There have been eight players out of Senegal that have made it to the NBA, the most notable of which is Bobcats center DeSagana Diop.
But the path out of there is hard — they learn the game on a dirt court at the SEEDS academy. If they catch a coach’s eye and can get the paperwork handled, they can get into a prep academy in the United States, where they have to adjust to a new radically new culture, a new school setting literally an ocean away from their families. All while trying to keep their eye on the basketball prize.
The new documentary Elevate — which opened in New York and Los Angeles this week — shows the challenges four players at the SEEDS academy faced. Anne Buford, sister of Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, directed the movie (funded in part by ESPN films).
Below is the trailer for the film, which looks promising. There is a review up at SLAM. Check it out, keep an eye out at your local art theater and Netflix. This one may be worth watching.
U.S. soldier shares pen pal letters from 2003 with Larry Nance Jr.
The letters read as follows (transcription via SB Nation):
March 19, 2003
Dear U.S. Soldier,
My name is Larry Nance. I have 1 sister, 1 brother that annoy me all the time. My dad played in the NBA.
Thank you for fighting for us in the war. You must be brave and miss your family.
I hope you get home soon and see your family soon. Good luck.
Dear U.S. Soldier is the war almost over? Where is Saddam? How are you? I’m fine. Thank you for writing back. Where are you?
Are you good at basketball? I like the Lakers too they are wining there series with the Timberwolves. Who is your favorite player? Mine is Shaq. Who do you want to get LeBron James? I want the Cavs to get LeBron, that is because my dad played for the Cavs. His number is retired in the Gund Arena.
And again Thank you!!
Nance saw the post on social media and responded to Snow, inviting her to a future game.
WOW! That's awesome! So cool you kept these… Please by my guest to a game this year. I would love to meet you! https://t.co/2asN2o4ZhX
And if you must go into the comments and complain that technically not all of these are crossovers, go ahead, but it doesn’t change anything. It’s like saying there is only one way to make a proper matzo ball soup — there are a lot of variations (I like it with dill in the broth), and they all can be delicious. Just enjoy it.
Cavaliers name Koby Altman full-time general manager
CLEVELAND (AP) The Cavaliers have named Koby Altman their full-time general manager.
Altman’s promotion had been expected for days and was made official on Monday. The 34-year-old has been serving as Cleveland’s interim GM this summer after David Griffin parted ways with the club following the NBA Finals.
Altman has been with the club since 2012. He will be the fifth GM for owner Dan Gilbert since 2005.
Gilbert said he’s been impressed with the job Altman has done over the past five weeks and said he “has the credentials, knowledge, experience and instincts to be an outstanding general manager. … I am confident that Koby is equipped and prepared to lead and succeed in this dynamic environment.”
Altman is taking charge during an interesting juncture for the Cavs. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving recently asked to be traded and LeBron James is heading into his final season under contract.
The Cavaliers have had one of the weirder offseasons, and while adding Rose isn’t necessarily the strangest thing they have done, it could be a larger signal for the rest of the league with regard to what direction the team is going to go.
Rose played OK in New York last season, and would be well suited as a backup bench spark for a contending team if he found the right fit. The Cavaliers will likely try him out in lineups with Lebron, but how he fits in as of the end of July isn’t quite clear. Will he be a backup? Will he be the de facto starter if Irving is no longer on the team come opening night?
The 2017 NBA offseason has been endlessly interesting, and this move is another in a long series of twists and turns.