Japeth Aguilar says he is doing 'well' in D-League tryouts
I spoke with the big man Japeth Aguilar earlier today, Wednesday, November 14. He arrived in Santa Cruz this past weekend and has already gone through 4 workouts with the players and coaches.
This comes almost two weeks since he became the first naturally-born Filipino to get drafted by a D-League team.
He told me that he is doing "well" and that everyone has been treating him unbelievably great.
He knows the competition is tough but he feels that he is holding his own and that each time he takes the court he is feeling much more confident!
When he called me this morning they were packing up and heading to continue training camp in Oakland at the Golden State Warriors training facility. After tonight's game at home against the Atlanta Hawks, the GS Warriors will embark on a 4-day road trip which will give Japeth and the Santa Cruz team the opportunity to workout at the facility.
It will also give the front office a chance to watch Japeth and the others.
It will be a very intense few days of practice. Training and expectations will continue to build - this is the time where players start getting more comfortable with their surroundings. Competition will continue to get tougher and where you will see the cream rise to the crop.
This is an important step for Japeth. He has to continue to prove he belongs, finishing strong at the basket, making plays and being efficiently effective.
Japeth will also see more 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 games where the coaches will put the players in challenging basketball IQ situations. This is where I think his defense and shot blocking skills will shine -- as a defender he is much more pro-active then re-active. His timing and ability to read the situation will help him in this area.
On offense, he will be able to use his athleticism and perimeter skills to attack the basket. He can't relax and wait for plays to develop, he has to make things happen and show the coaches that he is more than just an athlete.
He must take his man off the dribble, box out and grab rebounds, and get to his scoring spots, that is, spots on the floor he is comfortable scoring from.
I probably won't speak to him for a few more days, because like most Filipino fans following his journey, I want and need him to be focused at the task at hand. Before we hung up I told him to stay consistent, be positive and enjoy the moment but to also make it count.
Email me your questions for Japeth at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll pass along whatever I can.
I leave you with this video of a drill we did with Japeth a few months back. - Rappler.com