This coming Sunday, the NBA D-League will host its annual national tryout in the heart of the New York City.
With executives and coaches set to pack into Basketball City in the Big Apple, they will all be keeping their eyes peeled for the next big thing.
More often than not, it's difficult to spot a special diamond in the rough or two, Aspiring minor leaguers come to town from all walks of life and different types of basketball backgrounds. Some have the talent necessary to back up warranting such consideration, and others simply hit the hardwood en route to playing out some sort of childhood fantasy.
So how does one separate the men from the boys? With hundreds of prospects on display and a handful of games taking place at the same time, it's difficult to assess the talent available simply from watching them all play. Still, how does one figure out who to keep an eye on in a gym otherwise filled with young guns simply trying to make names for themselves?
As fate would have it, scouts may have their work cut out for them this year. Should they all choose to lean on past history, a cheat sheet of sorts can easily be created this time around.
This past season, the likes of Akeem Ellis, Orion Outerbridge, and Kyle Hunt were all well recognized on the D-League's website for a special accomplishment. Each of the aforementioned young guns happen to stand tall in a small class of their own.
The trio represents the lone three players to have participated in the national tryout last season, only to subsequently hit the hardwood with an NBADL team in the months to follow. Whereas Hunt was a first-round draft pick of the Austin Toros, Ellis spent last season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and Outerbridge split time with the Santa Cruz Warriors and Sioux Falls Skyforce.
While each one happened to accomplish such a rare feat, they also had something else in common as well. Hunt, Ellis, and Outerbridge are all clients of RBA Sports.
Therein lies something scouts can take advantage of: seeing as how RBA Sports was the only agency to actually produce NBA D-League talent from last year's tryout, it'd be well-worth noting which hopefuls the agency is set to unleash onto the hardwood in just a few short days.
Three local products from RBA (Zeke Upshaw of Hofstra, Adam Kemp of Marist, and Naofall Folahan of Wagner) are all poised to participate in the national tryout. Aside from each having played at a high collegiate level, it doesn't hurt to keep in mind that each youngster comes with a high recommendation from an agency proven to produce similar talents.
Seeing as how no other agency was able to do so in such a similar fashion last season, each of the aforementioned prospects should undoubtedly have a leg up on the competition as scouts begin to seek out players who catch their eye.