Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
News out of Alaska this morning (yes..Alaska) is that NBA hopeful Damen Bell-Holter has been invited to Boston for this summer’s camp. And like some of this year’s other camp invites, he has quite an interesting background. I cannot help but root for this guy.
On his personal blog, “Humble Experience“, Bell-Holter says this about growing-up in tiny Hydaburg, Alaska-population 350 and a town ripe with alcoholism and drug addiction:
While I was growing up, I saw people constantly drunk, wives being beat, my parents getting into physical disputes because of alcohol and kids getting drunk and high at the young ages of 12. I saw some of my best friends doing drugs and drinking at young ages. I saw lives taken because of suicide and drunk driving. I slowly grew away from these types of behaviors and focused on basketball. I was always at the gym playing with the adults and being cussed out or being threatened because that’s how it was growing up there. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know there’s people out there that have it worse then me. This is simply for the people that are curious to know what I came from. I never had positive role models to look up to consistently. The ones I did look up to were “local legends” and didn’t go play college basketball. They hung out, fished, and partied.
The 22 year-old Bell-Holter did make it out of Hydaburg and went on to star for Oral Roberts University. He averaged just under a double-double last season, his senior year, putting in 15.5 pts and grabbing 9.4 boards a game. He was not selected in June’s NBA draft, and recently headed to Germany were he signed on for a tryout with Telekom Baskets Bonn. However coach Mathias Fischer did not think Bell-Holter fit into the teams’ plans. He did say however that he thought Damen’s “great skills” would definitely help out another team. Well that team could be the Celtics as reported by Alaska Sports Blog:
“My agent said I was on their list of guys they wanted to bring in,” Bell-Holter told me. “It’s really exciting. It’s a huge opportunity that doesn’t come around very often. Just that they knew my name is pretty cool.”
Bell-Holter, 22, was going to play in Italy before the team pulled its offer and he landed with a different team in Germany. Then the Celtics called and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Playing in the NBA is every player’s dream.
Damen was a Celtics fan as a kid, and he idolized none other than the Big Ticket:
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward grew up rooting for the Celtics because Kevin Garnett is one of his favorite players. Garnett is no longer with the team, so there is an open spot at power forward. Bell-Holter would like nothing more than to fill it.
“Growing up, KG was my guy,” he said. “Even though he’s not there, going to training camp with a bunch of guys I’ve watched on TV is still really cool.”
Should be a very interesting and competitive camp this year. I know chances are slim that some of these guys will actually make the roster, but they’re definitely going to spice things up. Check out some highlights from Bell-Holder’s senior year at ORU:
The rest of the links:
Globe: Sunday Notes|