As a member of the New York Knicks, Jeremy Lin rose from obscurity to emerge as a worldwide phenomenon. Whereas most people couldn't exactly figure out where Lin came from when "Linsanity" hit them, his roots lie within the NBA D-League.
Lin spent time developing and honing his skills as member of the Reno Bighorns, and later in his career, a remarkable triple-double performance with the Erie BayHawks (as an assignment player from the Knicks) intrigued New York enough to take a chance on the Harvard grad during their time of point guard need.
The success stories of NBA studs who began their journey in the D-League seem to increase in count each and every season now. Who would have ever thought that an NBADL alumni (Danny Green) would go on to surpass likely future Hall of Fame guard Ray Allen's record for most three-point field goals in an NBA Finals?
In any event, needless to say, there's an opportunity for great things to follow from a stint in the D-League. Nevertheless, it's obvious such players have previously started from the bottom to work their way up.
Many often wonder if they can duplicate such success and be the next Jeremy Lin or the next Danny Green. If one was in position to take a similar opportunity by the horns, would they still jump at the chance of becoming the next Tim Ohlbrecht, instead?
We ask the question, because this is the time of year where such an opportunity comes about. While NBA teams begin to fill out their training camp rosters with notable D-League alumni, subsequently, NBADL teams are looking ahead to when they'll have to fill out their own respective rosters this coming fall.
Tryouts will be held in Bakersfield and in its NBA affiliate markets (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta and Salt Lake City).
The first tryout will be held in Los Angeles on September 7th and 8th, followed by Phoenix (Sept. 21-22), Salt Lake City (Sept. 28-29), Atlanta (Oct. 5-6) and Bakersfield (Oct. 12-13).
Open tryouts offer athletes an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of Jam coaches and front office personnel while they compete to earn a position in the team's official training camp, which is scheduled to take place in November.
Interested players should submit completed registration forms along with $150 non-refundable participation fee to the Jam office. Participants who register after the pre-registration deadline (listed on registration form) or day-of registration will be charged $200.
Though Ohlbrecht received his D-League contract from the Jam, he of course went on to become an NBADL champion with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season, and is now also a member of the Houston Rockets. Of course, the opportunity to prosper with Bakersfield is still undeniably there.
Among those others to have previously been successful in using the Jam's open tryout as their platform to impress include Juan Pattillo (the guard averaged 14.5 points on 53% from the field, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals during the 2011-12 NBADL season and also went on to play for the D-League Select Team in Las Vegas later that summer), Ronnie Aguilar (the big man later went on to attend training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers), and John Bryant (he was later hired as the team's Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning Coach, a position he still holds today).
For as little as $150, aspiring NBA and D-League athletes will have the opportunity to strut their stuff in front of a handful of worthy decision makers. The fact that the Jam (a team that emerged as the first seed in the D-League last season) are using such tryouts as an avenue to find prospects not only means they believe in the talent available, but furthermore, that they believe in providing such players with an even greater opportunity.
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