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George Beamon, ex-Roslyn star, trying to land roster spot with Mavericks' affiliate

Manhattan guard George Beamon (right, 24) celebrates with

Manhattan guard George Beamon (right, 24) celebrates with teammates as they acknowledge the support of fans after winning the MAAC conference championship over Iona in Springfield, Mass., on March 10, 2014. Manhattan defeated Iona 71-68. Credit: AP

George Beamon will begin his second season of professional basketball Monday.

With a plane ticket but no guaranteed roster spot in hand, the former Roslyn High School star will head to Dallas on Sunday as a training camp invitee of the Texas Legends, the Mavericks' NBA Development League affiliate.

Beamon will be one of 18 players at training camp, and the Legends will keep 10.

"D-League is a grind," said Beamon, who appeared in 18 D-League games for the Oklahoma City and Dallas affiliates last season. "I love it. It's right under the NBA. What better place would I rather be at?"

Overseas was an option -- potentially a more lucrative one, too, as players who make a D-League roster out of training camp typically earn $13,000 per season.

"I'm not ready to go overseas yet," Beamon said. "I just want to chase my dream."

That dream is to play in the NBA, and Beamon has his work cut out for him.

He already has impressed the Legends, who claimed the 6-4 guard March 20 and watched him average four points, two rebounds and an assist in 10.6 minutes over six games.

"We just saw a young man with quite a bit of upside and potential that we felt we could use at multiple spots and maybe even develop at the point, take advantage of his bigger frame," assistant general manager Travis Blakeley said. "He's got great athleticism, great quickness. I thought he did great there at that wing spot."

Beamon, a natural scorer who ranks fourth in Manhattan College history with 1,843 points, said he has embraced the challenge of learning to play point guard. He spent the offseason trying to develop a floor general's mind-set and taking advice from Manhattan coach Steve Masiello and longtime friend and Memphis Grizzlies guard Russ Smith.

"Now his mentality has to change a little bit," Masiello said, "to where he needs to become a pass-first guy and understand how to get guys going."

Even if Beamon does not separate himself as a point guard, Blakeley said he still could carve a "3 and D" role, despite his shooting struggles in his first pro season.

Beamon shot 38.9 percent from three-point range in three seasons under Masiello, who altered Beamon's shooting mechanics when he took the Manhattan job in 2011. But he shot just 4-for-21 from the professional three-point line, which extends to as many as 3 feet beyond the one in college.

"That's a huge transition for young guys as they get into our league, as they get into the NBA," Blakeley said of the three-point line. "That could be something that could really help him stand out, whether it's at this level or high level overseas."

As for the defensive half of the "3 and D" role, Masiello -- known for his team's feisty defense -- said Beamon "will do better than most guys in his position."

Beamon said he understands he must keep working, as he did before he received his first Division I scholarship offer, in May of his senior year, and after a challenging freshman season at Manhattan.

Even in the middle of last season, Beamon endured a three-week stretch without a team. He credited his brother Shanod Burton and agent BJ Bass for staying in his ear and providing insight that helped him regain his footing.

"They just kept me in the gym," Beamon said. "I remember my brother told me this, nothing was ever given to me."


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