Prospect Profile | Shayok Aims to Showcase Versatile Game

by Lauren Rosen

There have been many steps in Marial Shayok's journey to the NBA Draft - most recently, a stop at the 76ers Training Complex.

After traveling a lengthy road, Shayok is ready to embrace the draft process in the coming weeks.

“I think my game’s very versatile,” Shayok said after Monday’s pre-draft workout in Camden. “Every NBA team needs shooting and an ability to defend, so I think I bring that. I think I can score, and really make shots.”

Shayok's path to becoming a well-rounded player has been five collegiate seasons in the making.

After playing three years under Tony Bennett at the University of Virginia, Shayok transferred to Iowa State. He was required to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA regulations.

“Basketball wise, I obviously improved defensively,” the 23-year-old said of his time at UVA. “The ability to create with limited dribbles is something I definitely got better at.”

Making an immediate impact at Iowa State, Shayok led the Cyclones in scoring (18.7 ppg), earning AP All-American Honorable Mention and All-Big 12 First Team honors.

“Once this year came around, I just really wanted to trust my work, and just play free,” Shayok said.

A mindset that he's been tapping into lately while trying to break into the pros.

Prior to visiting the Sixers, Shayok was featured in the G-League Elite Camp, at which he put together a pair of double digit performances. Behind his strong showing, he received one of just 10 invitations to stay in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine.

Before the combine came the Portsmouth Invitational, where the Ottawa, Ontario native shone early, scoring a game-high 37 points in his first contest. Plenty of league talent evaluators were looking on.

“I think I play better when I’m playing free,” Shayok said. “Obviously, the executives and the coaches can be intimidating, if you let it. Eventually, you’re going to have to play in front of them, play in front of many executives throughout my career.”

Monday in Camden, Sixers’ Senior Director of Scouting Vince Rozman said that after playing good defense at UVA, Shayok made offensive improvements at Iowa State.

“He’s been able to show more of his skillset, more of his scoring ability,” Rozman said.

Growing up in Canada, Shayok remembers Allen Iverson’s dominant performance against the Toronto Raptors in the 2001 playoffs. That experience didn’t diminish his appreciation for the Sixers' history.

Looking up at the rafters inside the team's training complex, Shayok took a moment to acknowledge the retired jerseys, and the greats who wore them.

“This history is just amazing to see,” Shayok said. “Its history of great players, guys that come through here, and then obviously the current players that’s brought the franchise back to where it’s supposed to be.”

That current group of Sixers will gain a few new members on draft night, June 20. 

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