At the Bakersfield Jam's open tryout session in Atlanta last month, there was one player who could be seen throwing his body all around. Throughout the two-day period, this guard sacrificed his body again and again, giving a new meaning to the term "attacking the basket" as he charged ahead while running the break.
Falling to the ground following a made layup multiple times, trainers and related staffers would jog over to check on him, only to see Akeem Scott get up countless times and keep going, otherwise unaffected.
A veteran with an array of international experience and some time on the Jamaican National Team to his credit, the 30 year old's basketball journey took him to a cramped and hot gym to strut his stuff for the Jam.
Though some would say age is not on his side, such a recent gamble has paid off for Scott. He's been added to Bakersfield's training camp for this month. While some might say a player of Scott's caliber is simply brought in to push a team's other players and light the fire under their butts, there should be some more light at the end of the tunnel for the point guard.
Undeniably so, Scott was the best player on the floor through the two days of open tryouts in Atlanta. Arguably in a league of his own, the 30 year old was able to score at will against anyone in the gym. He knew how to read and manipulate opposing defenses, and attacked to his advantage. He ran his team(s) like a true floor general should during scrimmages, visibly making his teammates better by getting them the ball in the right spots. He was effective and efficient throughout.
Of course, Scott's ability to dominate the competition last month is all relative, and should still be taken with a grain of salt. Aside from himself and a handful of other promising prospects (such as fellow Jam camp invitee Jordan DeMercy), the gym was otherwise filled with guys just looking to have some fun and/or see if they still had what it takes to compete following some time on their high school varsity squad.
Still, it's going to be interesting to see how Scott's skills translate against some more worthwhile competition in training camp. Despite coming off a first seed finish in last year's D-League season, Bakersfield will only bring three players-- Brian Butch, James Nunnally, and Mac Koshwal--back to camp from last season. Needless to say, the Jam stand to look quite different in the coming year.
With that in mind, Scott stands a decent chance (or at the very least, should) at making the team. He's the type of guy who can come off the bench and provide instant energy, whether that be via some second unit points, or some necessary defensive pressure against the opposing team's floor general. Scott can be a potential sparkplug for an obvious NBADL competitor.
And despite already being 30 years old (if he makes the Jam, Scott would be the squad's elder statesman), perhaps the experience he's amassed thus far will only prove to aid him in the long run. On a team otherwise filled with a plethora of young guns looking to get their feet wet by playing professional basketball, Scott's maturity and experience could prove to be a key in his success.