David Nwaba pulled off what so many basketball players dream of but so few see happen, going from an undrafted free agent (out of Cal Poly) to a D-League tryout who had to pay to get into to making the D-Fenders, and ultimately playing so well that he got called up by the Lakers and offered a multi-year contract.
Nwaba makes his money on the defensive end, and he held up well there in his 20 games in the big league, showing an ability to guard ones, twos and threes, and play on the weak side as well. Nwaba averaged 6.0 points on 58 percent FG’s (20 percent from 3) with 3.2 boards, 0.6 steals and 0.4 blocks in 19.9 minutes.
Below is a summary of his exit interview:
– Nwaba said his meeting was “good,” that they said “good things about what I bring to the team.” He needs to develop his shooting and his ball handling, but already love his defense and attitude.
– On his last year: “Initially, being in the D-League, my plan was first to just make the Summer League roster. I didn’t know how likely it would be to get called up. I’d say I’m ahead of schedule. I’m just happy they gave me the opportunity. Now I know what I need to do in order to play with the best of them. I’m excited about the offseason and ready to put in a lot of work.”
– He said his focus for next year is first to “just make the team,” and then “be more confident on the floor.”
– Nwaba said small forwards are easiest to guard because of his quickness to stay in front, but he also likes using his size against point guards.
– Did he notice a big jump from D-League in how he can guard guys? “I can definitely guard these guys. At first I gave them too much respect. I realized later on that it’s just basketball. The game is a little faster but it’s nothing I can’t keep up with.”