[via Dunbar H.S., Washington, D.C.; Virginia Tech, undrafted in 2003; Maryland Nighthawks (ABA); Gary Steelheads (CBA), Roanoke Dazzle (D-League); Nebraska Cranes (USBL); Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League); Turkish Basketball League; French Basketball League; Russia A-Superleague; Spanish Basketball League -- Chase played for the Utah Jazz in the '06 summer league, was signed by the team for the '06-07 season but was waived before playing a game, played with the Washington Wizards in the '07 summer league, played with the Miami Heat in the '07-08 preseason, but was released before the regular season, played with the Orlando Magic in the '09 summer league and finally with the Warriors this summer. Chase has yet to appear in an NBA game.]
[Jerome Randle, meet Omar Samhan. He's now going to box you out.]
Thinking about summer league, and I have more posts to come regarding, but if there’s a regret I’ve paid for, it’s not talking to Jerome Randle. He’s fun to watch. He’s nice (in a basketball handles sense). He’s 5’9.25″ without shoes.
And I honestly believe he’ll be in the NBA someday (he was also the 2010 Pac-10 POY, BTW). Out of him I saw flashes of a jumper, aggressive defense, and the ability to lead a team. If he improves in each of those areas, especially the jump shot, my belief will come true.
In lieu of all that, I present some pictures of Jerome Randle, performing sweetness. Read more »
Prior to last week’s Wizards-Mavericks summer league game, in what had to be one of the shortest, most unconventional interviews ever, I talked to Omar Samhan about his matchup with JaVale McGee. I knew that Samhan was stronger and more skilled in the low post, but I also understood that McGee was longer, more athletic and more experienced in terms of how the NBA game is played.
I asked Samhan, via Blackberry Messenger of all places, what his approach to guarding McGee would be. He typed:
“Try to outsmart him. Be physical with him.”
Unfortunately for Samhan, me, and the fans who watched both on television and in person, that classic, low-post type battle never materialized. And McGee took full advantage.
When Omar Samhan came to work out for the Wizards, I was impressed by his personality and character. How could I not be? He took the time to shake the hand of every media member after he was interviewed. In fact, because of his laurels coming into that May 13th appearance, a Sweet Sixteen 2010 NCAA Tournament run with 10-seed Saint Mary’s, I had a post focusing on Samhan before and after his Washington audition.
Samhan left attending members of the D.C. media hoping the Wizards would draft him, or at least that they’d put him on their summer league roster. But alas, it wasn’t mean to be. The Wiz won the lottery, John Wall, and the need for freak athletes to match Wall’s transition speed became the preference. Samhan is a skilled big with great footwork and hustle, but he’s far from NBA quick, conditioning being the area most teams are telling him to work on.
Although ultimately undrafted, Samhan did make it to Vegas on the Dallas Mavericks roster. Unfortunately for him, the Mavs have since acquired a number of big men (Ian Mahinmi, Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca), which likely leaves Omar out of Mark Cuban’s shuffle. But he doesn’t let that change his spirit or hard work on the court. By the way, Dallas plays Washington tonight at 8 pm EST, giving Wiz fans a chance to see how Samhan fares against their team’s young bigs.
While here, TrueHoop Network Mavs blogger, Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game, worked through the Dallas PR folks to arrange an exclusive interview with Samhan, which included taking a ride on the New York-New York Casino roller coaster. Rob needed a photographer/videographer (of the Flip Cam variety) for his piece and I was more than happy to go along. I mean, how many times would I get the chance to ride a roller coaster with NBA hopeful Omar Samhan? And I’m not even a roller coaster guy (I don’t think Samhan is either).
Omar Samhan is most personable player in the draft. Having only met five potential draftees (I left before Hamady N’Diaye interviewed), I’m more than confident saying this. The kid can hold a crowd.
The best part about Samhan is that he comes across as genuine … or charming without arrogance. He took time to shake hands with each member of the media after his post-workout interview today, but didn’t come off contrived like a politician.
He sort of reminds me of Gilbert Arenas, whom Omar compares himself to at one point (“in some ways,” he says), but slightly more aware of the impression he makes. He’s glad to be candid, but he’s not a loose cannon. Surely some of this refinement comes from the fact that Samhan majored in sports journalism.
“As an athlete, it’s your job to entertain. It’s your job to bring the people in and be close with the community,” said Samhan when I asked him about the precautions he takes when it comes to his social media presence. But he also understands that it’s a fine line and that he needs to be careful, lest what he says might come back to haunt him.
Today the Wizards will host six prospects for the team’s first pre-draft workout: Damian Hollis, F, George Washington, 6’8, 215 lbs.; Dominique Jones, G, South Florida, 6’4, 205 lbs.; Landon Milbourne, F, Maryland, 6’7 205 lbs.; Hamady N’Diaye, C, Rutgers, 6’11, 235 lbs.; Omar Samhan, C, St. Mary’s, 6’11, 265 lbs.; and Donald Sloan, G, Texas A&M, 6’3, 205 lbs.
Samhan might be the most intriguing among the bunch, partially for his skills, partially for his personality. Let’s take a more in depth look…
Omar Samhan exploded on the scene this past March when his 10-seeded Saint Mary’s Gaels upset 7-seed Richmond and 2-seed Villanova to make it to the Sweet Sixteen of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Samhan totaled 61 points in those first two games, but then the Gaels got handled by Baylor 72-49. He finished the game with 15 points and nine rebounds, but only had three points on 1-8 FGs and six rebounds at the half with Baylor already up 46-17.