Hard Work Paying Off For Vaden

Hard work pays off. Just ask Tulsa 66ers guard Robert Vaden.

Oklahoma City recently signed Vaden to a Thunder contract after showing the dedication and improvement while playing in Tulsa.

“It is a good reward for working hard,” Vaden said. “It shows that they are a hard-working organization because they want to reward those who get after it and work every day.”

Vaden has been known as a skilled perimeter shooter, shooting 39.2 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season and 41.7 percent in the playoffs, but he said it was his improvements on the defensive side of the ball that helped him earn a spot on the Thunder’s roster.

“My defense has improved tremendously,” Vaden said. “I feel like my game always has room to improve. Mainly, I have stepped up on the defensive end.

“Being in Tulsa has instilled in me the attitude of coming into the gym ready to work every day. The coaches expect us get better, whether it is in practice or in a game. I know it will be no different in Oklahoma City.”

Vaden’s success this season has not gone unnoticed by his own coach either. Coach Nate Tibbetts was quick to point out the areas of Vaden’s game that have progressed since his arrival to Tulsa.

“It’s a great opportunity for Rob,” Tibbetts said. “He’s a guy the Thunder drafted two years ago and has come in here and done a lot of things right. I think Sam (Presti) and the people in Oklahoma City saw that and rewarded him.

“He’s got the ability to make shots and he’s a great team defender and he’s brought good leadership here to Tulsa.”