The NBA D-League will host its sole national open tryout on Saturday for 2013, inviting approximately 200 basketball hopefuls to come try their luck at catching the attention of a key executive or league official.
In addition to some of the top decision makers from the NBADL itself, representatives from all seventeen minor league squads (and thus, in part, probably some NBA executives, too) are set to be in the Big Apple for a day sure to be filled with a handful of intriguing prospects.
While it may be unexpected for any of the young guns taking part in the workout to leave with any formal offers from D-League teams, turning some heads while strutting their stuff at the session can also simply result in a contract with NBADL as a league. This would make such signed prospects eligible for the D-League Draft later this year.
Though most players set to participate in the tryout are merely just beginning to make a name for themselves, some are sure to stand out more than others as soon as they hit the court. Let's a take a look at some of the more intriguing prospects expected to be in attendance on Saturday.
Dami Sapara, NAIA College of The Ozarks
Though there are plenty of players to choose from, Sapara may end up emerging as the most athletic of the bunch. A hybrid player of sorts, the 6'6", 210 pound young gun can defend a bevy of different players. Able to match up against players his size, Sapara also enjoys keeping up with smaller opposing point guards as well. With a skill set that couples athleticism and agility quite nicely, he can run the open floor and finishes at the rim with a level of explosiveness that isn't often matched.
Sapara, who averaged 8.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.0 steal per game during his final collegiate campaign, worked out for the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week.
Orion Outerbridge, University of Rhode Island
After a year overseas in Greece, Outerbridge has returned stateside and is hoping he can now parlay a successful international season into a D-League gig.
In addition to averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks while at Cyrprus, Outerbridge emerged as his league's All-Star Game M.V.P. A forward with freakish athleticism, he can serve to fill a void for a squad at either the three or the four. The big man likes to pound it down around the basket with power, and uses his overwhelming physicality to create mismatches offensively.
Upon returning from Greece earlier this year, Outerbridge garnered some preliminary interest from the Erie BayHawks midway through their season.
Lester Prosper, SUNY Old Westbury
Just two years removed from his collegiate carer, Prosper has gone on to continue honing his craft in destinations like Slovenia and Canada. During his senior year, however, the big man accumulated twenty double-doubles (and one triple double) on his way to averaging 19.6 points, 13 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per contest.
Prosper is hoping that his game will translate to the D-League (and/or NBA, of course) level, and will likely let his scrappy defensive abilities lead the way. Able to fight tooth and nail for rebounds, and pester opponents on the defensive end, Prosper is quite the swarming physical presence.
After his overall skill-set catches the attention of some smart executives, his steadily improving mid-range jumper will simply serve as icing on the cake.
Chehales Tapscott, IBL All-Star
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
Such a mentality is undoubtedly the one Tapscott must own with regard to the NBA D-League. After staying closer to home and taking the IBL by storm, Tapscott emerged as one of the league's best players, earning himself an All-Star nod and the "Rookie of the Year" award last season.
From there, he went on to workout for a handful of D-League teams in hopes of getting drafted into the minor league last fall. Though ultimately, no team opted to take a chance on him, Tapscott has continued to work hard with hopes of achieving his dream.
While he's playing in the IBL yet again this summer, Tapscott will take a detour of sorts to New York City to show off his skills during the NBADL's open tryout. Perhaps executives familiar with his game will see visible improvement.
Jordan Callahan, Tulane
As evidenced by the roles filled in this year's NBA Finals by players like Danny Green and Chris Andersen, the NBA D-League specializes in developing useful and complementary talents. Able to do many of the little things necessary to help balance a successful squad, perhaps the D-League is a solid first destination for Callahan.
A combo-guard, Callahan found success through understanding how and when to put his team first. Whether it was running the floor, taking a step back in order to help his squad spread the floor, or pacing the team's efforts defensively, he was a driving force in Tulane's success.
Callahan's 217 three-point field goals stand tall as an all-time school record.