Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Dream Remains Wanamaker's NBA Quest within Reach after Big D- League Finish

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Dream Remains Wanamaker's NBA Quest within Reach after Big D- League Finish

Article excerpt

As an undrafted free agent, former Pitt standout Brad Wanamaker was one of the unfortunate aspiring pros hurt by the NBA lockout last summer. There was no NBA summer league, no opportunity to play in front of the league's scouts and coaches.

Undrafted players didn't have much of a chance to make an NBA roster. Wanamaker went to training camp with the Atlanta Hawks but was released shortly before the season began.

Wanamaker's dream of playing in the NBA remains alive, however, after a great finish to his inaugural season in the NBA's Developmental League.

Wanamaker helped the Austin Toros, the minor league affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs, win the D-League championship Saturday night.

The Toros defeated the Los Angeles D-Fenders, 2-1, in a best-of- three series by sweeping the final two games in Los Angeles. Wanamaker was a big reason the Toros celebrated after a 122-110 victory in Game 3.

After joining the team late in the season following a stint for a Division II professional team in Italy, Wanamaker became a starter in the playoffs and was a spark plug for the Toros, who also beat Canton and Erie in earlier playoff rounds.

Wanamaker averaged 7.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in nine playoff games. In the final series against Los Angeles, Wanamaker averaged 11.7 points in almost 30 minutes per game. In the Game 3 victory, Wanamaker played a team-high 40 minutes, scored 18 points and had a team-best plus/minus rating of plus-23.

"I was working hard and doing the little things I did during my career in Pittsburgh," said Wanamaker, who played point guard, shooting guard and some small forward for the Toros. "That's my game, being an all-around player. An opportunity came to me and I made the most of it."

Wanamaker, a two-year starter at guard for Pitt, joined the Toros March 1 and only played in 15 regular-season contests. When he arrived, Austin coach Brad Jones had a set guard rotation, including top D-League prospect Justin Dentmon getting a lot of minutes. …

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