From Tryouts to Training Camp

TULSA, Okla., Nov. 8, 2010 – Training camp not only provides the opportunity for teams to improve heading into the season, but it also gives players chances to showcase their abilities and earn roster spots.

Such is the case for three players on the 66ers 2010-11 training camp roster. Brandon Brooks, Marlon Jones and Michael Sturns all attended the 66ers open tryouts in early October where they competed with 40 others for invitations to training camp.

Each was excited to receive the phone call with the invitation to Tulsa’s camp.

“I was happy and excited because I wasn’t expecting the call,” Jones said. “It is a great opportunity that not many people get to experience. I was nervous and anxious before coming to Tulsa for camp. I am really excited to see what is going to happen.”

Brooks shared Jones’ excitement.

“I was happy to get the chance to get on the court and play again,” Brooks said. “I am excited, a new year and a new opportunity. I am trying not to be overanxious.”

Sturns knows the experience from open tryouts will be beneficial in the coming days.

“The experience of tryouts will definitely help us prepare for training camp,” Sturns said. “Knowing a little bit of what these coaches expect and the attention to detail they demand is important. I know they expect hard work.”

The trio impressed 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts on the opening day of camp.

“Brooks showed that he is an athlete going to the rim,” Tibbetts said. “He showed he is really explosive and that he could be a really good on-ball defender if he wants to be. Sturns is a guy who can play a couple different positions. He is kind of a slasher and has a good body and is good in transition. Marlon plays hard and is a big body guy and guys just kind of bounce off of him.”

The roster will be cut from 16 to 12 by this Wednesday, Nov. 10, giving the players just six practices to make an impact.

“I am focusing on details and working hard every possession,” Sturns said. “Playing smart is the most important key to earning a roster spot, and that is how I approach it every day.”

Tibbetts has preached to the team to be who they are and give it their all every possession.

“One of our quotes today in the locker room was ‘You never get a second chance for a first impression,’” Tibbetts said. “They don’t have a lot of time. They need to do what they do well and try not to be someone they are not. Six practices make it a little tough on the guys, but we should be able to tell who those 12 are.”