Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Carlos Strong was casually paying attention to the NBA Development League draft while watching the Boston Celtics on television.
1. (10th pick, first round) Terrance Henry, Mississippi: 6-foot-9 forward, averaged 10.9 points in France last year
2. (1st pick, second round) Frank Gaines, IPFW: 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 20.2 points per game his final two seasons
3. (10th pick, fourth round) Chehales Tapscott, Portland State: 6-foot-6 forward, played in Luxembourg last year. Played two years at Portland State
4. (10th pick, fifth round) Brian Barkdoll, Northwest Nazarene: 6-foot-11 center, played 29 games for Tulsa in D-League last year.
5. (10th pick, sixth round) Lester Prosper, SUNY Old Westbury: 6-foot-10 forward, played in Canada last year after good DIII career
6. (7th pick, seventh round) Paul Crosby, Mississippi Valley State: 6-foot-8 forward, played in Brazil last year, averaging 10.2 points and 7.5 rebounds
They he refreshed his computer.
“And my name popped up,’’ he said.
The Bakersfield Jam made Strong, a 2006 Deering High graduate, the 34th selection of the D-League draft Friday night, taking him with the last pick of the second round.
“I am absolutely surprised,’’ said Strong, who was contacted by Bakersfield about five minutes after he saw he was drafted. “I expected maybe in the later rounds, six, seven or eight by maybe the Red Claws. They were the only team I tried out for.’’
Strong, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, participated in an open tryout for the Red Claws on Oct. 12. He played at Boston University after leading Deering to a Class A state title in 2006 and averaged 9.4 points and 3.7 rebounds. He has played in Puerto Rico since, averaging 12.1 points for San German last year.
Strong, 25, has no qualms about playing on the West Coast.
“I’m a journeyman,’’ he said. “I love it. I like the experience.’’
But he is glad he’s getting a chance to play in the U.S.
“It’s been a journey since 2010 (after BU),’’ he said. “I’m excited about the chance to showcase my ability at the next level in the States. I’ve worked hard for this since I was born. I just need to play within myself and not do anything I’m not capable of doing.’’Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at:email@example.comTwitter: MikeLowePPH