No one's path to the NBA is quite the same.
For some prospects, it may come easier. Make your mark early on, star at the collegiate level, and then parlay that same success into a draft selection by an NBA team.
But for others, it instead may take a little bit more work to make a lasting impression. After playing three seasons at Texas Christian University, point guard Ronnie Moss saw some of his notoriety fade when he transferred to a NAIA school for his senior campaign.
There are politics involved when it comes to gaining the attention of an NBA team by playing at a more known school, but should one opt not to, that doesn't always mean the said player is lacking the skills. After going undrafted in the NBA rookie draft this past June, Moss is aiming to use the D-League to help prove he has what it takes. He's already entered in this Friday's coming NBADL draft.
"Working out for the different D-League teams in anticipation of the draft has been a great experience so far," Moss said. "Just to being able see what their philosophies are on and off the court has been a blessing. It's always been my dream to play basketball. Coming from where I'm from, playing in the D-League would be a blessing in disguise for me, because not many guys get to do something like this."
No stranger to the daily grind and having to work even harder to get noticed (following his college transfer), Moss understands the NBADL presents an uphill battle for its prospects, but still recognizes the league's promising opportunities.
"I definitely feel like the D-League is the best situation for me," he said. "I know nothing comes easy in that league, but life isn't easy. You just need to get over the hump and stay with it. Everyone will have their ups and downs, but the D-League is great because NBA scouts are going to have a closer look at you. It'll be good to still be in the states, and then it's just up to you to go out there and ball out!"
And as NBA and minor league executives ponder how Moss will fare against NBA-level competition, they won't need to look any further than his days at TCU going up against now NBA point guard Jimmer Fredette. Moss rose above during some high-pressure moments, and became known for not only limiting Fredette's offensive production, but also going on to outscore him too during an early 2011 contest as Moss' squad went head to head with BYU.
There's no question Moss takes pride in having success against such a worthy competitor.
"I love that type of competition, because it allows me to size myself up to guys like that," Moss added. "Whether I play good or bad, the good news about basketball is you live to see another day. That's where film and things like that come in. Going up against Jimmer, someone who I loved going head to head with, I learned I can compete against anybody. I just have to keep working on my game."
As he continues to work towards making improvements to his game, Moss will soon have the opportunity to strut his stuff and prove how he may able to help an NBA squad via the D-League. The young guard asserted, "I'm definitely going to bring that intensity, whether it be in practice, or on the court during games. Whatever an NBA team needs me to bring or do when I come in, I'll work hard and do my best to help them."
A true student of the game, Moss says he watches of film of some of The Association's best point guards, aiming to implement some of their talents into his own repertoire. In addition to working out with various minor league teams recently, the Texas product also worked out the Golden State Warriors this past summer.
While his fellow prospects will look to use the D-League to prove they have defensive prowess, and/or can rebound or pass the ball well, Moss too will have his own goals. After averaging 17.5 points per game in his senior campaign, it's clear this young gun can pour in the points. As NBA teams around the league aim to build a balanced attack, perhaps Moss can do enough in the minors to prove he has the speed, intensity, and scoring ability to be that oh so coveted offensive spark plug off the bench.
Whatever role Moss aims to prove he can fill for an NBA team, his chance to do so, and the next step in his own journey, may indeed begin with this week's D-League draft.