SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Watching NBA players in action isn’t always financially feasible for many basketball fans.
But for just 15 dollars, fans at Highland High got to see NBA stars like former Ute Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards, his former Utah teammate Delon Wright, who is also with the Wizards, Denver Nuggets star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes put on a show Tuesday night.
“I think it’s important for us to come out here and put on this type of event for some of the kids that are not able to afford to see us in the NBA,” said Wright, a 7-year NBA veteran. “So, we put on a show for them, and hopefully they enjoyed the game as much as we did.”
“It feels good to put on a show,” said Barnes, a budding star with the Toronto Raptors. “Do it for the kids, do it for the people that can’t got out and see an NBA game. This is a good opportunity for them to watch us play here, and we had a good amount of talent in the gym tonight.”
The Powder League normally showcases former college players and current G-League players, but former Utes stars Brandon Taylor and Lawrence Borha were able to get some real NBA players to show up to Highland High.
“It was great having all the fans show up, and have all the kids that sometimes can’t afford to see these NBA players play,” Borha said. “It was great to have them be here, be able to get autographs and see these guys play for maybe a first and last time.”
And with Kyle Kuzma and Delon Wright in the house, there were a lot of Utah fans cheering them on. Kuzma ended up scoring 67 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Wright, who helped lead the Runnin’ Utes to the Sweet 16 in 2015. “A lot of Utah fans that supported us in college when we were here, and they came out to support us. So it’s always fun to see the Utah fans.”
As these pro-am leagues continue to grow, expect to see even more NBA players join in.
“For sure,” Barnes said. “I love playing in the pro-ams, these pick-up games. So, next off season, I’ll probably do it way more.”