“Rob has a great deal of coaching and scouting experience in the NBA and knows our organization’s culture and philosophy. We believe he will be a great asset to the Drive”, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told the media last week.
Werdann, who is listed at 6-foot-11, 250 pounds, is a native of Jamaica, NY, located in the borough of Queens. He was highly sought after during his time at Archbishop Molloy High School where he played for the legendary Jack Curran. Werdann earned McDonald’s All-American honors during his senior year in 1988.
It was off (really, he stayed home) to St. John’s University in 1989 to play for iconic coach Lou Carnesecca, Curran’s predecessor at Molloy. Over the span of his collegiate career, Werdann won the NIT Championship in 1989 as a freshman, earned 3rd Team All-Big East honors as a junior in 1991, won the Big East title in 1992 and set the St. John’s career record for blocked shots (188).
After his four-year college career, Werdann was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 1992 NBA Draft, which was the 46th overall selection. The 1992 draft was highlighted by the top three selections of Shaquille O’Neal (Orlando/LSU), Alonzo Mourning (Charlotte/Georgetown) and Christian Laettner (Minnesota/Duke). Werdann was selected six picks ahead of West Michigan native and Michigan State standout Matt Steigenga, who went 52nd to the Chicago Bulls. Other notables in the draft include Jimmy Jackson (4th overall), Latrell Sprewell (24th) and P.J. Brown (29th).
During his career, which spanned from 1992-1997, Werdann played for the Nuggets (92-93) and the New Jersey Nets (95-96, 96-97). His career averages are 2.1 points, 1.7 rebounds while shooting 37.8% from the field. Amid his NBA stints, Werdann played in the CBA and USBL during the 1993-95 seasons and returned to the CBA from 1996-2000.
Werdann moved into an assistant coaching position with the CBA’s Yakima Sun Kings in 2000. He then spent three seasons as an assistant for the Columbus Riverdragons in the NBA Development League (now NBA G League). He then went on to work as a scout for the New Orleans Hornets for five seasons before being added to Byron Scott’s staff to work with the team’s big men. Werdann also coached the Hornets’ summer league team in Las Vegas in 2009. Golden State hired Werdann to their bench staff the following year before moving on to the Charlotte Bobcats squad for the 2011-2013 seasons. Werdann worked as an assistant with the NBADL’s Idaho Stampede in 2013-14 before joining the Pistons organization in the scouting department.