The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the NBADL affiliate of the Houston Rockets, boast one of the minor league's better rosters from top to bottom. Complete with past NBA vets, Rockets' assignees, promising young guns, and more, it's easy to say Coach Nick Nurse has his work cut out for him when fine-tuning the rotation and making it tight.
Nevertheless, over the past few weeks, Coach Nurse has opted give the son of a former NBA All-Star more of an opportunity. Luckily for him, Glen Rice Jr. hasn't been one to disappoint.
Rising up in the team's rotation, surpassing players who may have more experience and/or polished talent, Rice Jr. has emerged as a starter for the Vipers over the last month and a half. Proving to reward his coaching staff for their instilled faith and confidence in him, the guard was named the NBA D-League's most recent "Performer of the Week."
Leading RGV to three victories during the week of March 4th-10th, Rice Jr. averaged 24 points on 48% shooting from the field to go along with 11 rebounds per contest. Such numbers are certainly impressive, but they shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has watched the guard's impact as a starter so far this season. In thirteen games as part of the Vipers' first unit, Rice Jr. has averaged 18.7 points (on 48% from the field and 41% from deep) and 8.6 boards.
Though his father earned a reputation as one of the NBA's most lethal sharpshooters during his playing days, the son of Glen Rice can be considered much more of a raw talent with perhaps more potential versatility to his game.
The 22 year old may have a sweet shooting stroke like his Pop, but also some flashy athleticism too. There's no doubt Rice Jr. can score the basketball, but he likes to do so in a varied amount of ways. Whether it's hoisting up the long ball, or using his agility to charge towards the basket, the guard can catch opposing defenses off-guard in a number of ways. He may have all the potential in the world, but more experience is needed to hone in on his raw skills to polish them a bit further for basketball's highest level. Rice Jr. needs time.
But what better place to strut his stuff and develop than Rio Grande Valley? It's there that Rice Jr. can practice and look to hold his own against talented and experienced players. His time in town could truly prove to be an invaluable learning period.
As it stands, the guard has made progressively respective strides since being drafted by RGV during the later rounds of last fall's NBA D-League Draft. He already has a household name. It's just a point of displaying solid enough skills to back up the notable recognition his father's reputation may have prematurely earned him.
Already one of the NBADL's more noteworthy players due to his background, Rice Jr. represented the Vipers in last month's Boost Mobile Dream Factory Dunk Contest. One of his attempts from the contest can be found below.