More than 200 professional basketball hopefuls convened in New York City on Sunday afternoon for the annual NBA Development League National Tryout.
A select group of them — typically between 25 and 40 — will sign contracts and become eligible for the NBA D-League Draft this fall. Two participants from past tryouts, Dwight Buycks and Dennis Horner, climbed the ladder all the way to the NBA.
This year’s participants were divided into 20 teams and then put through 30-minute practices sessions before playing two games each. Here are some sights and sounds from Basketball City on Pier 36 of Manhattan’s East River:
— NBA D-League (@nbadleague) June 14, 2015
— Matt Lilly (@RealMattLilly) June 14, 2015
Meet the Participants
#DLeagueTryout "I left it all on the court..It was a great opportunity. I came out here to have fun and chase my dream of basketball. No college ball, no high school ball, been playing basketball for 5 years. I’ve been to one D-League tryout and three overseas combines. I’m just chasing my dream until I get it. I flew out here…my first time ever flying…Before I started playing ball, I was three-hundred something pounds, but I worked it all off playing ball."
#DLeagueTryout "Hi my name is Evan, I’m currently in school, so I’m pursuing my dream to play ball on the side. I go to George Brown in Toronto, Canada. I took the bus, 11 hours…. I’m just working on my game. Another guy here and I have been training since January and we came here together pursuing this dream. Best aspect of my game is my work ethic. I never give up on a play and I play defense. Something I need improvement on is consistency hitting my jump shot. My favorite of all-time is Steve Nash- MVP, not athletic, just a smart player.”
#DLeagueTryout "I'm out here trying to play hard, do something with my life, so check me out. I traveled from Norwich, Connecticut. It took me about 2.5 hours. I only played my freshman year in high school. After that, I broke my leg, so I stopped playing for a little bit, but now I’m out there every day hustling.”
#DLeagueTryout "My name is Norris, from Bridgeport, Connecticut. My experience was great out here, I played hard and kept my head up even if I made bad plays…I just have to keep striving to be successful. I've been working since I was 6 years old. I've been in the gym, putting in work, hour after hour…I drive, I rebound, and play aggressive on defense.”