Reasons To Be Excited About Training Camp: No. 19 Hoop Dreams
No. 19: Hoop DreamsThere are many ways to make it to the NBA. While the New Orleans Pelicans have five players who entered the league as lottery picks (Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Austin Rivers), the team also has nearly as many veteran roster members who went undrafted (Anthony Morrow, Brian Roberts, Greg Stiemsma, Lance Thomas). The winding road to the NBA for Roberts and Stiemsma was particularly bumpy: Both men made their debut at 26 years old.
For a training camp invitee like 6-foot-9 power forward Arinze Onuaku, the Roberts and Stiemsma case studies could serve as inspirational examples as he tries to break into the NBA. Partially due to periodic injuries, Onuaku’s dream of making it to the big stage has taken him to Lithuania, the D-League and Las Vegas summer league. The Maryland native, who played at Syracuse University from 2005-10, is making his first appearance at an NBA training camp.
If Onuaku makes the Pelicans’ regular season roster and gets into a game in 2013-14, he’ll share something else with Roberts and Stiemsma other than an unheralded, undrafted background: Onuaku turned 26 on July 13.