After proving his worth via a bevy of open tryout sessions this past fall, Akeem Ellis found himself drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NBADL Draft.
Since then, he's interestingly enough continued to make a gradual climb up the Rio Grande Valley Vipers' depth chart. In comparison to the season's previous months, RGV's rhythm has since seemingly been disrupted (albeit it, just a bit) to start the new year.
Still, that hasn't stopped Ellis from developing a rhythm of his own in hopes of helping his team figure things out yet again.
Earning yet another start on Friday night, the young gun tallied his second 20+ point outing of the season. Shooting 7 of 19 from the field, Ellis scored 20 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 35 minutes of play. Everyone on the RGV roster is encouraged to hoist up the long balls again and again with a high-level of enthusiasm, and Ellis is no exception.
He may have only covered on 4 of 13 shots from deep, but Ellis is building confidence. He's undoubtedly more assertive on offense, and he's displaying a certain level of swagger that was previously present when he dominated the competition during such open tryout sessions.
Ellis is a refreshing reminder of what the D-League is all about, making him an intriguing prospect to follow as his progression continues. Rising up out of obscurity, he has solid talent. His skill-set he boasts is often one that becomes desirable by professional basketball teams from all around rather quickly.
As the youngster continues to make a name for himself, it'll be interesting to see where he ends up and what happens from hereon out. If he can carve out a steady role on the Vipers and cement his niche, don't be surprised if Ellis is an NBA Summer League invitee in just a few months as the heads of important decision-makers begin to turn with intrigue and curiosity in the coming weeks.