By Aime Mukendi, @Sir_Aimezing
Nearly two years after being named to the Atlantic 10 All-Championship team, Demitrius Conger’s basketball career has reached new heights.
Following Conger’s May graduation from St. Bonaventure University, he worked out for a number of NBA teams — most notably his hometown Brooklyn Nets. Despite failing to make an official roster Conger had an encouraging experience.
“It was pretty fun,” Conger said. “I got to meet and see people who are in the NBA and some of the guys I worked out with got drafted.”
Among the people Conger met was former point guard and three-time NBA champion, Sam Cassell, who he spoke with one-on-one. Conger also saw Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni and met with the first-year coach for the Nets, Jason Kidd. A few current players were also at workouts, including Brooklyn’s point guard Deron Williams.
In the immediate aftermath of the draft Conger was left blank, but the humbling process allowed him to become a better player.
“I started to learn my game better,” Conger said. “The whole reason you’re there is to get critiqued. The other aspect is that basketball is still a business.”
Shortly after his shot at the NBA, Conger signed on to play professionally in the Dominican Republic. He arrived midseason but did not play after the team asked him to sit out a game in order for the coach to play one of his teammates. The aftermath was Conger reaching a deal to play for a team in Ukraine’s top division but it failed to honor his contract. Conger, however, never doubted playing professional basketball.
On Sept. 9 he signed a contract to play in Italy. Through eight games Conger is averaging 13 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes per game. He is the starting small forward for the Pallacanestro Lucca basketball team, which is 4-4. The team’s next game will be on Nov.24 against Liomatic Viola Reggio Calabria. Still his most memorable adventure post-Bonaventure happened in the Barclays Center.
Photo credit/ Diego Martelli
“That was the best,” Conger said.”I was working out in front of all 30 teams. You can’t beat that.”