Two former Massachusetts basketball players will soon return to the court to compete with various former professional and collegiate players for a significant grand prize.
Luke Bonner and Anthony Gurley will both participate in The Basketball Tournament, a 32-team basketball tournament based out of Philadelphia. The tournament, which stretches from June 6-8 with the championship game being held on June 28, is comprised of 32 different teams competing in a single-elimination setup for a $500,000 grand prize.
With the NBA Draft tonight, we've compiled some clips and news articles from when recent UMass standouts realized their dreams when they heard their name called. But first here's a list of the UMass draft history...
1968: Billy Tindall (Atlanta Hawks, 10th round)
1969: Pete Gayeska (Atlanta Hawks, 9th round)
1972: Julius Erving (Milwaukee Bucks, 1st Round - 12th overall)
1973: Tom Austin (Boston Celtics, 19th round)
1974: Al Skinner (Boston Celtics, 9th round)
1975: John Murphy (Chicago Bulls, 8th round)
1975: Bill Endicott (Boston Celtics, 10th round)
1977: Jim Town (Denver Nuggets, 6th round)
1978: Derick Claiborne (Kansas City Kings, 5th round)
1978: Mark Haymore (Philadelphia 76ers, 5th round)
Congratulations to former UMass basketball star Anthony Gurley, who was selected by the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the second round of the NBA D-League Draft on Wednesday. The 6-3 shooting guard led the Minutemen with 18.7 points per game last season.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes an in-depth look today at the UMass men's basketball lineup and who could potentially take over more of a scoring role for the Minutemen in 2011-12. Vautour goes through each player, saying why he's a candidate to increase his scoring, and what could possibly prevent that. An interesting read for UMass fans.
The NBA Draft will be tonight and UMass' Anthony Gurley has high hopes according to the Newton Tab. Gurley worked out with the Celtics just over a week ago. Last season heading into his senior season, the Newton native declared himself eligible for the draft so he could get experience working out for NBA teams. If he is not drafted, Gurley could also find success catching on with a team as a free agent.
Derek Kellogg, Gurley's coach the past three years at UMass, believes whichever team does will be very happy it did.
"He has a unique ability to score that few players in the draft have," Kellogg said this week. "You never know where those players will end up in the draft. He is a physically mature player who can score in a lot of different ways. He has also improved defensively and has become a leader on the court."
UMass alum Taurus Londono has a piece on Yahoo.com today looking at the potential of Anthony Gurley as a member of the Boston Celtics. Gurley was among five players who worked out with Boston last Saturday.
"My fellow UMass alum Anthony Gurley was among a group of five players who worked out with the Boston Celtics this past Saturday. The potential draftees included no less than Doc Rivers' son Jeremiah, as well as Malcolm Lee, the PG out of UCLA who arguably has a better chance than most of wearing green and white when draft day comes. Gurley's name hasn't exactly been a common sight in mock drafts as a Celtics' pick, but the UMass guard is a local star who already has history with the team.
Minutemen fans will remember that Gurley actually declared for the draft last year at the end of the 2009-10 season. Though Gurley ultimately decided to return to UMass to finish his senior year, he managed to work out with the Cs, apparently getting tips on how to improve his game. It isn't clear just how serious Gurley was about entering the draft or whether he planned on coming back to the Minutemen all along. Gurley said at the time that he "got good feedback" at the 2010 workout and that he was "excited about our season coming up at UMass."
The Boston Celtics worked out five players Saturday, including UCLA point guard Malcolm Lee, a potential first-round pick the team could eye at No. 25.
Also in town for the backcourt-heavy workout were UMass guard Anthony Gurley, Morehead State guard Demonte Harper, Georgetown guard Chris Wright and Indiana guard Jeremiah Rivers, the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Anthony Gurley fell in love with basketball as a 7-year-old, playing ball in the Pee Wee league at the Roxbury YMCA. "I've never looked back since then,'' said Gurley, a fifth-year senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was recently honored with the George "Trigger'' Burke Award as the team's MVP. "There's always room for improvement, and I'm working hard every day to reach my dream . . . the NBA,'' he said. Read the full story in the Boston Globe: Newton North grad Gurley bids for NBA.
If NFL labor talk wasn't giving you your fill of legal fun, the NBA appears ready to follow suit as rumors of a basketball lockout continue to gather steam.
If the NY Daily News is right, the NBA Las Vegas summer league won't be happening this year. The league is usually a chance for rookies to prepare for their first season, while players who were undrafted, or played int eh D-League or overseas can use the league as a chance to get an invitation to somebody's camp. This helped earn Gary Forbes a job last year. Without a summer league there'll be fewer chances for someone to crack a roster.
If there is a work stoppage, even a short one, that postpones the start of the 2011-12 season. It's likely that NBA will have shorter training camps. Players with NBA experience will be safer invites to people camp. For someone like Gary Forbes, who'll be a free agent after the season, this is a good thing.
For someone like Tony Gaffney, who played this season in the D-League, or Anthony Gurley, who isn't expected to be drafted, there is less chance of becoming the next Gary Forbes.
In his final game at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Anthony Gurley scored 10 points, making 4-of-9 from the field and grabbed three rebounds in 15 minutes in a 95-87 loss for his team Portsmouth Sports Club.
Gurley finished the three-day session with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
UMass' Anthony Gurley started his first game at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament on Thursday night in a 96-76 win for Portsmouth Sports Club. He scored seven points, handed out four assists and grabbed three rebounds in 20 minutes. The team was led by BU's John Holland, who had 23 points.
Anthony Gurley's chances to impress professional scouts got a significant boost Wednesday when the University of Massachusetts guard got an invitation to the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament.
