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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Cats get taste of Summer Pro League

    With the Arizona men’s basketball season more than four months away, it’s hard for Tucsonans to see their beloved Wildcats in action during the summer.

    Well, not that hard.

    Last weekend, four current and two former Wildcats participated in the Tucson Summer Pro League at St. Gregory’s Preparatory School, while six other current Wildcats were in attendance.

    “”It can be hard to get tickets to see us play (during the regular season),”” said Arizona sophomore Jordan Hill. “”This way, they can see us without having to pay. We brought our game with us, put on a show and let the fans know we care about them.””

    More than 400 fans packed into the gym at St. Gregory’s on Saturday afternoon to watch Hill and senior Jawann McClellan – sporting green Desert Toyota jerseys – go up against junior Fendi Onobun, sophomore Nic Wise, and ex-Wildcats Kelvin Eafon and Corey Williams on the Ace Hardware team.

    “”The whole intent and purpose behind this league is for this area’s student-athletes,”” said Williams, the league’s founder.

    The game turned into a slam-dunk competition, as Desert Toyota won 91-73. Jordan Hill displayed an array of athletic dunks, including a bounce-pass alley-oop and another alley-oop off the glass from Eafon.

    Onobun stunned the crowed with a left-handed windmill, and 5-foot-9 Wise ended the game with a dunk of his own, bringing the crowd to its feet.

    “”I like crowds like this most of the time more than McKale (Center),”” Wise said, “”because these are the fans that will do anything to come out and see you play.””

    Arizona’s freshmen class minus Jamelle Horne, senior Kirk Walters and junior David Bagga were in attendance to watch the show.

    The freshman were instructed by UA assistant coach Kevin O’Neill not to play, said incoming forward Zane Johnson. Bagga said a concussion he suffered in May will keep him away from physical contact until August.

    Hill and Wise played on the same team Sunday, going up against a one-man show put on by Williams, who scored 45 in a losing effort.

    Hill and Wise put up 35 and 30, respectively.

    “”Our chemistry off the court is strong, but our chemistry on the court is stronger,”” Wise said of he and his roommate.

    Wise and Hill both agreed that the competition outside of daily pickup games in McKale Center was beneficial for them.

    And the constant pressure of Williams, who hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, doesn’t hurt, either.

    “”Playing with Corey and Kelvin is always fun,”” Wise said. “”They can still hang and play with the best of us. Playing against guys with that skill level is great preparation for the upcoming season.””

    Hill has surgery

    Hill did not have his right wrist wrapped during the TSPL games like he has for the last couple of weeks during pickup games. He had surgery on his wrist Monday to repair ligament damage.

    “”I’ll be out for, like, six weeks,”” Hill said after the game Sunday. “”I’ll be in a brace, basically working on my left hand.””

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