By Evin Demirel
In 29 years as NBA commissioner, David Stern has led his league to unprecedented heights by opening its doors to nearly every corner of the world.
He expects its next generation of stars, some of whom just finished playing on their franchises’ summer teams, to continue fueling growth through diversity and global expansion. A quick scan at the statistical leaders for the NBA Summer League, which wrapped Monday in Las Vegas, seems to indicate everything is on track.
There are foreigners such as Canadian Kelly Olynyk, Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunus (named Summer League MVP) and German Dennis Shroeder. There is an American, Jeremy Tyler, who played abroad after skipping college altogether. Other Americans, like C.J. McCollum of Lehigh University, starred at the mid-major collegiate level. This fall, McCollum will start his career in Portland beside NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, who played at Weber State University. Mid major, high major, when it comes to predicting future NBA stars, the difference seems increasingly minor.
But the path has not widened for all.