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Ratke On The Road | 2019 Draft Combine

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


Thursday, May 16, 6:45 a.m.

Good morning, my kind friends. Checking in from the Minneapolis International Airport ready to fly out to Chicago for the 2019 NBA Draft Combine. Here I am with the very tall Gram Krause who is one great videographer, let me tell you. 

Gram just upgraded his seat for free because he's tall. Tall people get everything. 

I'd love to tell you that I'm full of energy and rested, but thanks to the storm that sounded like someone was playing Fortnite in my bedroom at volume 98, I might need a nap on the plane.

I've never played Fortnite, so if that reference made no sense, forgive me.

Gram and I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts before boarding. Gram got himself some sort of breakfast sandy. I got a giant iced coffee which I now regret considering I've thought about napping on the plane.

The Combine starts at 2 p.m. CT, so we've got plenty of time. It should be fun. Most of the players who are projected to go in the late lottery (the Wolves pick No. 11) will be here, so we'll be talking with all of them and gathering content for our prospect profiles that we'll start next week. Expect some videos and a Combine notebook later today.

Where should Gram and I get lunch? Is the Chicago River still green? 

I'll check back in when we land in Chicago, the Space City.

Until then,


Thursday, May 16, 10:28 a.m.

We are in Chicago and at the hotel. Not much to report otherwise. 

A few observations from the flight:

  • I had a window seat. YAY!
  • It was right by the bathroom. NO!
  • And a baby. NO!

Quick flight, though. We are going to clean up, go get some lunch before heading to the Combine. Any prospects you want us to talk to? Hit me up on the Twitter machine @Kyle_Ratke

We'll talk to you soon.

From the City Of Brotherly Love,


Thursday, May 16, 1:11 p.m.

We are back at the hotel after lunch and we just ordered an Uber to the Combine. 

We went to Portillo's for lunch. I got a salad. The main dude Gram got himself an Italian beef with a chili cheese dog AS A SIDE! This man is a true legend.

On our way back we both had to buy an emergency rain poncho because we are dumb and don't look at the weather. The best $1.18 I've ever spent. 

I'll have at least one more update today. I'll be pretty busy this afternoon doing what I'm supposed to do here (not this blog, unfortunately).

From the City Of Angels,


Thursday, May 16, 5:27 p.m.

We are back! We just wrapped up our day at the Combine. Plenty of fun stuff, including interviews with Gonzaga's Brandon Clarke, Texas' Jaxson Hayes, Kentucky's Keldon Johnson and more. We'll get those videos up for you, along with a notebook that I'm going to start on after writing this.

No food updates besides me crushing a peanut butter cookie. I just hit 10,000 steps today, so I'm good.

The Combine is so wild. There was a point when Larry Bird was just standing next to me drinking a Diet Coke. Like, what in the world?!

Probably the last update of the night since we've got some work ahead of us. 

Keep on keeping on.

From the Emerald City,


Friday, May 17, 8:24 a.m.

Let's get into business first. Head over to our YouTube page and you can find our prospect interviews. They are also uploaded on this site. You can also check out my Day 1 observations from the Combine here

Last night, we kind of hopped around watching Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. My favorite was at a Mexican spot where the guy at the bar was watching hockey. We asked if we could change the channel. He responds, "Go for it. I'm a Wild fan. They aren't playing."

Turns out the guy was from Eagan and was in town for business. We then talked about, oddly enough, the Metrodome for a good 20 minutes. Fun times.

I'm currently drinking hotel coffee and prepping a few things for the day. 

We'll get to the Combine around noon today. Some of the prospects we will be focusing on are Romeo Langford, Tyler Herro, Jontay Porter and more. 

Talk to you soon,

From the City That Never Sleeps,


Friday, May 17, 8:49 p.m.

What. A. Day.

Fun times at the NBA Combine. There's a notebook up here.

We had a swell conversation with Gersson Rosas today as well

Our taxi to the airport took a good hour, which was enough for us to talk plenty of basketball. Dane Moore from Zone Coverage is on our flight so he joined us for our taxi journey.

The Chicago airport isn't great for food, so we ended up eating at Chili's. Sometimes, you just have to eat at Chili's. I wouldn't recommend it.

I'm a little tired, so this is all I've got for tonight. Our flight lands around 11 p.m.

Until next time.

Ratke on the Road. Out. 


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