by Donald Toomey
Special to Salt City Hoops
twitter: @Deejay14 / @DLeagueDaily
Andres Sandoval was on of many players showcasing his talent to Coach Gene Cross (http://twitter.com/coachcross) and the rest of the Utah Flash staff at the XSI Factory in Lehi in hope of returning to the DLeague and earning a spot on the Flash’ roster.
More than 25 athletes paid the $150 fee in hopes of inching closer to their dream of playing in the National Basketball Association. The Utah Flash, NBA Affiliate for the Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks held their local player tryout on Saturday October 16. As one of just 25 open tryouts (http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/open_tryouts_2010.html) spaced all across the United States and Canada. “During our open tryouts we look for players that will develop those talents, but also help us win a championship.” said first year head coach Kevin Young.
There were many sizes of men from 5’7” point guard Jon Foster all the way up to Kentucky Wildcats Center Jared Carter at 7’2″. Many were at their 2nd or 3rd DLeague Tryout of the month. Local man Jason Fullmer (UVU) to Durwin Williams of Cal State and across to Eastern Michigan, they gathered in hope of being one of 17 to attend training camp on November 8th. Joshua Jones attended the tryout in Reno, Nevada last weekend and could be going to Boise for the next one. “I was winded at the end of the first game, caught a second wind and now I am great”
Among the standout were Andres Sandoval, Lamont Morgan, Robert Porter and Carlos Medlock (http://twitter.com/loso3). Andres was the last pick in the 2008 DLeague draft and spent the beginning of last season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants before being waived. His fiancé works here in Utah so he said it would work out fine although he knows if Dontell Jefferson returns his minutes at point guard would be limited.
Brigham Young University basketball co-captain Lamont Morgan Jr has hopes of performing in front of the Utah County fanatics as his college teammate Lee Cummard did a season ago. Lamont injured his knee with half the season left but was able to step on court during the Cougars’ second round match up against Kansas State. He looked strong and seemed to play himself into a chance to make the team. Former BYU volleyball player Kent Tuttle also tried out and impressed everyone with his freaky athleticism.
Robert Porter graduated from Urbana University in Ohio last season where he averaged double digits in points and was one of the teams’ top rebounders while being just 6’3”. Carlos Medlock averaged double digits all four seasons while attending Eastern Michigan including a career high 42 points the last time he stepped on the court in the MAC championship game against Akron.
The Flash’ tryout lasted almost five hours. The first two consisting of warm-up activates and shooting drills while the last three involved several games. After spending two seasons in the ABA with the Atlanta Vision fifty-one year old Kelvin Davis hoped he could step into the next level. He joked “Got any oxygen over there” while taking his turn on the bench. While many showed signs of fatigue during the ending moments of the tryout Young stated that no one lacked effort in the tryout. The staff will hold a meeting Monday afternoon and submit names to the league which are due by October 28th.
Steve Newman, John Millsap, Ryan Diggs and Brian Hamilton are among those who have worn a Utah Flash jersey after attending open tryouts. Hamilton went on to attended the New Jersey Nets training camp (http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/hamilton_080930.html) after just one season. The 2010-11 NBA Development League Draft (http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/draft_order_100921.html) will be held on November 1st.