Wizards begin Summer League prep in Las Vegas

On Wednesday morning, the Wizards held their first Summer League practice, beginning a four-day ramp-up period for the five-game Summer League slate set to begin on Sunday night. Wes Unseld Jr., who was named the Wizards’ head coach in early July, led the first Wizards’ practice on the UNLV campus in Las Vegas.

“It was a great effort,” Wes Unseld Jr. said after practice. “They went out and competed. On day one, that’s all you can ask. The challenge is to come back tonight, understand what we’re trying to do, then turn around and apply it. That’s going to be the biggest thing.”

“The goal is to make sure we’re getting better every day,” Unseld Jr. said. “Not just get through it; get something out of it and make incremental strides. That’s got to be our mindset now through training camp and into the regular season.”

Wednesday’s practice also marked the first time that first round pick Corey Kispert took the court in a Wizards uniform. A four-year player at Gonzaga, Kispert’s shooting proficiency will make him a focal point on the scouting reports of Washington’s Summer League opponents and should allow him to make an immediate impact in the Wizards’ rotation once the regular season rolls around. After practice, Kispert spoke on making the most of the Summer League opportunity.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive and be in an aggressive mindset and play hard,” Kispert said. “We only have (five) games out here in Summer League to make a first impression so I want to do the best I can and put my best foot forward and prove to the coaches why they drafted me.”

Washington’s minicamp is set to run until the team’s game schedule begins on August 8. The team will conduct multiple practice and meeting sessions per day leading up to their opening matchup against the Pacers. The Wizards will then continue their Summer League slate against the Kings (August 10), Nets (August 12) and Bucks (August 15) before a fifth-and-final game on either August 16 or 17.

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