Tuesday, July 17

From Harlem to Colorado to Salt Lake

Future Supersub for the Seattle Supersonics, Quinton Hosley?
Quinton Hosley.

Ring any bells? Probably not. The 6’6” small forward is just another name on another roster in another summer league. Just filler.

But he’s not. He’s a young man whose story is as interesting as anyone in the summer league this year.

After all, how many other guys playing this summer are the son of Ron “The Terminator” Mathias, or the daughter of Hazel Hosley, both renowned basketball players from NYC. Mathias, whom Newsday’s Jim Baumbach wrote in a fine piece a few weeks back “is one of the greatest cases of wasted talent,” bounced around the CBA and overseas, never capitalizing on the ability that made him one of the legendary players in street ball history.

Hosley is hoping to not follow in his father’s angry footsteps. After being recruited by St. John’s, Oklahoma and a number of other schools, he committed to St. John’s, then saw that plan go up in smoke with a coaching change; then he decided on Providence, only to see nebulous academic reasons get in the way; enrolled at Lamar Community College in Colorado; transferred to Fresno State; sat out a year; then finally was able to parlay his potential into reality, leading the Bulldogs to the NIT.

As a Bulldog, Hosley made a name for himself as a stellar defensive player, a terrific dunker in transition, a fantastic rebounder (more than 9 boards a game at 6’5” is saying something), and earned second-team all-WAC honors in both seasons at FSU. When you read his bio in the draft guides, words like “coachable,” “hustle,” and “team player” leap out at you, as if it was drawn from Spurs’ central casting.

It’s a long road for a young man who grew up in Harlem before moving to Colorado in the seventh grade. Expected to go in the second round this year, like Zabian Dowdell Hosley was bypassed, and now he’s trying to make it in the league any way he can. He was on Minnesota’s roster in Las Vegas, getting into three games and failing to make much of an impression.

Off the court, Hosley volunteered in a project involving the local Children’s Hospital while attending Fresno State, and it is clear he’s eager to avoid the mistakes his father made. Like Dowdell, he seems to be a hungry guy with a classy streak.

It almost makes you wonder, is it just a coincidence that Sam Presti has added such people as Dowdell, Hosley, and Jeff Green to the Sonics’ roster? Probably not. Perhaps – in addition to the defense-oriented culture Presti and Carlesimo are bringing from San Antonio – they’re looking to bring in good people.

It’ll be a difficult path for Hosley to make the Sonics’ roster, as Damien Wilkins, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Mickael Gelabale all stand in his way as a small forward, and his lack of ball-handling skills mean he won’t make it as a 2-guard. But that’s probably not his goal, anyway. At this stage in his life, Quinton Hosley just wants to show he belongs, just like every other guy in the summer league.

He might be just another guy, on another roster, in another summer league, but it’s safe to say we’re rooting for him.


Anonymous said...

I saw about 75% of Q's games this season and the dude is a baller, and has NBA talent.

Also, his ballhandling isn't the best in traffic but he actually has the skills to play the 2 in this league, given some time, and is ready to play the 3 right now.

At times, Q grabs rebounds and takes it coast to coast in a Lamar Odom kind of way, and he's a really good passer (I've seen him make 50 foot bounce passes with backspin to teammates for easy layups).

On Fresno, he was clearly the best player, not Dominic McGuire, and is a very good defender, has the ability to score in traffic, has nice form on the J but needs work to be more consistent, and as mentioned needs to improve his handles in traffic but since he has good handles in general I don't see that as being a problem (he's been forced to play a lot of high post and power forward for Fresno, so hasn't been able to play on the wing as much as some other guys).

Anonymous said...

Q actually seems like a guy who would be a great fit and compliment to Durant out there, being that he's a hard hustling slasher and rebounder, can get to the hoop and finish with contact, defends at a very high level, and is a high-energy garbage man along the lines of a poor man's Shawn Marion.

On top of all that, he's a great teammate in a Ronny Turiaf kind of way (not as flamboyant but for instance at Fresno he was always pumping guys up and high fived every guy on the bench seemingly every time he came out of the game).

A smart NBA team will snag this guy now and let him keep developing his J and handles, because he has the talent and obvious ability to master both of these areas with primary and continued emphasis on playing on the wing (instead of being forced into the interior because of poor big man depth at Fresno State).

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with the statement that he'd be a great fit alongside Durant. Like Jeff Green, he's a small forward who can rebound and play good defense - a perfect fit alongside KD. The only problem is Wilkins and Gelabale are under contract already - so somebody's got to go before he can fit in.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely look to bring him in as 3rd string SG who also has the ability to play SF. Gelabale probably isn't going to stick beyond this season, and aside from Wally you don't really have a natural 2 (Wilkins gets destroyed defensively at the 2).

Q is an excellent defender who looked no different defending Rudy Gay (a SF) and opposing SGs in Las Vegas than when shutting down guys in the WAC. As a defender, slasher, rebounder you'd have a guy who would round out what Durant is bringing on the floor, and Q is great playing the passing lanes so playing those two together would really generate some defensive disruption.

For instance, this would be a great young rotation as Durant and West can nail the J from anywhere, Hosley adds defense and slashing ability to score at the basket, Wilcox gives you the low post presence, and then throw in whatever center you want (Sene for shot blocking, Swift for more offensive options).

1 - West
2 - Hosley
3 - Durant
4 - Wilcox
5 - Swift/Sene

With Durant and Q, you've got two wings with 7 foot wing spans who play passing lanes well, and Sene if you want more defensive length or Swift if you want a 4th legit scoring option.

Depth Chart:

1 - West, Ridnour, Watson
2 - Wally, Gelabale, Hosley (Durant)
3 - Durant, Wilkins (Green)
4 - Wilcox, Green, Collison
5 - Swift, Sene, Petro

Now, I have to believe that you'll probably trade one of those point guards, and I know that Durant conceivably could drop down to the 2, but basically for the wing spots you could use a young guy like Q to develop who compliments Durant and Green, and I wouldn't be surprised if he edged out Gelabale this season in terms of playing time after an initial stint in the NBDL.

Anyhow, that's my 2 cents...someone will be smart enough to sign this guy.

Anonymous said...

Presti seems to give weight to the character story and hustle/compete quality. Time will tell if they make the right choices or get overly swayed by those backstory elements.

Elton Brown not bad in first summer league run.

Anonymous said...

Hosley had a great game tonight...22 points (8-10), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers, and 6-6 from the line.

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