Colton Iverson is ready for a second chance to make the roster for the Boston Celtics.
Understandably, there’s a little bit of a ‘I’ll show them’ when you talk to Iverson, a Yankton High School graduate, about playing for the Celtics in the upcoming NBA Summer League — he leaves Friday for Orlando, Florida.
Iverson, the 53rd pick in last summer’s NBA Draft, was sent to Turkey because of what he called “roster complications” (in other words, there were a lot of big guys). In Turkey with a team called Besiktas, Iverson averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, according to the website Eurobasket.com.
“I had my ups and downs over there, but the experience was great,” Iverson told me Monday. He said one of the biggest adjustments was not having classes to focus on; “literally all you do is basketball.”
Since arriving home from Turkey, Iverson has spent a little time in Yankton and is now out in Boston working out with his Celtics teammates — including the newest draft picks.
Boston begins play at the NBA Summer League in Orlando on Saturday, and Iverson will be there to show team management and coaches that he’s worthy of a spot on the roster.
“There’s a lot of focus on you to produce, but I’m just really looking forward to showing them that I’m ready for it,” he said.
If you know anything about Iverson, you know he’s a competitive guy. With a shot to show his coaches what he can do after a season in Turkey, you know Iverson has worked extra hard to improve his game.
“The guys (in Turkey) are great players, really intelligent, so you can never take any game for granted,” he said.
Likewise with Iverson down in Florida.
Given a second summer to play with the Celtics, he said he understands the challenge in front of him.
I’ll have more on Iverson’s journey in Wednesday’s Press & Dakotan.