Summer School: Kyle Singler

Year in Spain helps prepare Pistons 2011 pick for rookie season

Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images
Since Summer League ended in the middle of July, I spent some time in Los Angeles and then came back to Oregon – finally. I hadn’t been back to my home in Medford – that’s just south of Portland – since I went to Spain last summer. It’s the longest I’ve been away from home and it definitely feels that way because after spending nearly a year in a foreign country, being around different people, it feels like it’s been an even longer time.

I actually have a place along with my sister, Katen, in Los Angeles. She works there for a social networking company that markets Twitter and Facebook accounts for athletes, so I spent about a week in LA and then came back to Medford. That’s where I’ve been ever since. I’ve been playing a lot of golf, hanging out with my friends and just relaxing, trying to enjoy the nice weather in Medford and catching up to people I haven’t seen in a while.

My brother, E.J., will be a senior at Oregon this season. Eugene isn’t too far away, so I’ve gone there with him for a day or so and worked out with him at Oregon and the people around the school and their program, working out with their guys.

Because my season in Spain didn’t end until just before Summer League, I know management was concerned about overdoing it. But I have been working out. I didn’t plan on taking too much time off, just because there isn’t a need. I’ve been doing a combination of shooting and conditioning type of stuff and working on my body, stretching, a little bit of yoga. I’m not really working on too much full-court stuff, just half-court shooting and ballhandling.

As far as Summer League went, I thought I did OK. I wanted to do better, of course, but overall, as a team we did well. For me, the biggest takeaway was just being around the guys, the relationship with them. Having some of the veteran guys come down for three or four days of practice, that was the biggest thing I took away. The feedback I got was good. I think they saw what they wanted to see.

Before Summer League, I spent some time in Auburn Hills and met Arnie Kander. The first time you meet the guy you’re amazed by his personality, just his uniqueness. He’s going to be really good for me. It seems like he knows his stuff. I think he’s great for the organization. I’m looking forward to having more days with him. I definitely feel like he can make me a better player.

We really just talked – talked about some of the things we’re into. He mentioned he likes to throw the Frisbee. I said, “No way. I love to throw the Frisbee, too.” I play Frisbee golf. That’s something we have in common and maybe we can have a couple of tosses with each other or a couple of games of disc golf. It should be fun.

He had watched some of my games on tape and he went over it with me, but not yet in too much detail. I’m sure once I get back in September, he’ll sit me down and talk about it a little bit more. He gave me a few things to pay attention to. One was stride length. One foot was predominant – I was quicker off of one than the other.

I don’t know what will be the bigger adjustment for me – going from college basketball at Duke to playing professionally in Spain, or going from Spain to the NBA. You have no idea how it will play out. But I can say that playing a year in Spain helped. I was playing as a professional with guys that played in the Olympics this year. I definitely got great experience playing against good competition, good players. It definitely helped.

This week, I’ll be going to New York for the NBA’s rookie orientation program. That starts on Friday. Then I’ll head back to LA for a little while and come to Detroit in early September to get settled in and ready for training camp. I’m definitely looking forward to getting started and beginning my career with the Pistons.