By Quintin Harlan
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Anderson native Gary McGhee’s experience in the NBA’s Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues did not land him an invitation to a NBA training camp this fall.
What the former center for the Highland Scots and Pittsburgh Panthers got was the positive feedback on what he did well and the constructive criticism on the areas he needed to improve upon to develop his game.
He played for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Orlando League before joining the Los Angeles Clippers summer squad in Las Vegas.
“I finished off strong (in Orlando) and played pretty solid in Vegas,” McGhee said. “I got some good reviews. The scouts and coaches told me that I did well in pick-and-roll offense and one-on-one defense and my help-side defense needs to improve. I shot my free throws well in Orlando. But when I got to Vegas, I didn’t shoot them well at all.”
The Thunder passed on McGhee in favor of former No. 2 overall draft choice Hasheem Thatbeet, a former collegiate opponent of McGhee’s when Thabeet was at Connecticut and McGhee was playing for Pittsburgh. The Clippers signed NBA veteran Ronny Turiaf to play the front line.
McGhee got looks from the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks.
Unfortunately, none of those teams offered McGhee an invitation to its training camp in the fall.
But he had a Plan B that is being put into effect.
“Before the summer league started, this team in Germany called my agent and said they wanted me,” McGhee said. “So I’m going to Germany. There’s an out clause (if an NBA team wants to sign me).”
This will be the second straight year that McGhee will play professional basketball overseas. He’ll leave today for Bayreuth, Germany where he’ll be suiting up for BBC Bayreuth.
Last year, McGhee began his basketball-odyessy in Croatia before landing in Turkey for the rest of the Euro League season.
“I’m looking forward to it,” McGhee said. “They told me there’s more Americans in Germany (than in Turkey) to come see us play.”