Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
Even the most ardent college basketball fan probably doesn’t recognize the name Dami Sapara and even if the name does ring a bell, the information available on the Staten Island native is scarce. He will have the opportunity to change that on Tuesday.
A 6-foot-6, 210-pound point guard out of College of the Ozarks, an NAIA Division II school, will work out for the Nets on Tuesday, his agent B.J. Bass told SNY.tv on Friday morning. Sapara will be the Nets’ first pre-draft workout.
Bass is not harboring any visions of his client’s name being called during the NBA Draft on June 27. Instead he is cognizant of the fact that Sapara will need to work his into the undrafted free agent mix once it comes time for NBA teams to finalize summer league rosters in the days after the draft.
The way Bass tells it, he has a relationship with Nets Assistant General Manager Bobby Marks that is strong enough where Marks is willing to take a look at Sapara pretty much sight unseen.
“Hopefully, he can parlay this into a couple more workouts and get in the mix,” Bass told SNY.tv. “He wont be drafted because no one needs to draft him, but I think summer league is the goal. Right now, let’s just get the kid on the radar.
A 2009 graduate of Port Richmond High School, Sapara spent the 2009-10 season at North Carolina Central, where he averaged 3.7 points over 16.8 minutes in 27 games. From there, he fell completely off the radar. That is, until Edgar De La Rosa, a longtime college assistant with deep ties in New York City, happened to see Sapara working out at an LA Fitness on Staten Island.
De La Rosa steered Sapara towards working out at Basketball City on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where Bass has his RBA Sports offices set up. Long story short, Bass was intrigued by the superior athleticism Sapara possesses and was interested in a working relationship after Sapara was done with school.
What ensued was Sapara ending up at College of the Ozarks last season. He averaged 8.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the 23-13 Bobcats, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division II National Tournament.
“He didn’t have the grades for big time athletics, so he ends up playing at this NAIA school at point guard, so he didn’t score a ton,” Bass said. He jumps out of the gym and he can actually play, can see the floor, make a play for someone else. He will probably translate to a defensive stopper initially.”
“He’s the best athlete I’ve seen in five years and I’ve had J.R. Smith and Tyreke Evans in the gym. This kid is the best athlete, but he’s totally below the radar.”
The Nets are the only team to schedule Sapara to this point, but he has been tabbed as an alternate workout for the Knicks if someone pulls out according to Bass. Sapara is the sixth confirmed Nets workout, joining Greg Echenique (June 19), Trevin Parks (June 20), MoMo Jones (June 20), Gorgui Dieng (TBD), Jeff Withey (TBD) and Jamaal Franklin (TBD).
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA