Apr 7, 2010, 7:50 AM EDT
I think of Portsmouth and I think of breakfast at Friendly Toast and the beer sampler at Portsmouth Brewery. Or getting a late snack at the Friendly Toast after having too many Portsmouth Brewery samplers. But that’s me.
For a lot of college seniors with dreams of playing in the NBA, Portsmouth means the Portsmouth Invitational and a chance to be seen by top scouts. It all starts Wednesday.
Seniors can get overlooked, or picked apart. The top of the draft is freshman (John Wall) to juniors (Evan Turner). There’s a sense that if you’re still in college as a senior, you’re not NBA material. Which is wrong.
But the Portsmouth Invitational has gone from a premiere showcase to something scouts attend because not much else is going on. Sadly, now, even the top seniors — the ones most likely to get drafted — skip the event. But as Chad Ford points out at ESPN.com John Salmons, Carl Landry, Jason Maxiell, Willie Green, Chuck Hayes and Wes Matthews have gone from Portsmouth to the NBA in recent years.
It’s a chance. The scouts will be there and be watching. Stand out and you get some workouts, or a Summer League invite. It’s a foot in the door, and that’s all you can ask. From there these guys have to earn it.
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