.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while tallying over 26 minutes a contest. He continued those impressive rebounding numbers, never dipping below 8.1 a game over the next four seasons. When rumors swirled about a possible trade involving Foster being sent to Charlotte, Indianapolis sports enthusiasts who’d come to appreciate Foster’s unique talents were frustrated. After all, he had proven to be the one good (both on the court and off) component to a team that had been mercilessly criticized by the Indianapolis media.

Foster, in his 11th year in Indiana, is still proving to be a force on the court. After missing the first 10 games, he’s returned to the lineup, even knocking promising second-year center Roy Hibbert out of the starting lineup on occasion.