The NBA is in its offseason, however for basketball junkies there are a multitude of summer leagues and pro ams around the country to follow. The Seattle Pro Am has long been one of the top summer leagues in the country and now with increased notoriety, some of the biggest names in the NBA will be playing.
July 5 was opening day for the Seattle Pro Am and one of their prodigal sons was on hand to open the play in exhilarating fashion. Tony Wroten, playing with the Uber Eagles, came out and exploded for 52 points on 21-of-38 shooting (only 6-of-20 from 3-point land) putting on a show for the Seattle faithful.
Playing in the Pro Am is something that comes natural for Wroten as his first appearance was back when he was a freshman in high school!
Wroten credits the Pro Am with giving him a lot of confidence as a youngster as well. In a press conference before the game started Wroten told us, “I viewed it as a blessing at first, because it let me know what I needed to work on to make it to college and then the NBA”.
On this day it was clear that Tony was a cut above the rest (he was the only NBA player on either team) and he drove to the basket over and over showing an array of finishes which was magical to watch.
HoopsHabit talked to Tony about his time in the NBA’s Developmental League (NBADL) in his rookie season and asked about how that helped him develop into the player he is now.
“It was really tough not playing in Memphis. I had been the best player on my team on every team I played for up until that point, so it was definitely a learning experience for me. But the D-League gave me a place where I could get off the bench and play and I credit that staff with re-energizing my game and giving me my confidence back before I got traded to Philly”, Tony made it a point to say, “Not playing in Memphis gave me motivation when I got traded to Philly and it still does even today.”
A lot of people are quick to dismiss the play in these off-season summer leagues, but Tony was quick in his response when asked why he continues to come back and play given his NBA success.
Tony said, “This is great competition, plain and simple, and the people in Seattle always look forward to this and I want to do my part in giving them some NBA entertainment.”
Wroten’s Eagles won their game on Saturday 124-121. The Eagles played again on Sunday, again in the opening game of the day, against the Ball Is Life Vikings who will eventually feature Isaiah Thomas once he is signed in the NBA.
The Eagles lost to those Vikings on Sunday 120-117 in an overtime thriller. Wroten fouled out, but before he did he scored 44 points giving him a weekend average of 48 points.
Discount summer league production all you want, but you won’t find better entertainment for five bucks; I guarantee you that.