BYU hoops stars pursue dreams offseason

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Basketball is not typically on people’s minds around BYU in the summer. But Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies are both still in the news.

Tyler Haws

Haws recently made the cut to play for team USA in the University World Games, a multi-sport event similar to the Olympics, but for college students. Brandon Davies went undrafted in the NBA draft but looks to continue his NBA dream by playing in the NBA summer league with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Haws will be the first BYU basketball player to play for the United States in the University World Games since Devin Durrant in 1983.

Originally 25 players were invited to try out for the U.S. squad. The roster was cut down to 16 players early in the week, and then to the final 12 the morning of Saturday, June 29, at the training center in Colorado Springs.

On a team full of wing players, Haws was able to find a way to contribute to the team.

“I feel like I can score in lots of different ways, at the free throw line, midrange stuff, in transition, from the three point line; I’m just trying to contribute in any way I can,” Haws said.

Haws has been a leader for the Cougars since returning from his LDS mission in 2012. He was named a captain as a sophomore last season and hopes to bring more leadership back to BYU after his time with the U.S. team.

“These guys that are on the team, you can tell they’re leaders. They’re studs on their teams. I feel like I’m learning a lot from them. Lots of leadership skills,” Haws said. “They’ll be a lot of things I want to take back to BYU.”

Brandon Davies

Many kids fantasize about hearing their names called out on draft night. Davies, however, wasn’t so fortunate. But luckily for him, his NBA dream isn’t over yet.

Davies will get his chance to showcase more of his skills in an attempt to make his big hoop dreams come true by playing with the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA Summer League.

The NBA Summer League will take place in Orlando July 7–12 and in Las Vegas July 12–22. The Clippers will not participate in the Orlando Pro Summer League but will participate in Las Vegas. The first game for the Clippers will be against Atlanta, July 12, at Cox Pavilion on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus.

Only 60 names were called on draft night, but the summer league is filled with former college players looking for their spot in the pros.

Davies was projected by NBA draft experts to be a late-second round pick, at best.  Not being drafted late in the second round may actually work in his favor. Second-round draft picks are not guaranteed contracts, but the team that drafts them retains their rights. Not being drafted allows Davies to choose what team he plays with, giving him the best opportunity to make a team based on system and personnel.

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