After scoring 11 points in the Toronto Raptors’ 90-79 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Raptors forward Hassan Adams sat down to discuss the influx of Westchester (Calif.) High School players in the NBA Summer League.
“It’s a family, man. Back home, we really encourage each other and, you know, we love each other,” Adams said of his former high school teammates, Brandon Heath (Clippers), Amir Johnson (Pistons) and Bobby Brown and Brandon Bowman (Hornets). “Besides basketball, we’re family, we’re boys. And the one thing I can say about the boys I grew up with, we love each other regardless.”
Adams and Johnson are the only two to make it to the NBA, as each of the former collegiate standouts try to overcome the odds.
“We’re all trying to make our dreams come true and our goals happen,” Adams said. “Everybody’s working, everybody’s grinding. We ain’t quitters — we go overseas, we go do what we need, but we come right back.” Former Oklahoma State products Joey Graham and John Lucas led the way for the Raptors, with 16 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss to Denver. The Nuggets’ Taurean Green led all scorers with 17 points, and Dahntay Jones added 16.
WYOMING NATIVE TRIES TO BREAK MOLD
Toronto’s Jaycee Carroll doesn’t look like your average NBA Summer Leaguer. And he certainly isn’t from a hotbed of professional basketball talent.
The Utah State product, originally from Laramie, Wyo., is one of just a handful of white point guards at the Cox Pavilion. Standing just 6 feet 2 inches and weighing just 175 pounds certainly doesn’t help his cause. But maybe holding his school’s career scoring record will.
“It’s a whole new experience — a new game, new teammates, new roles, new situations,” said Carroll, who holds 10 Aggie records and was named Western Athletic Conference player of the year in 2008. “Everything this summer has been just a great learning experience; I’ve learned a lot and I’ve played against a higher level of competition than I’ve ever seen.”
That competition just might hinder Carroll’s ascension to the NBA. Carroll played just more than 11 minutes against the Nuggets, scoring three points. He acquiesced that a future in European basketball might be in the works.
“I am married, but I married a great girl, and she knew what she was getting into when she married me,” Carroll said. “We both want to be here, in the States, but we’re both open and enthusiastic about living in Europe for nine months. We’re gonna keep chipping away, and I know that things can open up — if not this year, then maybe one or two down the road.”
If he does make it to The League, it will fulfill a dream of long ago.
Back then, in between bailing hay and hunting down cattle, Caroll wrote himself a note.
“It’s weird, chasing the livestock to playing basketball,” he said. “Really, it’s a game I’ve always enjoyed playing, and I’ve always wanted it to be a part of my life. When I was 10 years old, I wrote down a goal, ‘I want to play in the NBA,’ and I’ve never lost sight of that.”
LIL’ BROTHER BOSH
The Toronto Raptors just might be taking nepotism to another level.
Raptors summer-league forward Joel Bosh averaged 5.2 points during his less-than-illustrious career with less-than-illustrious Alabama State.
Good thing his brother is Toronto’s all-everything forward Chris Bosh.
Little brother scored zero points for the Raptors in four minutes Monday.