As teams prepare for the 2019-20 season, prospects are working their tails off to showcase their abilities in front of NBA and overseas personal, executives, and scouts to secure an opportunity. One of the premier showcases, the RBA Showcase, takes place at Basketball City and gives young prospects and players a stage to do what they do best. Over the past couple of years, players used their opportunity at the RBA Showcase and turned that into stints in the NBA G League and overseas.
In his four seasons at Columbia, Luke Petrasek displayed his ability to stretch the court as a 6’10” big man. He shot an impressive 44.2 percent from deep in his junior season and averaged 15.1 points per game in his senior season. He turned an impressive showing at the 2017 Showcase into an opportunity in the NBA G League with Greensboro.
The Columbia product stated how beneficial the event was and how he was glad he was able to showcase his talents.
“I was really looking forward to this event,” Petrasek said following the 2017 event. “I was working out hard two weeks before it. Glad I got to showcase what I was able to do and my expectation for the future is just keep controlling what I can control because other than that, there’s not certainly a lot in my hands except when I come onto the court.”
The Swarm big man continued by stating how he wanted to be at an event like the RBA Showcase after seeing players before him compete at the event and earn opportunities with clubs in the states and overseas.
“I think B.J. (Bass) has done a great job throughout my whole process,” he continued. “I trust him and he’s really been helping me with everything. Knowing his past record of having some of his guys in the NBA and having such great opportunities. It was really nice to showcase what I can do in the same events.”
One year afterward, Petrasek went through this process, his former Columbia teammate, Nate Hickman, walked through the doors at Basketball City. While he didn’t participate at the event, he knew what the opportunity could present him with.
Hickman has a close bond with Petrasek and he was someone he could trust. Along with that, RBA Sports continues to build a track record of putting their players in the best position to succeed.
“I feel like being apart of this agency; they’re going to get you an opportunity and it’s on you whether you take advantage of the opportunity or not,” Hickman said. “When you find an agent, all you can ask for is putting you in certain places and in from of the right people so you can show what you can do. I feel like they’ll give me a good opportunity to do something. I’ll be ready when that time comes.”
After a long season of trying to find his first opportunity in his professional career, Hickman was claimed by the Westchester Knicks. He made a good impression in the organization and finished out the season in New York.
Daniel Dixon is another familiar name that turned an opportunity at the RBA Showcase into multiple season in the G League. He played a significant role with the Maine Red Claws and was able to provide scoring in his rookie season. Dixon averaged 13.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 33.3 minutes per game.
The second-year guard spoke about how important it was showcasing his skillset at the event then turning it into a stint in the G League.
“It’s great. B.J. (Bass) does a really good job of putting on this event,” Dixon said. “It’s a great opportunity for guys to come out here and really show what they got in front of some NBA scouts and different people. You never know whose in the gym, so it’s always a good opportunity every time you can step on the floor in front of somebody. I just try and take advantage of the opportunity and let the cards fall where they may.”
After competing at two RBA Showcases, Dixon gave his advice to those who will compete at the event for the first time.
“It’s important, I would say, not to worry about anything you can’t control,” he continued. “I’d say all you can do is control what you can control and come out here and play your hardest. Dive on the floor for loose balls and be hungry out here because you never know whose watching. I’m not saying if you play well here, you get a training camp invite. But it’s just you do the right things, the chips will fall where they may.”
Twenty-one players participated at the 2018 RBA Showcase, while fifteen players suited up in various leagues during the 2018-19 season. Those players include:
One notable player on the list was Norvel Pelle, who was in the discussion for an NBA call-up. The Delaware Blue Coats benefited from his defensive presence and it didn't go unnoticed. Pelle was named to the NBA G League All-Defensive Team and finished in third for the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
An event like the RBA Showcase has shown to present players with an opportunity and those players fully capitalize on their chance. The action on the court will be intense and the players will be playing at a high level. The agency has show to put the players in the best position to succeed in the past, so there’s a high chance the players competing at the 2019 RBA Showcase will follow in the same path as players in the prior years.