This coming Friday, a number of basketball hopefuls will see their own individual journeys begin when they are selected in the 2012 NBA D-League Draft.
With so many stars already gracing the NBA stage, the goal of various D-League affiliates will be to keep an eye out for the strongest possible complementary players who have multiple tools to be an asset for an NBA squad in the future.
As each player hopes an NBADL team gives them a chance, RidiculousUpside.com has learned Vanderbilt's Steve Tchiengang
Tchiengang, a 6'9" and 240 pound big man, is expected to be selected in the draft's earlier rounds. He's certainly been putting in the work this offseason to prove why he should be.
The forward began strutting his stuff in front of NBA staffers this past summer, when he aimed to impress during pre-draft camps. It was there where Tchiengang put on display his ability to muscle his way inside. A physical presence down low, the Vanderbilt alum uses his strength to intimidate opposing offensive players, and his agility and quick hands to beat defenders to the basket. The big man even caught the eye of the Rockets, who were ultimately unsuccessful in acquiring a second-round draft selection for the big man.
Even during his collegiate years, it was clear Tchiengang proved he's a force to be reckoned with. After going undrafted, he took the offseason as his opportunity to make his game all the more versatile.
Tchiengang has also been recently working on his outside game in anticipation of the D-League Draft. Developing quite the unique skill set for a player of his size and stature, he has made an effort to consistently knock down that three-point jumper.
With that colorful feather as part of his hat, there are a number of ways he could help an NBA team. Thus, he's done enough to warrant a look from many NBADL staffs. While Tchiengang is able to help pace a squad defensively, there's also various ways he can beat opponents offensively. Should his team choose to pound the ball down low, Tchiengang can finish around the basket. That said, if a point guard and/or star is selected as a floor general to run the floor, Tchiengang can still lend a helping hand by spreading the floor, waiting for his chance to drain a long range bomb or two.
As many who watch the D-League have seen over the past few seasons, stars don't often (if at all) emerge from the minor league ranks. Instead of being great or especially skilled at a thing or two, NBADL prospects must develop a balanced game that proves they are instead consistently good at a number of things.
While Tchiengang works his magic and tries to get to that point, he's also put in the time to size himself up to other worthy NBA-level competition. The big man impressed and caught the eye of various notable NBA decision makers at John Lucas' facility this summer.
With all that he's done to get prepared, Tchiengang has certainly accomplished enough to warrant a shot in the NBADL. With the draft on its way, the Vanderbilt alum may very well see the next step in his basketball voyage begin in the coming days.