COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nearly every hooper's dream is to wear their own NBA jersey. For four former area alums, that moment took place at the 2023 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from July 7-17.
Although the Summer League is only an exhibition that features rookies, sophomores and G League affiliated players, it's an opportunity for unsigned players to earn their way towards an NBA or another professional league contract.
Below we recap those four players that all went undrafted, but made an appearance in Las Vegas, along with an update on the former local players that are currently in the NBA.
Taevion Kinsey (Eastmoor Academy '18 / Marshall / Utah Jazz)
After a decorated five-year career at Marshall where he graduated as the Herd's all-time leading scorer, Kinsey signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Utah Jazz, which grants him a one-year deal that converts into a two-way contract with the Jazz's G League affiliate.
Kinsey made the most of his opportunity in his five games with the Jazz, as they went 4-1 and fell a game short of appearing in the Summer League championship. Kinsey appeared in all five games and averaged 6.2 points per game on 50% shooting and 2.2 assists with a +7 difference. The former EA Warrior made a solid last impression as he combined for 23 points and nine assists in his final two games. Kinsey's versatility, athleticism and strong ability to finish were amongst the traits that stood out throughout the session.
Expect Kinsey to get a solid opportunity in the G League, with the possibility of making appearances for the Jazz throughout the season.
Dane Goodwin (Upper Arlington '18 / Notre Dame / Sacramento Kings)
The former Mr. Ohio was picked up by the Kings after a successful five-year career at Notre Dame.
Goodwin appeared in two games and made the most of his opportunity. In a win over Milwaukee, Goodwin played 24 minutes, scored six points on 2-of-5 shooting beyond the arc, had four assists and a +11 rating. Against the Clippers, Goodwin was 1-of-2 on threes along with an assist, block and rebound in ten minutes of play.
While Goodwin is not currently signed, expect the former Golden Bear to sign a professional contract overseas.
Will Yoakum (Delaware Hayes '17 / Nova Southeastern / Chicago Bulls)
Who said you have to go D1 to make the NBA? After a tremendous four-year career at West Liberty, Yoakum spent his final year at Nova Southeastern, where he helped the Sharks win their first ever Division II National Championship.
Yoakum appeared in two games with the Bulls and averaged 8.7 minutes. Although he did not score, Yoakum pulled in two rebounds and two assists in those outings.
Yoakum's journey from Division II to the pros should continue, as we anticipate him to sign a contract overseas.
JT Shumate (Newark '18 / Toledo / Toronto Raptors)
Another D2 to the pros success story, Shumate began his career at Walsh, transferred after two seasons, and had a successful three years at Toledo in which he was named first team all-MAC in 2023.
Shumate was signed to a Summer League deal with the Raptors and made his lone appearance in Toronto's final game, a win against the Warriors. Shumate played over five minutes and scored two points on 1-of-2 shooting.
Similar to the players mentioned above, we expect Shumate to sign a professional contract overseas.
Locals in the League
Two former area players have well-established careers with current NBA contracts and they both hail from Pickerington Central.
Caris LeVert, a 2012 Tigers grad, is entering his eighth season and just re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers via two-year, $32 million contract. The former first-round draft pick has averaged over 14 points and 3.9 assists per game over his career.
LeVert's former high school teammate, Jae'Sean Tate, is entering his fourth season with the Houston Rockets after going undrafted in 2018. Tate spent his first two professional seasons overseas and was named first team All-NBL with the Sydney Kings in Australia.
His stellar performance earned him a contract with the Rockets, in which in 2022 he signed a three-year deal worth $22.1 million. In three seasons with Houston, the last of which he was sidelined most of the year with an injury, the 2014 Tiger grad has averaged 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds. In the 2021-22 season, Tate started 77 out of 78 games he played.