With the Orlando and Utah Summer Leagues already done, all eyes in the NBA world were on Las Vegas. It was a packed 11 days with 67 total games played between rosters made up of 23 NBA teams and a team of NBA D-League players.
Despite only two Wildcats being on Summer League rosters, there were four who entered the spotlight throughout the tournament.
On the rosters were 2016 2nd round pick Joel Bolomboy with the Utah Jazz and former Weber State point guard Davion Berry playing for the Toronto Raptors.
Cheering on his Portland Trail Blazers and watching his fellow Wildcats was Damian Lillard.
Former assistant coach Phil Johnson was honored with the National Basketball Coaches Association Tex Winter Assistant Coach Lifetime Impact Award. Johnson was an assistant coach under Dick Motta from 1964-1968 before becoming Weber State’s head coach.
“It is truly an honor,” Johnson said. “Three men chose me to be their first assistant: Dick Motta, Frank Layden and Jerry Sloan. We were more than co-workers; we were teammates, teachers and, ultimately, friends for life.”
The number one seed in the tournament was the Raptors, who utilized Berry for picking up minutes off the bench. Berry is back looking for a roster spot after spending last season with the Changwon LG Sakers in South Korea and several NBA D-League teams.
With one former teammate being an NBA superstar and another being an incoming rookie this year, Berry is somewhere in the middle.
“I’m happy for Joel, man, I’m proud of Joel,” Berry said. “I remember when we used to throw him the ball and he couldn’t do [anything] with it, and now look at him, making a statement and proving that he’s more than worth a second round pick. I’m happy for Joel, and of course I’m happy for Damian. He’s like family.”
The youngest Wildcat at the Summer League this year was Bolomboy. Over the six games in Las Vegas, Bolomboy scored 57 points and collected 45 rebounds while starting in four games, including the July 10 game when he picked up a double-double.
“Coach told me I would be starting since they were going to rest Trey, and I just try to take advantage of it,” Bolomboy said. “You know I’m always ready to play even if I’m not playing, like these past games I was on the bench cheering on my teammates and just having energy.”
During Bolomboy’s double-double game, the Portland Trail Blazers started preparing for their next matchup which left Lillard watching as Bolomboy dunked and rebounded up and down the court.
Lillard said he was grateful “to be able to be such a high draft pick and be successful in the NBA and make people take notice of Weber State; to open that door up for Joel and Davion and guys like that— I’m happy that I can play that part.”