T.J. Ford, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Durant are among the most prominent Texas Longhorns to play for Rick Barnes. While Durant works on becoming an NBA superstar as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Ford (Pacers) and Aldridge (Trail Blazers) are developing their abilities in the league as well.
A lesser-known but significant Longhorn from this decade was Kenton Paulino, who attended high school in Maine. Paulino played for Texas from 2002-2006, struggling with injuries throughout his stay in Austin. For most of that time he was a role player, averaging only six minutes per game as a freshman. He made 21 starts as a sophomore and averaged just under five points per game.
As a junior, Paulino rarely started but improved his shooting, making an impressive 48.3% of his 3-point shots. But Paulino’s most significant moment came as a senior, in the NCAA Sweet 16 against West Virginia.
While Paulino played a significant role for Texas, he was not good enough for the NBA, and his early professional career included a season with Beykozspor, a Turkish team in Istanbul, where he averaged 13 points a game. He also spent time with the Austin Toros of the D-League.More interestingly, Paulino spent his 2010 summer playing with the Belize national team, as he had in 2006. Paulino told a TV station this summer that he still hoped to continue his professional career.