Lakers Give Josh Selby A Shot

By Gary Bedore

Former Kansas University basketball combo guard Josh Selby will play for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League, Friday through July 22.

The 6-foot-2 Selby was co-MVP (with Portland’s Damian Lillard) in Vegas last summer as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. His performance didn’t translate to success during the NBA regular season. He played sparingly in 10 games for Memphis before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was cut without playing in a game.

Selby, a second-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, did average 17 points a game for three NBADL teams in 2012-13.

“We have a pretty good group of guys,” Selby told ESPN Los Angeles, referring to a Lakers roster that includes Chris Douglas-Roberts and Robert Sacre. “We have a great coaching staff (led by Laker assistant Dan D’Antoni) that’s willing to teach you the game. I think this is an opportunity for me to showcase my talents and better myself.”

Selby has spent the offseason working on his game and also donating to charity. The 22-year-old Baltimore native recently hosted the “Walk-Away Campaign at Margaret Brent Elementary-Middle,” which has a goal of stopping youth violence in his hometown.

“I try to give them (youths) a story about how my past was, because they think that people in the NBA always had a good life,” Selby told the Baltimore Sun. “It isn’t like that for some guys. I tell them to always try to work hard, stay humble, stay out of trouble.”

Selby has also collected 250 blankets for the homeless, donated 200 shoes to needy children and provided food for Thanksgiving meals to families.

One of Selby’s former NBADL coaches — Alex Jensen, of Canton Ohio — told the Sun that “the potential (for Selby) is definitely there. It’s hard, I think, for a kid to leave college early (after one season). College is a much better time for a kid to improve and concentrate on a certain skill set. It’s just a matter of honing in and having game minutes.

“A lot of times in the NBA, you have to fit in with a handful of superstars, and you have to find your niche,” Jensen added of Selby, who averaged 2.2 points and 0.9 assists in 38 career games with Memphis. “Find those skills that make you fit. He has the skills, but he has to find out what those are.”