66ers Tryouts Present Opportunities

Tulsa 66ers tryouts often provide opportunites to players around the country. The past two seasons have been no different.

Last year’s tryouts produced Alabama State’s Brandon Brooks, who helped guide the 66ers to the semifinals of the 2011 D-League playoffs. Drafted by the 66ers, the Dallas native played in 33 games (four starts) and averaged 4.0 points and 3.0 assists on the year.

Two years ago, the tryouts introduced Marcus Lewis to the Tulsa 66ers. Lewis went on to play the past two seasons for Tulsa under head coach Nate Tibbetts.

“The tryout was a great experience for me,” Lewis said. “I was more nervous than anything. There are a lot of good players that attend and you try to figure out what you can do to stand out among everyone else.”

Tibbetts recalls what stood out about Lewis two years ago.

“We were all very impressed with his knowledge of the game,” the third-year 66ers coach said. “We could tell he was an extremely smart player on the floor. Over the past two seasons, Marcus has really taken his job seriously and tried to improve as a player each and every day. He has a great sense of pride to improve and excels at making winning basketball plays to help his team be successful.”

In his first season with the 66ers, Lewis averaged 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 42 games.

“The first season in the D-League for me was more of a learning period, trying to get adjusted to the speed of the game,” the forward said. “I was fortunate enough to have some veterans also on the team that taught me how to be a professional and how to play the game at a higher level.”

In 2010-11, he increased his averages to 7.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 49 games for the 66ers.

“This past year was more of a coming out party for me,” the Oral Roberts University graduate added. “I was used to the speed and was comfortable with our coaching staff on what they wanted out of me and the expectations they have for the team. It was all about gaining experience and improving.”

As for the players attending the Tulsa tryout this weekend, Lewis offered up this advice.

“Play within yourself,” he said. “Do what you do well and play with a lot of intensity. Stick to what you know and what you can do to help the team out. If you try to be fancy and not play within yourself it can hurt you. Play your game and do what you are comfortable doing.”

The 66ers open the 2011-12 regular season on the road Nov. 25 at Idaho. Tulsa opens its home slate Dec. 3 against the Austin Toros inside the Tulsa Convention Center. For more information on tryouts or season tickets call the Tulsa business office at (918) 585-8444.