Republican: Springfield Slamm Pipeline To NBA - UMass Athletics

Republican: Springfield Slamm Pipeline To NBA

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Check out this interesting story from Russ Held in the Springfield Republican about the Pro-Am Springfield Slamm, a team which Gary Forbes played for this summer before heading to Denver Nuggets training camp.

The system is working. And working well.

Springfield Slamm men's basketball coach Steve Sobel has had plenty of reasons to smile the last few weeks, most notable being the news Monday night that former player Gary Forbes had landed an NBA job. Forbes survived the Denver Nuggets' final cuts and will be in uniform Wednesday night, when the team hosts Utah at 8:30 in its 2010-11 opener. "We were absolutely ecstatic," Sobel said. "It has all gone beyond expectations. We knew all along that Gary had the physical talent and he has proven that he is willing and able to make any adjustment to help any team in the NBA."

Springfield Slamm opening pipeline to bright futures for NBA hopefuls

Published: Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 10:00 PM     Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 10:18 PM
Russ Held, The Republican Russ Held, The Republican 
forbes.JPGFormer Springfield Slamm player Gary Forbes opens his NBA career Wednesday, when the Denver Nuggets host the Utah Jazz.

The system is working. 

And working well. 

Springfield Slamm men's basketball coach Steve Sobel has had plenty of reasons to smile the last few weeks, most notable being the news Monday night that former player Gary Forbes had landed an NBA job. 

Forbes survived the Denver Nuggets' final cuts and will be in uniform Wednesday night, when the team hosts Utah at 8:30 in its 2010-11 opener. 

"We were absolutely ecstatic," Sobel said. "It has all gone beyond expectations. We knew all along that Gary had the physical talent and he has proven that he is willing and able to make any adjustment to help any team in the NBA." 

Forbes, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, played two games with the Slamm last summer as part of the program's Greater Hartford Pro-Am Basketball League schedule. 

"I always prepare for the worst and hope for the best," Forbes told denverpost.com. "So there was always that doubt real far back in my mind, but I was always staying positive, just expecting anything. Everyday is a new day." 

The former Atlantic 10 Player of the Year at the University of Massachusetts helped the Slamm reach the semifinal of the pro-am league's playoffs last summer. 

"We played him at a variety of positions, he executed well wherever he was, he's a leader in the huddle and he is very humble," Sobel said. "He will represent UMass and the best of the Springfield Slamm." 

The news of Forbes' deal came a week after former UMass and Slamm player Stephane Lasme nearly made the final roster with the Boston Celtics. He was let go as part of the team's final cuts and is expected to land with Boston's D-League team in Portland, Maine. 

"We were very pleased to see where Lasme went (in Boston's training camp), that exposure will not hurt him ... he's on the radar screen now," Sobel said. "He scored 45 points for us one game. 

"And we've had guys like (UConn's Craig) Austrie and (former UMass player Maurice) Maxwell play with the Springfield Armor ... (UConn's Ater) Majok went to France." 

Sobel said the program is making a seamless transition from a program dependent on Division II and III players, to that of Division I-caliber and future professional players. 

"We are getting more and more competitive with teams in the D-League," Sobel said of the NBA's Developmental League. 

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt5.2/mt-tb.cgi/11472

Leave a comment




CATEGORIES