Former Deerfield-Windsor and Clemson star Andre Young said he felt he was a better player after spending time this week trying out for the Golden State Summer League team.
LAS VEGAS — Former Deerfield-Windsor and Clemson star Andre Young left Las Vegas Thursday with the same kind of drive that got him there — looking ahead to bigger and better days.
Young has options in front of him after he fell short of making the Golden State Warriors Summer League team, which was announced Thursday, and he came away from the tryout feeling like he was a better player from going through the experience.
“It was fun. It was a great opportunity, an opportunity a lot of people don’t get — to work out with an NBA team,’’ said Young of the tryout. “I learned a lot. It was a great opportunity.’’
When Golden State told Young he didn’t make the final roster, the Warriors had glowing remarks about the point guard from Albany, and left the door open.
“They told me I was a good player and wished me well,’’ Young said in a telephone interview Thursday. “They said it wasn’t the last opportunity.’’
Young left feeling good about the way he played.
“I had a couple of shots at it,’’ he said. “The way I look at it, I came out of it a better basketball player. It gives me a chance to develop my skills and come back and possibly make a team.’’
Young has other options, including playing overseas, and still has hopes of making an NBA roster.
“I’m not 100 percent sure what the next step is. I have to talk with my agent,’’ Young said. “Obviously, I have opportunities overseas. That’s probably the next step, but I’m not 100 percent sure.’’
After a strong senior season at Clemson, Young wasn’t drafted in the NBA draft, but he had interest from the NBA, including Golden State, which invited Young to try out for its Summer League team.
Young was among a field of 21 players this week in Vegas trying to make the Golden State Summer League team. The Warriors cut the roster to 16 on Thursday. Rookies Joe Ragland, Kent Bazemore, Frank Robinson, Garret Sim, Maalik Wayns, and Charles Jenkins who has a year under his belt, were the six guards who made Golden State’s 16-man Summer League roster.
Young’s agent Adam Pensack is optimistic about Young’s future. Pensack said earlier this week that it’s not impossible to make an NBA team’s roster if you’re not chosen on the Summer League team. Young had only two days to convince Golden State to add him to the roster, and had his moments on the court.
Pensack said on Tuesday that he knows Golden State is interested in Young and not making the Summer League roster is not the end of the road, although it is more difficult to get to the NBA from here.
“In my conversations with the Warriors, which were positive, they made it clear that they’re bringing Andre in for a reason. They like him, and they want to see more of what he can do,” Pensack said on Tuesday, referring to Young’s pre-draft workout he also had with Golden State.
Young had two pre-draft workouts and an invitation to a Summer League team, and Pensack said earlier all the feedback he had was “really good.’’
Pensack could not be reached on Thursday, but he wrote an e-mail earlier to The Herald that he has no doubt Young has as a bright future on the court.
“Andre will 100% be playing professional basketball next year,’’ Pensack wrote. “We have a lot of interest abroad and the D-League is a slam dunk if he wants to go that route. We have a lot of interest abroad and that could be the direction we go in if things don’t work out in the NBA.’’
Young, who is 5-feet, 9-inches tall, is coming off a big season as the starting point guard at Clemson, where he finished 12th in scoring, sixth in assists, second in steals, third in 3-point percentage and second in assist/turnover ratio.
But after coming close to making an NBA team’s Summer League roster he’s more confident of his abilities than ever.
“Working out with an NBA team was kind of uncharted territory,’’ Young said. “I learned a lot about the NBA game and how it’s played. It’s different from college. From that aspect I learned a lot, learning the stuff in the world of the NBA. I know I’m a better player.’’