There are currently five professional basketball players from Topeka and five other professional athletes who played high school basketball in Topeka.
Former Highland Park players Kyle Weems and Antowine Lamb, and Topeka High players Onzie Branch, D.J. Johnson, and Marcus Fillyaw are currently playing professional basketball.
Former Topeka high school basketball players Michael Wilhoite (football), Gary Woodland (golf), Chris Barnes (bowling), Jordan Cooper (baseball), and Brett Ash (baseball) are professionals in other sports.
Updated: September 21, 2016
Kyle Weems | Besiktas (Turkey) | Highland Park, 2007
He was named an All-Star starter in his first season with JSF Nanterre scoring 18 points in the January 2015 game played in Paris.
Weems led Medi Bayreuth (Germany) in scoring averaging 14.8 points a game during the 2013-14 season. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
He started his professional career with the Telekom Baskets, also in Germany, leading the team in scoring at 13.7 a game. He has played two years in the NBA Summer League with Golden State, Toronto, and Atlanta.
He went undrafted in 2012 after a standout career at Missouri State, where he was a three-time all-Missouri Valley selection including being named conference Player of the Year after his junior season leading the Bears to their first ever regular season title. He finished his career with 1,868 points, which ranks second on Missouri State’s all-time list and 19th in the Missouri Valley. He was the only player in conference history to score more than 1,800 points, grab 800 rebounds (844), and make 200 three-pointers (24).
He also became the Bears’ career leader in games played (134), double-figure scoring games (110) and fouls (382), while ranking second in minutes (3,981), fourth in field goals (681), fourth in field goal attempts (1,550), fourth in three-point attempts (641), fifth in blocked shots (114) and fifth in steals (146).
While at Highland Park (2003-07), Weems helped lead the Scots to an undefeated 25-0 state championship as a senior while earning all-state honors. He also won a state championship as a freshman.
Antowine Lamb | Windsor Express (Canada) | Highland Park, 2006
BCKE plays in the second division of the top Swiss league, the Ligue Nationale de Basket (LNB) located in Zurich.
Lamb played at McPherson College (2008-10) and Barton County Community College (2006-08). As a senior at McPherson, Lamb posted career-highs averaging 10.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game and was named to the all-conference defensive team. He was also a national champion high jumper clearing 6’11-1/4″. At Barton County, he averaged 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds in 63 games.
While at Highland Park (2003-06), Lamb played three seasons for the Scots earning a starting role as a senior for the Class 5A runner-up as the team finished 21-4. He averaged 6.0 points and 8.7 rebounds as a senior and was also a state champion in the high jump.
Onzie Branch | Humacao (Puerto Rico) | Topeka High, 2010
Branch was selected in the first round with the 10th overall pick of the BSN Draft by Capitanes de Arecibo on Jan. 28, 2015.
Branch played at Gardner-Webb (2012-14) where he averaged 4.1 points in 66 games after starting his collegiate career at Cloud County C.C. (2010-12).
While at Topeka High (2007-10), Branch averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds as a senior earning second-team All-Class 6A honors.
D.J. Johnson | Chautauqua Hurricane (USA/PBL) | Topeka High, 2012
Johnson was selected in the first round with the third overall pick of the PBL Draft by the Chautauqua Hurricane on Sept. 20, 2016.
Johnson played at William Woods (2014-16), one year at Barton C.C. (2013-14), and one year at Coppin State (2012-13).
Johnson played two years at Topeka High (2010-12) after transferring from Highland Park (2008-09). He was an All-City First team selection as a senior helping the Trojans to an 18-7 season and fourth place finish in 6A.
Marcus Fillyaw | Kentucky Mavericks (USA/PBL) | Topeka High, 2012
Fillyaw played two seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan (2014-16), one year at Southern Illinois (2013-14), and one year at Cloud C.C. (2012-13).
He averaged 7.6 points, 4.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.0 steals in 61 games, making 60 starts in his two seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan helping the Panthers to a 49-12 record.
While at Topeka High (2008-12), Fillyaw was a two-time All-City First Team selection his final two years helping the Trojans to an 18-7 season and fourth place finish in 6A as a senior.
Michael Wilhoite | San Francisco 49ers | Highland Park, 2005
Wilhoite has played five seasons as a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, which included a trip to Super Bowl XLVII as a key player on special teams. Wilhoite was named special teams captain in the NFC Championship Game victory over Atlanta.
He was a starter in 2014 and 2015 totalling 172 tackles and three interceptions.
Wilhoite went undrafted in 2010 out of Washburn, where he played six different positions and was signed by San Francisco in December 2011, nearly two years after finishing his collegiate career.
Wilhoite played one season at Highland Park (2004-05) after transferring from Manhattan. He was a starter for the Scots basketball team averaging 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds while knocking down 43 3-pointers in 22 games.
Gary Woodland | Professional Golfer | Shawnee Heights, 2002
Woodland is one of the longest drivers on the PGA tour and has won two tournaments–2011 Transitions Championship and 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open–on the tour with a total of four wins after becoming a professional in 2007.
The 2011 season was his best year to date earning $3,448,591 in prize money ranking him 10th in the FedEx points standings and he finished in the top 30 in all four Majors including being tied for 12th in the PGA Championship.
Woodland was an all-state basketball player helping lead Shawnee Heights to two state championships (2000 and 2002). He played one season at Washburn before transferring to Kansas to play golf.
Chris Barnes | Professional Bowler | Topeka High, 1988
He earned PBA Player of the Year Award in 2007-08 and won PBA Rookie of the Year in 1998 making him the third bowler to accomplish the feat. He was a freshman All-American at Wichita State before earning a national title as a junior.
While at Topeka High, Barnes was a key reserve guard on the 1986 state championship basketball team as a senior.
Jordan Cooper | Cleveland Indians Organization | Shawnee Heights, 2008
The right-handed pitcher is 33-38 with a 4.18 ERA in 157 games, 74 starts, over seven seasons of professional baseball playing getting as high as the Triple-A level.
He was named the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year and a third-team All-American in 2010.
Cooper was a four-year letter-winner in basketball at Shawnee Heights (2004-08).
Brett Ash | Seattle Mariners Organization | Washburn Rural, 2009
He has played three professional seasons compiling a 24-17 record and 4.24 ERA in 70 games, 43 starts. He played at Double-A Jackson in 2016.
Ash finished his career at Washburn ranked in the top 10 in four major categories including: second in strikeouts (199), third in victories (22), ninth in ERA (3.48), and first in complete games (25). He began his minor league career with the Arizona League Mariners.
Ash was a second-team all-city selection and third-team all-state pick in basketball as a senior helping the team to a 14-8 record.