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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bagga to try out for NBA D-League

    David Bagga kisses the floor of McKale Center after his final game in McKale Center. Bagga will participate in the NBA Development League tryouts this weekend.
    David Bagga kisses the floor of McKale Center after his final game in McKale Center. Bagga will participate in the NBA Development League tryouts this weekend.

    David Bagga has had this talk with his family before.

    Sure, he doesn’t really know what the future has in store for him as far as basketball is concerned. All he knows is that he may have a chance to do something great, to be a part of a team and community that embraces him, and to hold onto the game he loves for a little while longer.

    This is the same talk he and his folks had when Lute Olson offered him a chance to walk onto his basketball squad four years ago.

    Now, he has been invited to a tryout for an NBA Development League team. Tryouts are Friday-Sunday at the Hangar Sports Xchange in Hawthorne, Calif., about 10 minutes from LAX airport and about an hour from his home in Foothill Ranch, Calif.

    “”It’s funny how my family and I had the exact same conversation when I came to the U of A. Verbatim almost,”” Bagga said. “”Both times I told my family that I’m really not ready to be done playing yet. Going through this for four years, you go through so much, and everyone has dreams of playing after school.””

    Bagga, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard, played in less than 30 games in his college career. He was a garbage-minutes player who did more for the team’s morale support than a lot of starters, not to mention being a fan favorite.

    Since he moved back to California after the spring semester, Bagga has been working out at least two hours per day, sometimes twice a day. He’s got just about the same lifting regimen as he did with the UA, and he’s getting competition from pickup games against junior college players and big football players.

    He’s feeling pretty good about his play, too. Recently, he took 100 shots from NBA range and nailed 73.

    “”Shooting is something I love to do,”” he said with a laugh, drawing memories of McKale Center crowds yelling “”shoooooot,”” when he had the ball in the final seconds of blow-out games.

    If he makes it to the D-League, Bagga certainly won’t have the support system he had in college. At least not right away. But he’s been talking to former UA coach and player Reggie Geary, who spent two season as the coach of the Anaheim Arsenal, about how to deal with the different play Bagga could experience in the D-League.

    “”He said you might see a dude straight out of UCLA there, or you might see a 29 year old or 39 year old right off the street still trying to play basketball,”” Bagga said of Geary. “”But I think it would be more fun than anything else.””

    Bagga has also been getting advice from former UA center Kirk Walters, who spent this past season with Anaheim, playing in 45 games and starting six. On top of that, Bagga had the chance to watch three D-League games played by Marcus Williams last season before he was called up by the San Antonio Spurs at the end of the season.

    “”From what I hear, it’s a great experience,”” Bagga said. “”It’s just an opportunity to get out there and showcase what you can do.””

    If Bagga doesn’t make it onto a D-League squad, he may look toward going overseas to play. His agent, Ron Schultz of Tank Sports, has agreed to help.

    And no matter what happens, his family will back him as well.

    “”I’ll play anywhere if you give me a shot to play,”” Bagga said. “”They understand my drive, and I’m very thankful for that.””

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