Players > Signed in Japan > Davante Gardner
#54 Davante Gardner
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  • Signed in Japan
  • Signed with Niigata Albirex
  • PF/C
  • 6'8" / 290lbs
  • Right
  • 09/02/1991
  • USA
  • Undrafted, 2014
  • Marquette
  • 0
29th September, 2014FranceSigned a one year contract with Hyeres-Toulon.
20th August, 2015JapanSigned a one year contract with Nishinomiya Storks.
18th August, 2016JapanSigned a one year contract with Niigata Albirex.
30th June, 2017JapanSigned a one year extension with Niigata Albirex.
Career Moves
Time PeriodTeam
2010 - 2014Marquette (NCAA)
July 2014Chicago Bulls (Summer League)
September 2014 - June 2015Hyeres-Toulon (France, ProB)
August 2015 - June 2016Nishinomiya Storks (Japan, NBL)
August 2016 - presentNiigata Albirex (Japan)

June 16, 2014


Davante Gardner, Marquette, Senior, 6'8 290lbs

2013/14 stats: 26.6 mpg, 14.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 1.3 apg, 0.3 spg, 2.0 fpg, 1.1 TOpg, 52.8% FG, 78.1% FT

Gardner has battled weight and conditioning issues in his entire time with the Golden Eagles. He is every bit the 290lbs he is listed as. Unfortunately, he is also every bit of the 6'8.

Being this zaftig has obvious benefits, particularly on offense. Gardner regularly gets into the paint and finishes with relative ease, a big scorer per minute and an extremely efficient one. With one of the best free throw strokes seen in a big man, Gardner will clatter into the opposing big man and take the contact, strong enough and with deft enough of touch to finish through the hit with either hand. He does so without committing too many turnovers, and uses his feet for step-unders and the like, demostrating good understandings of post finishing and offensive awareness. To complement these things, Gardner also shoots well from mid-range, an important weapon against the long and athletic defenders who can otherwise smother him at the rim. (Davante, it must be noted, does not jump.)

The size, of course, can be a defensive detriment. Gardner's rebounding rate is quite poor as he hasn't the mobility to attack the glass outside of his area, and a lot of the time, his defense involves standing in the paint with his hands up, as he has not the length or leap to protect the rim. He is not a complete stiff and does a better than may be expected job of defending the perimeter on switches, yet it is still something the opposition is always going to want to make him do. Gardner will always struggle to stay in front, often give up a foul in the process, and (perhaps most importantly) it tires him out.

As an upper classman, Gardner did in fact rein in these fouls and improved his stamina somewhat, to the point he is now (some inconsistency notwithstanding) a fairly reliable offensive presence. He can score with relative ease around the basket and kick it out from there to shooters, and while he cannot do much to stop the opponent doing the same, Gardner will score and better an offense wherever he chooses to play. That is all you need to make money. He will likely, however, forever be exposable defensively.


March 16, 2011

Further complimenting those two is junior college transfer Jae Crowder, who gives Marquette an easy Lazar Hayward replacement. Crowder, listed with small forward size at 6'6 225lbs, plays more of a power forward's game. He makes shots in the interior and from mid-range, but is also capable of stepping out for a three, and is efficient from all areas. He's also a good passer and smart player, who plays energetically and athletically on the defense end. If he could dribble better, he'd tick pretty much every box. As far as size goes, there are few bigger than Crowder's backup, freshman Davante Gardner, who is listed at 6'8 290lbs and who may well be more than that. Gardner does all the things you'd expect from one so big - posts, pushes, fouls, sweats, rebounds, fouls again, fatigues, forgoes the perimeter on both ends, and simply does not get moved off the spot once he's got it. He is a very intriguing offensive player with good touch, better footwork and great hands, but he may have to ditch about 35 of those listed pounds to fully realise it. And even bigger still is sophomore centre Chris Otule, who, after 85 minutes and a redshirt in his first two seasons, has finally become a big piece of the puzzle. At 6'11 and 260lbs, Otule is a monster of a man in the middle, a strangely sub-par rebounder but a prolific shotblocker who must not be challenged. He plays defense with his size, not his feet, and has a pretty terrible foul rate as a result, yet his unquestioned size is an asset on its own. He has also progressed somewhat offensively, still unable to catch (for reasons outlined below), yet able to create spacing and finish in the post, as well as running the court fairly well for one so large.