College Park Skyhawks starting G League regular season strong

The Atlanta Hawks are not the only hoopers making noise in the Peach State. The College Park Skyhawks have put the G League on notice.

Hawks rookie Kobe Bufkin in action
Hawks rookie Kobe Bufkin in action / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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While the emergence of Bufkin and the Skyhawk defense has attracted the most attention this season, College Park has provided fans with other fascinating G League storylines to home in on.

Injuries have stacked up for the Skyhawks, forcing the team to pick up free agents using roster hardship exceptions. On Dec. 30, College Park brought in undrafted forward Devon Higgs with one of the exceptions. Higgs, who has practiced with the Skyhawks since training camp, played five years of Division II basketball at Georgia Southwestern State University and graduated last spring.

In four games as a Skyhawk, Higgs has begun his pro career in impressive fashion. The 23-year-old has averaged seven points on 60.0% shooting from the field. In the first Raptors win, he contributed 14 points off the bench on 6-for-9 shooting.

Higgs spoke to Soaring Down South about the G League opportunity he has received and taken advantage of.

"Playing there (at Georgia Southwestern) for five years and getting a lot of experience, constantly working on my game every day … It just helps you be more consistent, so when your time comes and they call your name, you just got to be ready."

Devon Higgs

Less than a week after they picked up Higgs, the Skyhawks snagged McGowens. McGowens played his first two games with College Park in the Raptors back-to-back, and he played at least 30 minutes off the bench in both wins. The diamond-in-the-rough combo guard has been given a chance to shine, averaging 14.0 points across three total contests with the Skyhawks. Last year, McGowens averaged 3.7 points in 23 appearances with the Long Island Nets.

While College Park has given some unheralded prospects a deserved spotlight, the team has still run much of its offense through veteran big man Chris Silva. In his second straight season with the Skyhawks, Silva has averaged 20.8 points and 10.5 rebounds on 70.5% shooting from the field.

Simply put, Silva is on fire. Despite his career-best individual numbers, the 27-year-old center cares most about winning games than anything else.

After notching 23 points and nine rebounds in the second Raptors win, Silva spoke to Soaring Down South about his commitment to the Skyhawks and his willingness to do whatever it takes to help them win basketball games.

"To be honest, it’s just a pleasure to take the court with these guys and just compete … When I’m out there, I just look to win. I don’t look up my stats or whatever. Whatever they need me to do, I’m just willing to give it out there."

Chris Silva

In College Park’s recent 118-114 loss to the Delaware Blue Coats, Silva feasted in the paint for an incredible 30 points and 20 rebounds. He shot 11-of-18 from the floor and boasted a +5 plus-minus in spite of the defeat.

Silva has played for four different NBA teams since the 2019-20 season. He has enjoyed stints in Miami, Sacramento, Minnesota, and Dallas.

The 4-2 Skyhawks currently hold a top-four record in the east and a top-10 record in the league. With a four-game win streak sandwiched between two losses, College Park will look to continue playing some of the best defense professional basketball has to offer.