Former Jacksonville State guard Erik Durham inks contract with the Windsor Express

Erik Durham and the Jacksonville State Gamecocks advanced to the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2016-17. (Source: Newsday)

WINDSOR, Ont. — What a year it has been for Springfield, Missouri native Erik Durham.

Back in March, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks made a run through the Ohio Valley Conference tournament as the fourth-seed in the field, punching the program’s first-ever ticket to the Big Dance.

Durham recorded a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks in the quarter-finals. After a win over the top-seeded Belmont Bruins in the semi-finals, Durham recorded 11 points in the championship game to send the Gamecocks to the NCAA Tournament.

Jacksonville State was awarded a 15-seed, but were unable to pull off any Cinderella magic, falling to the Louisville Cardinals in the Round of 64, 78-63.

Now, five months removed from appearing in the NCAA Tournament, Durham has inked his first professional contract. The 6’4” guard will be heading north of the border to play for the Windsor Express of the National Basketball League of Canada for the 2017-18 season.

As a senior in 2016-17, Durham averaged 10.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while averaging just under 34 minutes of floor time per night. He started in all 35 games for the Gamecocks, forming one of the conference’s best back court tandems alongside Malcolm Drumwright.

Over the course of the season, Durham recorded three double-doubles. He recorded a season-high 14 rebounds on January 10th in a win over Fort Valley State. He also added 12 points in the victory.

On February 1st against Southeast Missouri State, Durham scored a season-high 22 points in a 12-point win for the Gamecocks. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from three point range, and 9-for-9 from the free throw line, in the win.

Durham’s career-high for points came back during his junior season, when he put up 31 points off the bench against the UT-Martin Skyhawks on January 16th, 2016.

In Durham, the Express get a guard who will bring a combination of size and shooting ability to the back court. He is effective from all areas of the offensive end when shooting the ball. Durham shot 52.0% from the field, and 48.4% from three point range, as a senior.

Training camp for the Express opens in November, with the start of the season to follow shortly thereafter.

Windsor finished the regular season with a 22-18 record, and were swept in the Central Division Finals by the eventual league champions, the London Lightning.

– T. Bennett