BY SONNY PINKNEY
With the NBA season just around the corner, some future NBA hopefuls tried out for Delaware Blue Coats, the G-League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, in hopes of earning a roster spot on the Blue Coats for the 2019-2020 basketball season.
For some, the G-League is about the quest of fulfilling a lifelong dream. A dream that allows players to showcase their abilities and talents in front of talent evaluators.
“It’s a path. It’s a chance to try to make our team. We had 23 players over the years make it to training camp and, then 17 players have made it to the opening day roster. So, I mean this is a legit chance for these guys to show their skills.” Bluecoats President Larry Meli disclosed.
Players participated in drills and played several full court games under the watchful eyes of front office members and coaching staff. Open tryouts were held at the brand-new home of the Blue Coats, the 76ers Fieldhouse which seats 2,500 people in Wilmington, Delaware.
Following the open tryouts, Feedbackthemagazine.com caught up with several players, some of whom were trying out for the first time, said they was happy to take part in the open tryouts.
“I thought it was fun. I was here trying to get a run. I’m an old guy trying to keep fit.” Don Williams said.
The tryout participants bestowed some advice on future professional players that are seeking to play either in the NBA or G-League.
“Keep working on your game, they [BlueCoats] want people run out here, make good plays, pass the ball be a playmaker [and] be aggressive.” Don Williams revealed.
“Its going to be a lot of running, you’re going to be tired, exhausted you just got to pushing through the pace, push yourself that’s how you become a G.O.A.T.” Truesdale expressed. He added: “You got to be conditioned. [The] G-League is just like the NBA, it’s just a shorter level than the NBA.”
“Honestly, just keep going after it. Stay in shape and [the] coach[es] wants us to play hard defense, run up-and-down. So that’s the most important part.” Former Drexel Dragon Forward Goran Pantovic said.
According to the players, members of the Blue Coats organization gave them some positive feedback and words of wisdom at the culmination of the tryouts.
“Keep running the floor, push, keep up with the pace, play a lot of defense that’s what I was doing.” Kevin Truesdale, a 2017 graduate of Glasgow High School stated.
Heading into the season, Blue Coats General Manager Matt Lilly is eyeing better play on the defensive end.
“We want to have a better defensive identity. I think last year we could score with anyone, we took a lot of threes, we played fast and we still want to do that on the offensive end.” Lilly said.
Lilly added: “But I think we want to have an increased priority on the defensive end.”