BY CORY WRIGHT
A Toronto Raptors affiliate hosted a free agent tryout Saturday and Sunday at the upper gym in Kerr Hall.
The Erie Bay Hawks, Toronto and Cleveland’s developmental league affiliate, held the third of three tryouts looking for names to submit to the DLeague’s Nov. 5 draft.
The camps attract a wide range of talent, all looking for an opportunity to further a professional basketball career.
“The talent varies from former college players to guys who didn’t even play high-school basketball,” said coach John Treloar. Raptors management made an appearance at Ryerson on the weekend to take a look for themselves at the potential D-leaguers. In attendance was Jim Kelly, senior director of scouting, but players aren’t reading too much into the visit.
“I don’t think the Raptors are going to say ‘pick this guy, pick that guy’ cause it’s the coaches decision,” said Bay Hawk hopeful Achuil Lual. “They just wanted to be a part of the developmental process.”
Coach Treloar likes the presence of Kelly, saying it shows that “the NBA is taking an interest in these guys.”
Only five players from the three camps combined will be in the draft, making the spots ultra-competitive.
Treloar told the players that injuries will eliminate a lot of the players, as well as sub-par physical conditioning.
Even if the coaches like what they see, there are no guarantees that the players will become Bay Hawks, let alone Raptors.
“Just because you’re on the team doesn’t necessarily mean you are Raptors property,” said athletic trainer Keith Grubbs.
There is also the chance that another team will swoop in and draft a Bay Hawk prospect first.
Ryerson was able to host this tryout due to men’s basketball coach Roy Rana, whom the Raptors reffered to Treloar. This is the second time Rana has landed an event at Ryerson after luring revered European coach Jasmin Repesa last month.
The school’s central downtown location also made it an appealing choice.