The fire that burns inside of Zach Andrews, can be found in a multitude of hungry basketball talents across the country. However, the flame which Andrews draws upon for his daily motivation, and drive, is likely the brightest out of the plethora of summer basketball hopefuls.
For some, basketball becomes an obsession derived from a passion which refuses to extinguish. When talking with players who exhibit this sentiment, it's quite easy to pick up on this type of mindset, and if you have the opportunity spend a few minutes with Andrews, it's quite clear the high-energy, low block specialist is fueled by a similar endless passion.
With plenty of playing opportunities during the summer months, hoop junkies like Andrews can demonstrate their willingness to grind, by taking part in the many different leagues. In a rare moment of downtime, RidiculousUpside.com caught up with Andrews, as he prepares to play in the Drew League for the second time in his career.
Andrews was apart of an impressive NBA D-League Select squad at Summer League, which was perhaps the last time scouts and NBA personnel had a chance to watch the six-foot-nine-inch rebounding specialist. "Vegas was amazing, we had a great group of guys and it showed that there is a lot of talent in the D-League. We are all hungry, and we all want to make it, so we combined our talents and that helped us win games." Andrews said.
Andrews, who has developed a nice relationship with the Los Angeles Lakers and their NBADL affiliate the L.A. D-Fenders, parlayed another stint with the D-Fenders into a spot on the NBADL Select team in Vegas. In his 76 games with the D-Fenders, Andrews has averaged 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24.5 minutes. His career averages won't immediately grab your attention, but watching Andrews in action will tell you everything that you need to know about his game.
"My specialty is rebounding, and being a garbage man of sorts. I see myself as a player similar to Dennis Rodman, or Chris "Birdman" Anderson." Andrews explained. The former Bradley product can certainly add value to a team needing help around the low post area, and in the rebounding department. In fact, Andrews had a few highlights displaying his ability to clean up around the rim at NBA Summer League.
Now, Andrews is focused on playing in the popular Drew League. According to Andrews, "I haven't played any games yet, but I will be getting down there soon. The Drew League is a great way to keep your game sharp, and you never know what's going to happen, or who's possibly watching, that's the exciting part."
After playing in the Drew League, Andrews plans to play in the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Basketball League, which according to Andrews, is also filled with highly-skilled players. Keeping track of Andrews' summer whereabouts can make one tired, and obviously he is doing everything in his power to gain recognition in order for him to earn a shot with an NBA team.
Just recently, NBA D-League alumni from a season ago, have either signed, or have been rumored to be signing deals overseas. DaJuan Summers, Luke Harangody, Tony Taylor, and Coby Karl, which can arguably be described as players in a similar position as Andrews, have been linked to deals overseas. Yet, it has also been reported that Marcus Landry, another NBADL alum, is thought to be signing a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers for what will likely be a training camp spot. It is a tricky waiting game that players are forced to endure this time of year.
For now, Andrews has his sights set on landing with an NBA team for training camp and the preseason. If the opportunity doesn't present itself, than Andrews told RidiculousUpside.com that he will go back overseas. Either way, Andrews is making sure that he is putting in the proper amount of work to achieve his ultimate goal, and surely teams will take notice of his dizzying summer quest for recognition.