This past weekend Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Henry Sims, and Jason Clark found themselves on the same team for the first time since their unceremonious exit from the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Georgetown reunion was made possible by the Basketball Alumni Legends League (The-BALL).
The fledgling professional league held its inaugural games this weekend, with the four Hoyas suiting up for Washington, D.C., against a group of former college standouts from the Philadelphia area. The-BALL, which plans to fully launch next summer, also unveiled a few rule quirks, like a four-point line from 25 feet out.
“It was cool,” Clark said after the first game in D.C. on Saturday. “It added some fun to the game, some excitement. I couldn’t hit one, but I’ll try tomorrow.”
The D.C. team won both exhibitions, with Clark leading the way with 20 and 21 points. Freeman displayed his familiar shooting touch, while Wright took over down the stretch in Sunday’s game. Sims fouled out in both contests, but he was a formidable presence in the paint (and on the solo fast break) when he did play.
For Sims and Clark, the games represented the next step in their transition from their time at Georgetown to their professional careers. Both played in the NBA Summer League last month, with Clark suiting up for the Miami Heat and Sims receiving playing time with the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls. Neither player has parlayed the experience into an NBA contract as of yet.
“It was good to get out there and learn from those older guys, gave me a chance to show what I got,” Clark said. “It was a really fun trip.”
Clark has already signed with the Belgian club Okapi Aalstar, but if an NBA team shows interest he has a clause in his contract that will allow him to pursue a training camp invitation. For now, he is excited for his first trip out of the country since visiting China with Georgetown last summer. Clark will get to see at least one familiar face overseas: former Hoya Jonathan Wallace will be playing with Belgian team Dexia Mons-Hainaut after two seasons with Bayern Munich.
“I’m excited and I’m looking forward to it,” Clark said. “That is good, to have somebody over there that you know.”
Sims, meanwhile, said he has a few offers on the table with international clubs and the NBA, presumably of the Developmental League variety. He still needs to sort through the offers, but he felt that he would have a destination set in the next week or so.
Sims might want to hold out a little while longer to see if one team in particular comes calling. Kobe Bryant recently made news by announcing that the Lakers plan to try out a variation of the Princeton offense next season.
“If they call, I’m going,” Sims said when he learned of the Lakers’ plans. “I would love to play in the Princeton again. I can help, just run the Princeton for a couple of plays then come sit out.”
Sports Editor’s Note: Sorry for the delay on this, but Vox was receiving a much-needed facelift from this studly Bergen Catholic alum, Joe Fiorica.