Eric Mika, Elijah Bryant shine in NBA Summer League

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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Eric Mika goes up for a block against Miami’s Chris Silva. Miami would go on to beat Sacramento 89-88. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Eric Mika and Elijah Bryant, former BYU basketball players, have both made their names known in NBA Summer League play with stat lines that may come as a surprise to some, but perhaps not to BYU fans.

Golden State Warriors guard Jimmer Fredette, right, drives against Sacramento Kings forward Marcus Derrickson. MIka and the Kings went on to win 81-77. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Going into summer league play, much of the BYU hype surrounded former BYU star Jimmer Fredette as he was set to play with the Golden State Warriors. Jimmer shined in his opening game, tallying 14 points and gathering seven rebounds. But Jimmer followed up this stellar performance with a dismal 5 points on six shots in his second game. This game seemingly sparked another departure for Jimmer, who is now rumored to be looking for greener pastures overseas.

Mika and Bryant, however, have been making the most of their current NBA opportunities — Mika with the Sacramento Kings and Bryant with the Milwaukee Bucks. Bryant played two seasons for the Cougars after being required to redshirt his first season at BYU because of NCAA transfer rules. The Elon transfer proved his worth with the Cougars, averaging 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. The Gwinnett, Georgia, native was named to the All-WCC First Team after his final season with BYU.

Elijah Bryant puts up a shot over Gonzaga’s Zach Norvell Jr. in his last WCC game on June 6, 2018. (BYU Photo)

The 2018 summer league didn’t yield much fruit for Bryant as he averaged only 3.5 points in just under nine minutes of playing time with the 76ers. In this year’s 2019 summer league, it took Bryant a couple games to hit his stride and breakout. Through his first two games, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 5.5 points and three rebounds, adding five assists per game. On July 8, against Minnesota, Bryant broke out with 31 points and seven rebounds. Bryant averaged 14.3 points with four rebounds and 3.3 assists in 23.3 minutes of play per game through four games of summer league play.

Mika played the 2013-14 and 2016-17 seasons, electing to serve his mission during the two-year period in between. The 6-foot-ten forward averaged 16.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Mika played a large role in one of the Cougars’ biggest upsets in school history, scoring a game-high 29 points while collecting 11 rebounds in BYU’s 79-71 win over No. 1 Gonzaga. This win handed Gonzaga it’s only loss before the 2017 NCAA Tournament Final.

Eric Mika looks to get two points over Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski in BYU’s 79-71 upset over the Zags on Feb. 22, 2017. (BYU Photo)

Mika played for the Miami Heat in the 2017 NBA Summer League after going undrafted that same year but ultimately signed with Consultinvest Pesaro in Italy. Mika most recently played on Medi Bayreuth in the German professional league.

During the 2019 NBA Summer League, Mika averaged 8.9 points per game and 7.9 rebounds in 19.4 minutes of playing time. He played a key role in the Kings’ early success, helping them to a 3-2 record before dropping their next three games.

Before Jimmer decided to call it quits on the 2019 Summer League in search for an international destination, he and Mika squared off in a game that was won by Mika’s Kings. Jimmer recorded his 14 points and seven rebounds during this game, while Mika was held to just five minutes of playing time. Sacramento won the game 81-77.

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