Early with the New York Knicks in 2015
|Born||April 17, 1991|
The Bronx, New York
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school||Pine Bush (Pine Bush, New York)|
Mount Zion Christian Academy
(Durham, North Carolina)
|NBA draft||2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34th overall|
|Selected by the New York Knicks|
|2014–2016||New York Knicks|
|2016–2017||Santa Cruz Warriors|
|2017–2018||Rio Grande Valley Vipers|
|2018–2019||Tokyo Hachioji Bee Trains|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Cleanthony Early (born April 17, 1991) is an American professional basketball player. He was an All-American college player at Wichita State University after a stint at Sullivan County Community College.
Early life and high school career
Early was born and raised in The Bronx. After Early's cousin was murdered, his mother decided to leave the city and relocate to suburban Middletown, New York when he was 14. Early attended Pine Bush High School in Pine Bush, New York before attending Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, North Carolina. The school is noted for its prep basketball program which produced players such as Tracy McGrady and Amar'e Stoudemire. Tragedy affected Early once again after his brother drowned in Schoharie Creek at age 32. This led to Early wanting to be closer to his family and attending Sullivan County Community College.
A 6'8" forward, Early was a junior college star at Sullivan County Community College, where he was the two-time Division III NJCAA Player of the Year. After considering offers from major conference schools, he signed with Wichita State and coach Gregg Marshall.
Early made an immediate impact for the Shockers, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He was named first team All-Missouri Valley Conference and the MVC Newcomer of the Year. In the post-season, Early led the team to the 2013 Final Four in Atlanta. In the Shockers' semifinal game against eventual champion Louisville, Early scored 24 points and collected 10 rebounds in a narrow 72–68 loss. He was named to the All-Final Four team for his efforts.
Going into his senior season, Early gained widespread national attention. He was named preseason Player of the Year for the Missouri Valley Conference and was named to the preseason top 50 watch lists for the John Wooden and Naismith Awards for national player of the year.
Early helped lead the 2013–14 team to an undefeated 34–0 record entering the NCAA Tournament, becoming the first team in NCAA Division I men's basketball to do so in over two decades. Cleanthony put up an impressive effort in an attempt to help the Shockers advance to the sweet sixteen, with 31 points and 7 rebounds on 12/17 shooting. The Shockers ended up losing to Kentucky 78-76, ending their hopes of a final four repeat.
New York Knicks (2014–16)
On June 26, 2014, Early was selected with the 34th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. On August 1, 2014, he signed with the Knicks. During his rookie season, he had multiple assignments with the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Development League. In three games for Westchester during the 2014–15 season, he averaged 20.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. On March 25, 2015, Early had a season-best game for New York with 18 points and 4 rebounds against the Los Angeles Clippers.
During the 2015–16 season, Early has received multiple assignments to Westchester. On December 2, 2015, he became the fifth player ever to appear in both a Development League game and NBA game in the same day. On March 20, 2016, Early made his first appearance for New York since December 29, 2015, having been out for nearly three months with a knee injury he suffered after being shot on December 30.
Early re-signed with the New York Knicks on October 18, 2016, but was waived three days later. On October 31, 2016, Early was acquired by the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Development League as an affiliate player of the New York Knicks.
Santa Cruz Warriors (2016–17)
On December 21, 2016, Early was acquired by the Santa Cruz Warriors in a three-team trade involving Westchester and the Texas Legends. In 16 games for Santa Cruz, he averaged 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Early appeared in 19 games for Santa Cruz in the 2017–18 season.
AEK Athens (2017)
On September 2, 2017, Early penned a contract with AEK Athens of the Greek League, but Early was stripped of his recently-signed contract with Greek club AEK due to disciplinary reasons on September 9.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2017–present)
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
In the early hours of December 30, 2015, Early was held up at gunpoint and shot in the right knee while traveling in an Uber. The attack took place after Early and his girlfriend left a strip club in Maspeth, Queens. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital after the shooting where he was listed in stable condition.
- Suellentrop, Paul (June 30, 2014). "Going to Knicks 'a blessing' for Cleanthony Early". Kansas.com. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
- Ballow, Jonah (July 1, 2014). "Overcoming Tragedy, Cleanthony Early Returns to Big Apple". NBA.com. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "Cleanthony Early Recruiting Profile". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
- "Hurricane Irene helped Wichita State recruit Cleanthony Early". The Herald. April 6, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Suellentrop, Paul (October 30, 2013). "Wichita State's Cleanthony Early earns All-MVC honors". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "Louisville edges upstart Wichita State, advances to NCAA title game". ESPN.com. April 6, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- "MBB: Early Named Final Four All-Tournament". Wichita State Shockers. April 9, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "2013-14 MVC Men's Basketball Preseason Team, Poll". Missouri Valley Conference. October 30, 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy's Reveals 2013-14 Preseason Top 50". John Wooden Award. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "2013-2014 Men's 50-Player Watch List". Naismith Award. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Beller, Michael (March 9, 2014). "Wichita State reigns as MVC champions, finishes regular season at 34-0". One and One. Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2014-03-10. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- Conway, Tyler (June 26, 2014). "Cleanthony Early Drafted by New York Knicks: Latest News, Reaction and Analysis". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- "Knicks Sign Cleanthony Early". NBA.com. August 1, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
- "All-Time NBA Assignments". NBA.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Cleanthony Early D-League Stats". RealGM.com. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- "Jordan goes 7 for 7, Clippers pound Knicks 111-80". NBA.com. March 25, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- "2015-16 NBA Assignments". NBA.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Busch, Alex (November 30, 2017). "Damyean Dotson Plays For Both Westchester and New York Knicks In Single Day". NBA G League. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- "Cousins has 24 points, 20 boards as Kings shut down Knicks". NBA.com. March 20, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- "Knicks Re-Sign Cleanthony Early". NBA.com. October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- "Knicks waive Lou Amundson, Cleanthony Early, Chasson Randle, J.P. Tokoto and Damien Inglis". InsideHoops.com. October 21, 2016. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- "Westchester Knicks Finalize 2016-17 Training Camp Roster". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. October 31, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
- "Warriors Acquire Cleanthony Early". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "Cleanthony Early D-League Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- Chagollan, Anwar (December 21, 2017). "Vipers Complete Trade with Santa Cruz Warriors - Rio Grande Valley Vipers". Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- "AEK sign Cleanthony Early". A1Basket.gr. September 3, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- "Cleanthony Early: Stripped of contract for disciplinary reasons". www.cbssports.com. September 10, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- "New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early shot in early-morning attack". TheGuardian.com. December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Morales, Mark; Herring, Chris (December 30, 2015). "Knicks Player Cleanthony Early Is Shot in Knee, Robbed". WSJ.com. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Devine, Dan (December 30, 2015). "Knicks' Cleanthony Early robbed, shot in knee after leaving club". Yahoo.com. Retrieved December 30, 2015.