On Sunday afternoon, approximately 200 basketball hopefuls packed into the Basketball City facility in the heart of the Big Apple to strut their stuff in front of a slew of NBA and D-League executives, coaches, scouts, and more.
The opportunity for a shot at minor league basketball fame was undoubtedly each prospect's for the taking, as D-League contract offers (and subsequent eligibility for the upcoming 2014 NBADL Draft) were at stake for such young guns.
It's up to these youngsters to impress over the course of the long day as they hope to gain draft eligibility through a contract offer soon after.
With that in mind, prospects from all walks of life and an array of different basketball backgrounds hit the hardwood hoping to stand out and make positive impressions. Having witnessed the action first hand, here's RidiculousUpside.com's take on some of the national tryouts's stand-out performers.
Adam Kemp, Marist College
At 6'10" and 240 pounds, Kemp stood tall as one of the most awing physical specimen in the entire gym. The Marist product put his best foot forward and asserted himself down low. He used his body well, played intelligently, and proved to be one of the best defenders all day.
Despite having displayed a solid offensive game on the collegiate level as well, Kemp looked like a man amongst boys by stepping in as an intimating defensive presence. He could undoubtedly find a spot on the minor league level, because big bodies are always useful. Luckily for Kemp, he comes with a capable skill-set as well.
Joshua Brown, Towson University
A bit further removed from his collegiate days (2011) than certain others at the tryout, Brown has made his mark overseas over the last three years. Luckily for him, such experience showed and subsequently translated into a solid showing in front of the personnel present on Sunday.
A fiery guard with an extra pep on his step on offense, the 6'1", 160 pounder was confident throughout, attacked the basket with ease, and seemed to command respect from his teammates on the floor. They seemed to look for him in transition, and he didn't appear to disappoint. His agile first step gave him a leg up on the competition as he displayed a nice touch of athleticism.
Justin Simmons, University of Nebraska-Omaha
Just weeks removed from completing his collegiate career, it's safe to say Simmons could have the most potential out anyone in the entire group. A naturally gifted high-flying guard, the young gun has eye-popping athleticism. He runs the floor well, can handle the ball even better, and knows how to finish at the hole. He's not afraid of taking it inside against taller defenders.
Despite averaging just 10.2 points on 37% as a senior (he averaged 16.7 on 47% the year prior), Simmons appears to be a multi-faceted player who could potentially keep other D-League guards on their toes throughout a given contest, if provided such an opportunity.
Jayvon Beaty, Cheyney University
Beaty played rather modest minutes over the course of his collegiate career and didn't exactly stand out during that time for any specific reason, but as Program Director Bob MacKinnon asserted prior to the minor league's tryout, all players are given a clean slate heading into the day's competition. It all comes down to how they perform(ed) at Basketball City.
As fate would have it, Beaty kept things in prospective, played in the moment, and didn't disappoint. A rather lengthy player, Beaty's 6'8" frame was easily found towering over most of the day's participants. The forward, who played his high school ball in New Jersey under storied coach Bob Hurley Sr., displayed an impressive ability to knock down the contested long-ball with ease.He had an impressive stroke for a player his size.
Jasonn Hannibal, University of Portland
Rising up at 6'10" and nearly 280 pounds, Hannibal is another big body who makes quite the impression upon first sight. A recent veteran of international competition (having spent time in both Slovenia and Canada as of late), the big man undoubtedly has a frame ready to be utilized in The Association, let alone the D-League, first.
A confident yet well-spoken individual, one of the coaches at the tryout gushed about Hannibal and compared him to "a left-handed Roy Hibbert."
Naofall Folahan, Wagner College
There were undoubtedly a solid handful of respective stand-outs worth an extra look at the end of the day. They pushed hard, gave it their all, and knew how to put their respective strengths on display. Still, much of this comes from deep preparation, proper planning, and excellent execution.
Folahan is somewhat of a more unique case, because he needs none of that to succeed (though it may still go on to help). Instead, Folahan's incredible athleticism on both ends of the floor is second to none. He has natural ability, quite similar to the professional athletes already gracing D-League and even some NBA stages.
Such capabilities should help Folahan emerge as a shoe-in for selection come D-League Draft time, but his beautiful potential could also be enough to garner consideration from an NBA team or two heading into Summer League.