Gurley, a third-team, all-Atlantic 10 selection who averaged 18.7 points as a senior and scored 1,520 points in his college career, was a late addition to the event, which began play Wednesday night.
Portsmouth annually serves as a showcase for seniors who want to play professionally. Scouts from the NBA and overseas professional leagues attend the event.
Gurley will play his first game on Thursday night at 7 p.m., as a member of the Portsmouth Sports Club. His teammates include Vernon Macklin of Florida, WIll Coleman of Memphis, Corey Fisher of Villanova as well as fellow A-10 player Bill Clark of Duquesne and local foe John Holland from Boston Univ.
The final Bud Light UMass Basketball Radio Show takes place on Monday night at the Hangar Pub & Grille. Come out at 7 p.m., and join us for the show as head coach Derek Kellogg talks about the A-10 Tournament. Senior All-Atlantic 10 guard Anthony Gurley will be the player guest.
You can listen on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass and 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern Mass.
UMass basketball battled the three-time defending A-10 Champions, but lost 73-67 in overtime on Wednesday. Still, the Minutemen hold fate in their own hands when it comes to hosting a first-round A-10 Tournament game. A win on Saturday at Fordham OR several other scenarios would result in a home game to start the postseason. Read about the Temple game and the postseason situation here:
UMass basketball faces perhaps its stiffest test of the season as the three-time defending A-10 Champion Temple Owls comes to the Mullins Center for a huge contest on Wednesday night. Here are the previews.
It's not every day that a men's basketball team enters conference play with an 8-5 record, trying to convince its fans the sky isn't falling.
But that is what the University of Massachusetts will try to prove, starting with Sunday's Atlantic 10 opener against Dayton at the Mullins Center.
"Our backs are against the wall, but guys have been coming to practice with unbelievable intensity,'' UMass senior guard Anthony Gurley said.
"The chips are stacked against us, but we have to put the last game behind us. We're a family, we lose together and we win together.''
After the toughest week of the season so far, University of Massachusetts senior guard Anthony Gurley knows little is expected of the Minutemen as they start Atlantic 10 play at the Mullins Center.
"We know we're pretty much all we got. No one's really expecting us to do much in conference play. But we're going to go out there and surprise some people this year," Gurley said. "I think everyone has a chip on their shoulder. We're all kind of embarrassed about what happened the other night. That was uncharacteristic of us. We still think we have a lot to prove."
UMass coach Derek Kellogg, a former Minutemen player, is piecing together a winning program, as evidenced by his 7-0 start this season. In the Boston Herald, Steve Buckley has a great column on how Derek Kellogg is the right man for the job in Amherst.
The first time Anthony Gurley laid eyes on Derek Kellogg, he was convinced good days were ahead for the UMass basketball program.
"You could tell he wasn't just here for the job," said Gurley, a senior guard for the Minutemen who made his way to Amherst via Newton North High School with a brief stop in Winston-Salem, N.C., along the way. "Coach Kellogg has done a great job of putting together a blueprint of a top-25 program and putting us on the rise. I'm very confident in the direction this program is headed."
The Boston Herald has a pair of stories on UMass. The first one is a feature on senior guard Anthony Gurley, who leads UMass into Saturday's game at the Garden.
urley has a scorer's mentality, a focus that frequently resulted in individual play in his first two seasons at UMass. Now a senior, Gurley is scoring more than ever. But he's also become an all-around player, with career-highs in rebounds, steals, field-goal percentage and 3-point shooting. Most importantly, UMass is 7-0 entering tomorrow night's Boston Tip-Off Classic game against Boston College at the Garden.
"I think I've matured a lot," said Gurley, a Roxbury native and former Newton North star. "My game has expanded. I'm trying to play a more complete game, get my teammates involved more and just play to my strengths."
University of Massachusetts senior guard Anthony Gurley enjoyed the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team's Saturday night win over New Mexico State, but warned against getting too excited.
"Last year we had a big time win against Memphis and in the next game we had a let down against Boston College," Anthony Gurley said. "It's important that we keep steady progress. We're not satisfied yet. We want more."
Here are stories on the UMass basketball team as the Minutemen prepare to face Sacred Heart tonight at the Mullins Center. The Daily Collegian ran its 2010-11 season preview with tons of coverage on the Maroon & White.
Anthony Gurley thinks the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team is going to be good this year. After finishing 12-20 last year, the senior guard is excited about that possibility.
But as the Minutemen get set to open the 2010-11 season tonight against Rider at 7:30 p.m. at the Mullins Center, Gurley is wise enough to know that his optimism doesn't make him any different than almost every other Division I basketball player on the eve of the start of the season.
"Everybody thinks they're good at this time of year. Everyone feels like they can do something," he said. "We're anxious to get in a real game and see where we stand."
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a season preview of the UMass basketball team. Anthony Gurley knows what the UMass men's basketball team has ahead of it this season.
"It's not going to be an easy season," the redshirt senior said. "We know what we have to work on. We've definitely got to continue to get better on the defensive end, rebounding the basketball, and just fine-tuning everything.
"We've just got to keep our confidence and make sure we play as hard as we can every single time we step on the floor."
Ron Chimelis has a fantastic feature in the Springfield Republican on senior Anthony Gurley. He is in his third year as an eligible University of Massachusetts men's basketball player, his fourth at the school, and his fifth in college altogether.
Somehow, it seems like longer.
"College hasn't always been easy for me,'' the 6-foot-3 guard said, his eyes trained on the Mullins Center floor before practice.
"But everybody here is working hard, and I definitely see improvement. I just want to end my career on a good note.''
Check out these two videos from CBS 3 Springfield as the basketball team started practice this weekend. Also, the football team and Head Coach Kevin Morris took part in the JDRF Walk at Six Flags New England.