Long Island basketball players, get ready for a chance to have your professional dreams come true.
Granted, it’s a slim chance.
The Long Island Nets — the Brooklyn Nets’ new developmental league squad — are holding open tryouts at LIU Post in Brookville on Saturday and are looking to fill up to four slots as it prepares for its inaugural season, general manager Trajan Langdon said on Wednesday. About 100 players have already signed up for a chance to show their skills and more are expected. Aspiring ballers can walk up the day of the tryout, pay the $150 registration fee, and show coaches what they’ve got. (Those who register beforehand pay $125.)
“We’re looking for players that are going to come out and play unselfish basketball,” Langdon said. “It’s not exactly the player who shows up and tries to be the best player on the court . . . [but the one] that does things that will contribute to the team getting better.”
It’s difficult to discern all that in the course of a few hours, Langdon admitted, but coaches are doing their best to pinpoint skilled, high-character players who fit the Brooklyn Nets philosophy that’s been outlined by general manager Sean Marks.
“Everything they’re doing in Brooklyn, we’re doing on Long Island,” Langdon said. “Character is extremely important . . . We want to watch how they interact with coaches, people off the court helping and how they interact with fans.”
That’s not to say that ability isn’t paramount. With so few spots open (and not all four spots have to be filled), they’ll be on the lookout for players with a “competitive spirit that plays hard on both ends . . . who takes pride in his defense.”
“And we’re looking for guys who can do the small things that you might not think are as important: make the extra pass . . . get the rebound . . . dive for the loose ball,” Langdon said.
And hey, it may not be all that common, but D-League players have made it to the big club before, and Saturday’s selections could be no different.
“People have different developmental timelines,” Langdon said. “There’s always a chance you find a needle in the haystack.”
Walk-up registration begins at the school’s Pratt Recreation Center at 9 a.m. and tryouts begin at 10 a.m. Space is limited, and walk-ups are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Spectators can purchase tickets for $5.
The Long Island Nets will play this season at Barclays Center before relocating to their permanent home at the Nassau Coliseum starting with the 2017-18 season.