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NBA dreams still alive for Tate with Oklahoma City tryout looming

By Zach Fleer, 07/19/19, 8:30PM EDT


Jae'Sean Tate skipped out on the TBT for a Saturday tryout with the NBA's Thunder

BEXLEY, Ohio -- Roughly two weeks removed from his debut in the NBA Summer League with the Denver Nuggets, Jae'Sean Tate will be getting back onto a plane and flying west on Saturday morning.

While the former Pickerington Central and Ohio State star was scheduled to participate with Big X in The Basketball Tournament, Tate had to put those plans on hold. Slated to tryout for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, Tate has yet another chance to pique the interest of an NBA franchise.

"I showed that I'm good enough to play in that league, good enough to compete, guard multiple positions and give it my all," Tate said of his experience in the NBA Summer League earlier this month. "I think I did a great job of doing that and I have a couple situations down the stretch with NBA teams interested so we'll see what happens."

With the tryout in Oklahoma City looming this weekend, Tate is looking to under promise and over deliver, something he has always done throughout his career.

"I know what I'm going to be expected to do and that's just to do what I've been doing since high school," Tate said. "Giving my all, giving 100 percent and doing what's asked of me."

Tate put that approach on display both in the Summer League and earlier this year in Belgium, where the 6-foot-4 wing starred as a rookie for the Telenet Giants of the Belgian Pro Basketball League. His first taste of professional hoops in a foreign country certainly prepared Tate for what he faced in Las Vegas earlier in July.

"I loved the people, loved the experience, the city I was in was beautiful, I thank Antwerp. I had  a wonderful rookie season," Tate said.

Noting that the game seemed to slow down for him this past season, Tate sang high praises for his coaching in Antwerp.

"The European coaching, it was just something about them over there, they just see the game so much differently," Tate said. "He just taught me things and I think I became a smarter player this year."

With Tate making strides both in his IQ and feel on the perimeter, the workhorse forward still left his mark both in Antwerp and Las Vegas with his motor - a trait that he has been known for since early in his days at Pickerington Central.

"I just have genuine love for the game and genuine love for being a competitor," Tate said. "That's just who I am."

Improved as a player and person with the experience of being one step closer to his dreams, Tate is in a zone that is new to him.

"Seeing people live out their dreams and being so close, being right there is just more motivation," Tate said. 

If his high school, college and overseas careers are any indication, Tate might just make it work in the NBA - whether his critics believe it or not. 

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